Saint Lawrence vs. Rpi
April 22, 2006
The Game Story:
Apr. 22: The St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team, using both speed and heads-up passing, jumped out to an overwhelming 12-1 lead against the previously-unbeaten Rensselaer Red Hawks on Saturday afternoon at North Country Field. Although the Saints (9-3, 5-0) were held in check offensively in the second half, they still cruised to a 12-4 victory and clinched at least a share of the 2006 Liberty League Regular Season Championship.

St. Lawrence wasted very little time in setting the tempo for Saturday's Senior Day showdown between the top two teams in the conference. Junior Brendan Lynch scored just 45 seconds into regulation to give the home team the early edge that they would never relinquish.

Sophomore Mike Long and first year student Peter Carroll joined the scoring in the early going as well, as each netted a goal in the opening five minutes. Long took a pass from freshman Alex Slauson and fired a shot that beat RPI goaltender Ryan Michels at 3:36 of the first quarter, then Carroll scored his first of the game only 38 seconds later on an unassisted goal at 4:14.

After a Rensselaer timeout, the Red Hawks looked to settle things down and close the gap on the Saints. They would do just that with 7:57 remaining in the opening quarter, as Briggs Thompson scored on Saints' goalie Justin Demuth to make the score 3-1 in favor of St. Lawrence.

From there on out, however, it was all St. Lawrence. The home team scored five straight goals to end the opening quarter, then netted the only four goals of the second quarter to grab a 12-1 lead heading into halftime. Sophomores Cory Yawger and Ben Prime, junior Nick Mastine, and Carroll (2) tallied goals in the first quarter to make the score 8-1 after one. In the second, it was junior Andy Centauro, Prime, sophomore Derek Hansen, and Lynch that would extend St. Lawrence's lead to 12-1 at the half.

Rensselaer attempted to get back into the game early in the third quarter as they jumped out of the gate in the second half to score three quick goals to make the score 12-4 and force Saints' head coach Mike Mahoney to use a timeout and settle his team down. The Red Hawks' goals in the third quarter came from Mike Sampson (00:19) and Josh Secora (2:50 and 3:58).

The Saints tightened down their defense after the timeout, forcing turnovers and getting outstanding play from Demuth between the pipes. Sophomore midfielder Ben Buskey helped motivate the defensive corps with some big-time hits along the sidelines. However, RPI's defense was also unflappable in the second half, as Michels stopped all of the Saints' shots that he faced. The outstanding defensive efforts were noticed on the scoreboard, as neither team scored a goal in the final 26:02 of the game.

Carroll scored three goals on the afternoon for St. Lawrence, while Prime and Lynch netted a pair of goals each. Though he was unable to find the net, sophomore Kevin Russell notched six assists in the game to lead all scorers. Freshman PJ Santora won 16-of-19 faceoffs for the Saints, giving his team control and momentum early in the game. Between the pipes, Demuth finished with 12 saves on 16 shots.

For the Red Hawks, Secora finished as the leading scorer with two points (2g), while Sampson, Thompson, and Brandon Recchia each had one point. Michels finished with 14 saves in goal for Rensselaer on 26 shots.

Before the start of Saturday's game, St. Lawrence's two senior defensemen Tripp Bartlett and Bo McDougall were honored for their contributions to the Saints' program over the past four seasons.

However, the game versus RPI will not be the last at North Country Field for the seniors, as the Saints have wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Liberty League Tournament, and will host the No. 4 seed on Friday, May 5th. St. Lawrence will not be looking that far ahead, though, as they have a non-conference game with Potsdam State on Wednesday, April 26th and their final league game against Vassar College on April 29th. The game versus the Bears is set to begin in Potsdam, NY at 4:00pm.