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  • Maggie Tift

Men's lacrosse pushes the pace as regular season winds down

By Maggie Tifft, Sports Reporter

The Canisius men’s lacrosse team looks to finish out their 15-game regular season with heart and determination as they approach their final two games.

The Griffs were averaging about nine goals a game and had only notched one conference win. Losing streaks, up to five games in a row, began to pile up, but that hasn’t deterred the team’s goal to make it to the postseason.

On Friday, April 5, the Griffs hosted the Long Island University Sharks. What would end in a loss for the Griffs was a defining game in the later half of their season. The two-goal deficit would be the closest loss the team had faced in conference play this season. The game was back and forth the entire 60 minutes, proving the Griffs could keep up with the high-scoring offense they faced.

“The message as we head into these final games is that we still have an opportunity to qualify for the MAAC playoffs and that remains our goal,” head coach Mark Miyashita said. “It can only happen by being process oriented and focused on winning today in preparation for the next day, which eventually leads to game day, and the goal is to win that game this coming Saturday.”

After the loss the next opponent for the team would be Mount St. Mary’s, at home once again. This time the scales tipped toward the Griffs, and the win was theirs to take. Both teams stood at 1–5 in conference play, so the win was crucial for keeping playoff hopes alive.

The 11–10 victory for the Griffs came down to the final seconds as the Mountaineers almost erased the three-goal lead Cansius had for the remaining nine-and-a-half minutes. Defensive efforts by Canisius deterred Mount’s offense from tallying the game.

With their second win in MAAC play, the Griffs are concluding their last two regular season games with momentum on their side. “We continue to play with great intensity in our games and have been better about our systems overall down the stretch,” commented Miyashita.

Next Saturday the Griffs oppose Wagner University, who sits towards the bottom of the rankings. After that the regular season and home closer will be against the undefeated Sacred Heart Pioneers at the Demske. To see success at the end of their season, coach Miyashtia emphasizes the importance of his team having their mind where their feet are and staying composed and focused.

Photo courtesy of Tom Wolf

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