When and Where: April 20, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (Larkin Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 13, Saint Anselm College 12
Records: SNHU 8-4 (7-3 Northeast-10), Saint Anselm 7-4 (5-4 Northeast-10)
Senior Cameron Joyce (Braintree, Mass.) and sophomore Devin Calkins (Bow, N.H.) each scored three times and junior goalkeeper Tyler Walsh (Northampton, Mass.) racked up a career-high 17 saves as the Southern New Hampshire University men's lacrosse rallied from a four-goal deficit to topple crosstown-rival Saint Anselm College, 13-12, Wednesday evening at Larkin Field.
The victory clinches the team's third Northeast-10 Championship appearance in the last four seasons, as well as the 2015-16 Queen City Cup for the entire Southern New Hampshire athletic department.
Joyce added an assist for four points, while Calkins scored three goals in a game for the first time in his career. Junior Keifer Heckman (Peabody, Mass.) was the only other multiple-point scorer for the Penmen as he notched a pair of strikes and a helper.
Trailing, 11-7, with over seven minutes to play in the third quarter, unassisted goals from sophomore Khyan Gaddy (Albany, N.Y.), Joyce and Heckman sliced the Southern New Hampshire deficit to just one at 11-10 heading into the final frame.
Mark Vitello notched his fourth goal of the night to give Saint Anselm a two-goal lead with under 12 minutes remaining, but Heckman set up sophomore Dan Malave (Wading River, N.Y.) and junior Cameron McGuire (Melrose, Mass.) scored after receiving a feed from senior Eric Johnson (W. Suffield, Conn.) to even the game at 12-12 with 7:46 left.
Then with 5:34 to play, the Penmen would put in the eventual game-winning goal as – who else – Joyce fired what seemed to be an impossible shot into the back of the net to put SNHU up, 13-12.
The end of the contest would not be without its drama as Walsh, who was superb all night long, was hurt in the cage with just 2:55 remaining and was replaced by sophomore Michael Brawley (Tewksbury, Mass.). Brawley, after sitting on the bench for more than 57 minutes, was tested just once and came up with an absolutely spectacular save to maintain the one-goal lead for the Penmen and solidify the win.
Joyce put the Penmen on the board just 44 seconds in and Heckman followed with his own unassisted tally just 10 seconds later to double the lead. Saint Anselm would net four of the next six goals, however, to grab a 5-4 lead with 1:14 on the clock. Calkins would score his second goal in a span of 2:07 to knot the game at 5-all after one quarter of play.
Ben Warren's second of the game put the Hawks back in the lead, but sophomore Corey Cairo (Wading River, N.Y.) found the back of the net off a Joyce feed and Calkins potted his third of the night to leapfrog SNHU back in front at 7-6 with 6:41 left before the half. Vitello scored two straight, however, including his second with 11 seconds on the clock, to give Saint Anselm an 8-7 halftime lead.
Vitello made it three straight just 37 seconds into the second half, while the Hawks followed with two more to make it 11-7 with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter.
- The Penmen have now won seven straight contests – the longest winning streak in program history.
- SNHU ties the program record for victories in a season with its eighth win of the year. Southern New Hampshire has won eight games in a single campaign on two previous occasions, with the most recent time coming in 1990.
- The Penmen can finish no worse than the No. 5 seed for the upcoming Northeast-10 Championship as they currently sit in fourth place and hold tiebreakers with the three teams below them in the standings that can match them for number of conference wins, including Bentley University, Pace University and Saint Anselm. SNHU has one league game remaining, while Pace and Saint Anselm both have two. Bentley, which has three conference tilts left on the slate, plays two of the top three teams in the standings and is the only thing standing in the way of the No. 4 seed and a first round home game for the Penmen. A win against Assumption College in the season finale on April 30 for SNHU, or any Bentley loss, will earn the Penmen that fourth seed.
- The victory also gives Southern New Hampshire a commanding 26-10 lead in the Queen City Cup with only 14 possible points remaining for Saint Anselm to earn. The Penmen have now been the top dog in the battle for Manchester supremacy in the two years of existence for the Queen City Cup.
- Walsh improves to a perfect 7-0 on the season after turning away 17 of the 29 shots he faced, while Lucas DeAngelo made seven saves for the Hawks.
-Saint Anselm outshot Southern New Hampshire, 50-38, including 18-8 in the third quarter, in addition to holding an 18-10 advantage in faceoffs.
- Joyce extended his point streak to 30 straight games dating back to the 2014 season and registered multiple points for the 18th consecutive contest.
The Penmen are back in action Tuesday, April 26 (7 p.m.) when they celebrate Senior Night against Post University at Larkin.
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