Saint Lawrence vs. Hamilton
April 7, 2007
The Game Story:
Apr. 7: The No. 12 St. Lawrence University men’s lacrosse team pulled out a hard-earned win against Liberty League foe Hamilton College on Saturday afternoon, leaning on their defensive unit to keep the Continentals’ offense quiet. The Saints got three goals a piece from junior Brendan Lynch and sophomore Alex Slauson on their way to a 9-2 victory, while the quartet of JJ Hearty, Brian Crowley, Ben Buskey, and Carl Festa were outstanding in protecting senior goalie Justin Demuth.

The win moves the Saints to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while Hamilton falls to 2-7 and 0-2.

St. Lawrence wasted little time in taking the lead 1-0 only 38 seconds into regulation when junior Kevin Russell lifted a pass to sophomore Peter Carroll who had beaten the Hamilton defense and was on a breakaway against the Continentals’ netminder Ethan Shoemaker. The goalie was helpless as Carroll scored his eighth of the season to give the home team an early lead.

Hamilton’s Kevin Coughlin appeared to tie the game at 2:01 when he made a slick move to beat Demuth. However, the officials checked his stick and ruled it illegal, taking the goal off the scoreboard and sending Coughlin off for a 1:00 minute penalty.

Both defenses did an excellent job throughout the rest of the quarter in protecting their goalkeeper, especially St. Lawrence who did not allow a shot on goal the entire fifteen minutes and keeping Hamilton’s attackers around the perimeter. Lynch would score the only other goal of the quarter at 8:34 as he beat a defender and ripped a hard shot while running to his left that slipped past Shoemaker for the 2-0 St. Lawrence lead.

The second quarter was much of the same, as both offenses met strong resistance from their opponents. Hamilton’s Karl Gruss and Nate Harris put consistent pressure on Russell and Lynch, while Crowley, Hearty, and Festa did well to keep the Continentals at bay.

Hamilton would strike first in the second, however, when Clark Winter made a strong move and sent a rope past Demuth at 4:12 to make the score 2-1. Unfortunately for the visitors, the goal would not create any momentum as the Scarlet and Brown ran off the final two goals of the quarter to enter halftime with a 4-1 cushion. Senior Nick Mastine scored his lone goal of the afternoon with 6:07 remaining in the half, followed by Lynch’s second of the day only 49 seconds later on a fantastic pass from junior Ben Prime to close the first half scoring.

Through thirty minutes, the Saints held the edge in shots (20-8), ground balls (20-7), and face-offs (6-of-7), but found themselves ahead by only three goals thanks to Shoemaker, who stopped five saves in the first half while Demuth stopped one Hamilton shot. St. Lawrence’s four goals was the lowest scored by the team in the opening half this season.

The third quarter scoring was opened by Winter again for the Continentals, making the score 4-2 and giving the visitors some life in a close, two-goal contest. Winter’s second of the game came at 5:02 of the third.

From there on out, however, the game belonged to the Saints, reeling off five straight goals to end the game and walk away with a 9-2 win. Slauson would score his first of the game at a crucial time, crushing Hamilton’s momentum at 10:06 when he made a nice move to his right and ripped a shot low-left past Shoemaker. The goal re-established the Saints three goal lead, while Carroll’s second of the game with 1:01 remaining in the quarter gave St. Lawrence their biggest lead of the contest at 6-2 to end the period.

Though Hamilton would pressure Demuth in the fourth quarter, the Jordan, NY native held his ground and his defense picked up groundballs to not allow second-chance opportunities. Slauson’s second of the game opened the fourth quarter scoring with 8:41 remaining in the game to put St. Lawrence ahead 7-2. His hard shot from Shoemaker’s right side went over the goalie’s shoulder for his tenth of the season.

Lynch seemingly put the game away only 38 seconds later when he found a seam in the Hamilton defense and moved in one-on-one on Shoemaker. The Medfield, MA native slipped a shot between the goalie’s legs to make the score 8-2 and complete the hat trick. Slauson wasn’t far behind with his third of the contest, as he took a feed from Russell, ran through the center of the field and rifled a shot into the goal to complete the scoring and give the Saints an important 9-2 conference win.

“I don’t think the score reflected how close the game was today,” said head coach Mike Mahoney. “We worked hard for 60 minutes and came away with a win that we really needed as we head on the road for the next three weeks. Alex and Brendan scored some timely goals, but a lot of credit has to go to our defense, which did a great job protecting Justin (Demuth).”

The Saints finished with a 36-19 advantage in shots and a 36-11 edge in groundballs. Sophomore midfielder PJ Santora continued his success in the face-off circle, where he won 13-of-15 draws. Though there were eight penalties called in the game, neither the Saints nor Continentals were able to score a man-up goal. Shoemaker took the loss despite making 12 stops, while Demuth improved to 7-1 with a four-save performance.

St. Lawrence will have the week off before returning to action again next Saturday, April 14th in a marquee Liberty League game against currently-unbeaten Rensselaer (9-0) in Troy, NY. The Saints and Red Hawks are set to square off at noon in a game that could have major playoff implications.