By: Connor Pohlman, Sports Reporter
The Canisius Golden Griffins (4–4, 3–3 MAAC) rallied late in the fourth quarter, scoring twice in a 46-second span to erase a one-goal deficit and defeat Monmouth (5–2, 4–2 MAAC) 8–7, in MAAC men's lacrosse action Friday at the Demske Sports Complex.
Freshman Keegan Kozack and junior Jacob Buck were the leading point-getters for the Griffs, both tallying 3 points. Five players — graduate Dan Kritkausky, junior Mike Penna, sophomores Nathan Conry and Ethan Coughlin and freshman Ryan Furlong — accounted for the other five Canisius goals.
Senior keeper Matt Vavonese recorded a season-high 13 saves while also contributing two caused turnovers and five ground balls.
Connor Macrae, Brock Anderson and Mike Mcintyre pitched in two goals apiece for the Hawks. Max Brooks accounted for the other Monmouth goal while Noah Lode made 11 stops in net for the visitors.
At the start of the contest, Canisius trailed 3–0 late in the first quarter before Buck got the Griffs on the board in the final minute of the opening frame, cutting the deficit to two.
Kozack opened the second-quarter scoring, trimming the deficit to one, only to see Anderson restore the Hawks’ two-goal cushion on an unassisted effort with just over five minutes to play in the half.
Canisius drew even before halftime as Conry found the back of the net less than a minute after Anderson's goal while Penna deposited a backdoor feed from freshman Jackson Webster into the Monmouth cage with 2:57 to play to make it a 4–4 game at the break.
“We came out very flat in the first quarter, but we were able to regroup, settle in and come in at the half tied, which was huge,” head coach Mark Miyashita said. “Then it was just a back-and-forth third and fourth quarter.”
The teams traded goals in the third, as Anderson re-established Monmouth's lead a little more than three minutes into the second half before Kritkausky answered for the Griffs later in the frame to make it a 5–5 game heading into the fourth.
Monmouth stepped back in front less than 90 seconds into the fourth on McIntyre's second of the afternoon, but Canisius once again tied the game as Furlong notched his first collegiate goal during a transition opportunity to make it a 6-6 game. Brooks would put the Hawks back in front with an unassisted effort at the 5:33 mark of the fourth, setting the stage for the Griffs late-game rally.
After trading the lead, the score was 7–6 with very little time left.
The Griffs were the ones trailing with less than five minutes remaining, but Kozack tied the game at the 4:10 mark of the fourth quarter, collecting a feed from freshman Hunter Parucki and beating Lode with a bounce shot to the right side.
Canisius won the ensuing face-off and took the lead moments later when Coughlin wired a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net on a feed from Kozack, giving the Griffs an 8-7 edge.
That was all the support the Canisius defense would need as Vavonese turned aside Anthony Sardo's attempt with a little more than two minutes remaining to secure the one-goal victory.
Next, Canisius will open the 2021 MAAC Men's Lacrosse Championship at home with a quarterfinal-round contest on April 30 as it faces Marist at 4 p.m.