Saint Lawrence vs. Union
May 4, 2008
The Game Story:
May 4: Sophomore Will McKee, named the Liberty League’s Player of the Year earlier this week, scored all four of his goals in the second half including the game-winner with 3:31 remaining in the contest as the

No. 12 St. Lawrence University men’s lacrosse team rallied past Union College to claim their third consecutive conference championship. The Saints (11-2, 6-0) earn an automatic bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament while No. 18 Union’s fate is in the hand’s of the selection committee.

The Dutchmen came out clicking on all cylinders offensively, as they scored the game’s opening three goals for a 3-0 advantage. After Tom Simmons and Chris Collison put the visitors on top 2-0, Union’s senior captain Jon Miller used a great move to elude a defender and fired a shot past St. Lawrence goaltender Thomas Hollingsworth, forcing the Saints to burn a timeout only 4:26 into the game.

St. Lawrence, who ran the table with a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play this season including a 17-3 win over Union, regrouped in the timeout and was able to pull to within a goal at the end of the first quarter. Junior Peter Carroll picked up a rebound behind Union goaltender Christopher Keinath and used a wrap-around move to get the Scarlet and Brown on the board at 3-1. Fellow classmate Alex Slauson then made it 3-2 when he bounced a shot that hit the netting just below the cross bar to complete the first quarter scoring at 13:48.

After senior Kevin Russell evened the score at 3-3 on a great touch pass by Carroll, senior Ben Prime gave the Saints their first lead at 4-3 with 6:32 to play in the second quarter. Carroll again set up the goal, as he hit Prime with a great entry pass in front of the crease. With the momentum clearly on their side, the Saints’ took their largest lead of the day at 5-3 when senior Brian Chamberlain took the ball from the midfield and beat Keinath for his first goal of the season.

With the second quarter winding down, a penalty to St. Lawrence’s Carl Festa gave Union the first man-up chance of the game. Collison made the most of the opportunity, launching a long shot past Hollingsworth to send the Dutchmen to the locker room after the opening half facing only a one-goal deficit at 5-4.

Union would again seize control early the third quarter, scoring four straight goals to build an 8-5 lead. Dana Lasher sent a long shot towards Hollingsworth, and with a screen in front, bounced into the goal to tie the score at 5-5.

Miller then added his second of the game when he snuck a shot between the goaltender and the near post for a 6-5 cushion and Simmons blew a shot past Hollingsworth’s stick from just outside the crease for a two-goal advantage. Collison would put the finishing touches on the five-goal run with a man-up goal for an 8-5 Union lead with 6:36 to play in the third quarter.

Needing a jolt to get back into the game, the Saints were given a man-up chance and capitalized when sophomore Scott Smith took a pass from Carroll and tucked it behind Keinath. The goal got St. Lawrence rolling yet again, with McKee scoring back-to-back goals to close out the third quarter, including one with only 2.6 seconds left on the clock, to even the score at 8-8 heading to the final 15 minutes.

Miller, who has been the cornerstone of Union’s team for four seasons, gave his team the lead for the third time on the afternoon at 9-8 when he fired a shot past Hollingsworth at 2:53 of the fourth quarter during a man-up chance. McKee would even the score at 9-9 only 1:36 later when Russell came away with a key ground ball, fed his fellow attackmen and McKee sniped a shot between the goaltender’s legs for his third goal of the game.

Though Union was able to take control offensively midway through the fourth quarter, a costly turnover along the sidelines would give St. Lawrence possession. Using an ensuing man-up opportunity, Russell and McKee once again made Union pay, as Russell found McKee on the doorstep for his fourth goal of the second half to put the Saints ahead 10-9 with 3:31 remaining in regulation.

With less than two minutes to play in the game, St. Lawrence controlled the ball in the offensive zone. Two unnecessary roughness penalties would end Union’s hopes, as the Dutchmen were forced to play the final minute of the game down two players. St. Lawrence was able to keep possession and run the clock out for their 11th straight victory, third consecutive Liberty League title and an NCAA Tournament bid.

“I’m extremely proud of the way we battled back several times today against a very determined and talented Union team,” said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney. “We’re excited to be heading back to the NCAA Tournament and are looking forward to finding out who we’re going to square off with.”

Sunday’s game proved to be very evenly played, as St. Lawrence finished with 35 shots to Union’s 32, each team scored three man-up goals and won 11-of-22 face-offs.

The 2008 NCAA Tournament selections will be announced tonight on CSTV beginning at 7:30pm.

St. Lawrence is 1-2 in the last two NCAA Tournaments with a win against Endicott and losses coming to Geneseo and Cortland State.