Manhattan Tripped up by Presbyterian in Home Opener

RIVERDALE, N.Y.- The Manhattan men's lacrosse team compiled a season-high 48 shots but fell to Presbyterian 5-4 in their home opener at Gaelic Park Tuesday afternoon.

The Jaspers (0-3) more than doubled up the Blue Hose (1-2) in shots (48-23) and face- offs won (11-12) but had difficulty solving Presbyterian goalkeeper Jon Athens, who made big save after big save throughout contest. In total, Athens recorded 27 saves while Jaspers' freshman goalkeeper Rich Akapnitis (Hauppauge, N.Y./Hauppauge) recorded nine in his third career contest.

Playing in front of a loud and excited Manhattan fan base, the Kelly green and white opened the scoring at the 13:49 mark of the first period when senior attacker Mike Llewellyn (Brookhaven, N.Y./Patchogue-Meford) found the net on an assist from fellow classmate Justin Jensen (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) to make it 1-0 Jaspers. It was the first of two man-up goals for Manhattan on the afternoon (2-6).

Presbyterian, who lost to the Jaspers 12-7 last season, would answer with three-straight goals, beginning with Tyler Melnyk's unassisted tally with 5:56 left in the period to tie it at 1-all.

In the second, Blue Hose attacker Bryden Pelletier added to the lead, scoring two goals in less than one minute to put Presbyterian up 3-1. Starting at the 11:01 mark and capping it off 55 seconds later, Pelletier found the back of net on an assist from teammate Danny Duresky and then had an unassisted tally to put Presbyterian up by two.

Manhattan would cut it to one with 4:03 remaining in the period when sophomore midfielder Tyler Jarvis (O'Fallon, Mo./Ft. Zumwalt West) beat Athens over the shoulder to pull the Jaspers back at 3-2.

Coming out of halftime, Presbyterian took their second two-goal lead at 4-2 when Melnyk struck again with 7:42 left in the third period.

Down but not out, the Jaspers retaliated 35 second later when freshman Marcel Godino (Summit, N.J./Summit) recorded his first collegiate goal on a pass from junior Jordan Sherman (Pavena, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) at the 7:07 mark to trim the Blue Hose advantage to 4-3.

Trailing by a score late into the fourth period, Presbyterian would all but shut the door on Manhattan by picking up a goal from Kel Harrison with 6:31 remaining in regulation. Jensen would get Manhattan on the board one final time with seven seconds remaining but it would not be enough to change the final result as the Blue Hose proved victorious 5-4.

Looking for their first victory of the 2011 campaign, Manhattan will head to Denver, Colo. this weekend to take on Air Force (March 5) and Denver (March 6) in the seventh annual Pioneer Classic.


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