(Nashua, NH) The Rivier University Men's Lacrosse team suffered a triple overtime loss to St Joseph's College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference quarterfinal match in Standish, Maine. The loss ends a historical season for the Raiders after snubbing the #8 ranking in the GNAC preseason polls by entering the tournament in the 5th seed.
The Monks started the scoring off with an unassisted goal by Senior Matt Donnell (Watertown, Ma) at the 13:49 minute mark. Under 2 minutes later Junior Rob Fullerton (Wilmington, Ma) responded with an unassisted goal after a successful clear attempt.
Monks Senior Brendan Barrett (East Sandwich, Ma) retaliated with a goal off an assist from sophomore Shane Puleo (Nashua, NH). But it was senior captain Liam Ryan (Dorchester, Ma) that closed the scoring out in the first quarter off a dish from junior Sean Brady (Tewksbury, Ma) after another successful clear attempt.
It was the second quarter that the Raiders turned up the attack by scoring 4 goals. Senior Adam Fritchy (Wolfeboro, NH) came up big with his second goal of the season netting a shot off a pass from junior A.J. Gearin (Lunenberg, Ma). Junior Colby Larsen (Windham, NH) struck with a goal off a Fullerton assist. Shortly after, senior Joe Kelland (Watertown, Ma) responds with a goal from a Fullerton pass. After the 3 unanswered goals was a shot from St. Joe's Junior, Michael Finn (Quincy, Ma) that landed in the back of the net. However, to no avail Joe Kelland closed the half out with an unassisted goal after scooping up a ground ball. The first half ended 6-5 in favor of the visitors.
The second half was a back and forth. Eric Guinasso scored back to back goals in the third quarter off dishes from Brady and Ryan. Liam Ryan decided to match his teammate with 2 of his own goals in the 4th quarter to finish up regulation time with a tie, 10-10.
Both teams made it through 2 gritty over time periods where the goalkeepers made an equal amount of saves with 9 apiece. However, it was one shot that sealed the deal against the Raiders on this day. It was from Monks attacker Michael Finn that would end the match and advance Saint Joseph's College into the GNAC Semi-finals. They will travel to Norwich University (12-5, 8-1 GNAC) on May 2nd for a 7PM faceoff with the Cadets who are on an 8 game winning streak.
Props to junior goalkeeper Matt Cloutman (Peabody, Ma) on a stellar performance against the Monks and throughout the season. Against the Monks he made an astounding 16 saves bringing his total saves on the season to 202. The junior closed his 3rd season out at 4th in GNAC Standings for saves and stands tall with save percentage of 57.1%.
The 2018 Men's Lacrosse team entered the season ranked at 8th in the conference, however went on to upset #2 Johnson and Wales by 9 goals and topped 3 time GNAC Champions by 6 goals. This was the first win against the Saints in program history. Other program records were broken by 2 year captains Joe Kelland as he graduates 3rd in all-time career points with 173 and 2nd in all-time career assists at 77. Co-Captain Liam Ryan will also graduate at 2nd in all-time career points and first in goals with 130.
One final shout out goes to freshman Dylan McSparren (Warwick, RI) as he was announced Rookie of the Year for Rivier University Athletics. The Rookie appeared in 6 of 8 conference games and totaled 22 goals and 15.