April 6, 2013

Crusaders Hold Off W&J; Remain Undefeated at Home

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SELINSGROVE, Pa—Four different players scored two goals apiece to lead Susquehanna men's lacrosse over Washington & Jefferson 11-8 in Landmark Conference action on Saturday afternoon.

The victory marks the seventh in the last nine contests for SU while remaining undefeated at home this season with a 6-0 record.

The Crusaders (8-4, 3-1) found themselves trailing towards the end of the opening period but managed to tie the contest at 1-1 when Austen Lein (New Vernon, N.J. / Madison) notched an unassisted goal with 1:24 left in the first quarter.

SU took their first lead less than two minutes into the second quarter as Carmen Raroha (Voorhees, N.J. / Bishop Eustace) tallied a goal with an assist by Connor Moran (Delafield, Wisc. / Kettle Moraine) to put SU up 2-1. But W & J (3-6, 0-3) responded with two goals in the next three minutes to reclaim the lead 3-2.

Phil Lapone (Essex Falls, N.J. / West Essex) scored off a feed from Brian Sowyrda (Grafton, Mass. / Grafton) to knot the game at 3-3 at 9:58. The Presidents, however, took the lead at 7:24 with an unassisted score.

With 3:33 remaining in the opening half, the Crusaders scored twice to take a 5-4 advantage at intermission. Moran scored with an assist from Marcus Cheatham (Reisterstown, Md. / Loyola) and Lein notched another from Ryan Natusch (Madison, Conn. / Daniel Hand) with only 27 ticks on the clock.

In the third, SU scored two goals and didn't surrender a score to the Presidents. Raroha notched his second of the contest from a helper by John Kerrigan (Maple Glen, Pa. / La Salle College HS) at 10:57 and J.A. Howland (Lititz, Pa. / Warwick) ripped in his first career goal with an assist by Tylere Fritts (Chatham, N.J. / Chatham) as the Crusaders went up 7-4 entering the fourth.

The last quarter had both teams score four goals each. Fritts tallied a man-up goal at 7:07 to give SU an 8-5 lead. Natusch scored his second of the day followed by another goal by Fritts, this time assisted by Greg Rabiecki (Maplewood, N.J. / St. Peter's Prep) to push the Crusader advantage to 10-6. Two goals by the Presidents trimmed the lead down to two (10-8) but an unassisted score by Moran with 50 ticks left put the game away.

Jared Knowlton (North Salem, N.Y. / Kent School) got the start and earned the win, his third of the year. Will Torrence (Wallingford, Pa. / Strath Haven) played the second half and notched two saves.

Offensively, the Crusaders outshot the Presidents by 30 (51 to 21), had more ground balls (47 to 22) with Dave Rinaldi (Hingham, Mass. / Boston College HS) picking up a game-high eight. SU won 17 of 23 face off opportunities, with Peter Donley (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Pittsburgh Central Catholic) and William Bendon (Chalfont, Pa. /Central Bucks South) winning nine and eight, respectively.

The Crusaders travel to the University of Scranton on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.

Game Note: Last season, SU defeated Washington & Jefferson on the road 16-10. Austen Lein had three goals and an assist and Marcus Cheatham added a pair of scores to pace the Crusaders in the first-ever conference game against the Presidents.

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