Robarge Not Enough as VMI Falls to Saint Joseph's

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephen Robarge's two assists, goal and 16 for 18 performance at the face-off X were not enough to overcome Griffin Ferrigan's 18 saves as the Saint Joseph's Hawks defeated the VMI Keydets, 11-5, in a MAAC men's lacrosse contest played Saturday in Lexington.

Despite a long offensive drought earlier in the contest, the Keydets had dominated several statistical categories and were within four, with possession midway through the final period. A Jacob Weimer shot was just high, and Bernie Mowbray's try bounced off the pipe with 5:28 left to end VMI's last quality chance for a rally.

Ferrigan's 18 saves equaled the second-highest total in the MAAC this season, as the SJU (1-10, 1-2 MAAC) keeper tied Mount St. Mary's T.C. DiBartolo for that position. That number ranks, interestingly, behind only Ferrigan's 23 stops versus Lehigh on Feb. 14. The sophomore from Baldwinsville, N.Y. stopped seven shots in the first period, and ten in the second half to help propel to the Hawks to their first win of 2010.

For the Keydets (2-9, 0-4 MAAC), Robarge won the game's first five draws en route to one of the best performances of his career. He also grabbed nine ground balls, surpassing his season average of eight that placed him tied for second in Division I coming into Saturday's action.

SJU jumped on top early, as freshman Steve Dunn scored off a Sean Evans dish just 76 seconds into the contest, but VMI came back moments later. Off the ensuing face-off, won by Robarge, the VMI sophomore found his classmate Colin Bosse for a quick goal, tying the game 1-1. The game would remain tied for the next eight minutes, but not for a lack of chances on both sides. SJU and VMI each squandered an extra-man chance, as Ferrigan and Kelly McMinn traded saves repeatedly during the stretch.

Finally, with the Keydets up a man thanks to a holding penalty, Weimer notched his 14th goal of the year to put VMI up, 2-1. The score came off a Brett Leonard feed with 5:07 remaining in the opening period. The Keydets outshot the Hawks 14-7 in the first quarter, but SJU netminder Ferrigan had seven saves to keep it 2-1 after one period of action.

The Hawks' keeper could not stop the quick strike that opened the second quarter, as Robarge captured the face-off, scooped up the ground ball, ran down the field and fired a quick shot that gave VMI a two-goal edge, 3-1. Unfortunately for VMI, Saint Joseph's defense rose up after that score and helped turn the game around. The Keydets could not find the scoreboard for the remainder of the half, and the Hawks were able to end the period on a four-goal run and take a 5-3 edge to the locker room.

During the first half of action, VMI outshot the Hawks 19-18 and the teams each turned the ball over nine times, but a 13 for 13 performance for SJU in the clearing game helped the visitors build their advantage.

The Hawks' Artie Marrapese had back-to-back goals early in the third quarter, as SJU pushed its lead out to four, 7-3. Shortly thereafter, Noah Weaver of the Hawks was whistled for a pair of penalties, giving VMI a 90-second extra-man chance, and the Keydets nearly took advantage.

24 seconds in, Weimer was stopped by Ferrigan, and the ensuing Keith Long shot bounced off the post. Despite four ground balls over the remainder of the EMO, the Keydets could not dent the scoreboard, and the SJU lead remained at four. The Hawks added a goal late in the quarter to take an 8-3 lead after three periods.

The fourth quarter opened bleakly for VMI, as the Keydets were whistled for a pair of penalties in the opening 90 seconds. Both Saint Joseph's EMO's went for naught, however, as McMinn stopped two shots and a third try bounced off the post.

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2010-04-10



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