Scranton Rallies but Falls to #16 St. John Fisher in OT

SCRANTON, Pa.-The University of Scranton battled back from two 4-goal deficits only to drop a hard-fought 9-8 decision in overtime to St. John Fisher College in non-conference action Tuesday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.

Junior attacker Mitch Ritchie (Brockport, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) scored the game-winner, snapping a behind-the-head shot off of a picture-perfect pass from junior attacker Connor Henderson (Canandaigua, N.Y./Canandaigua Academy) that got past Royal sophomore goalkeeper Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood) with 2:36 remaining in the overtime period.

Ritchie and Henderson finished with two goals apiece for St. John Fisher, now 9-1 on the season. The Cardinals also received a goal and two assists from junior midfielder Kyle Denhoff (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield) and a goal apiece from senior midfielder Ryan Schmidt (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro), junior midfielder Mike Byrnes (Preble, NY./Tully), midfielder Mike Cummins (Penfield, N.Y./Penfield) and senior midfielder Zach Fayette (Oswego, N.Y./Oswego).

Senior attacker Sean Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) led the Royals, now 5-5, with three goals, including two in the fourth period to erase an 8-6 deficit, and two assists and two goal apiece from sophomore attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) and freshman midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph Preparatory). Scranton, which held a 34-30 advantage in shots and a 41-36 margin in ground balls, also received a goal from junior attacker Daniel Slade (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East).

Scranton had its opportunities to win the game-both in regulation and in overtime-but failed to convert three shot attempts in the final minute of regulation. The Royals then won the face-off to start the overtime period, but Gregitis's shot attempt was saved by Cardinal senior goalie Matt McShea (Pittsford, N.Y./Rush Henrietta), who finished with 11 for the game. St. John Fisher then cleared the ball successfully after McShea's save, setting up Ritchie dramatic game-winning goal.

Taylor scored twice in the opening seven minutes-one that set up by Coleman and the other by junior midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School)-to give Scranton an early 2-0 lead. The Cardinals finally got untracked offensively, scoring two goals-one each by Fayette and Denhoff-in the final 20 seconds of the first period to tie it at 2-2.

The Cardinals dominated the second period, holding the Royals to just six shot attempts, and built up a 6-2 halftime lead behind goals by Schmidt, Ritchie, Byrnes and Henderson.

Coleman opened the third period with an unassisted goal and set up Slade's 14th goal of the season 43 seconds later with an assist as Scranton narrowed the gap to two, 6-4.

Henderson then came up with a big play, scoring a man-down goal after the Cardinals were called for a penalty following Slade's goal and Cummins followed with an unassisted goal as St. John Fisher extended its lead to four, 8-4, with 6:01 left in the third period. Gregitis then scored back-to-back goals to ignite a 4-0 rally as Scranton fought back to tie the game.

Worthington finished with five saves in goal for Scranton.

The Royals will return to Landmark Conference action this Saturday, April 9, against Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

News & Notes: Today's game was the first meeting ever between Scranton and St. John Fisher in men's lacrosse ... the Cardinals' only loss this season was to 25th-ranked Ithaca College, 11-8, on March 30 ... St. John Fisher won 11 of 21 face-offs and killed six penalties successfully ... Nelson and freshman defender Ryan Saraceni (Lansdale, Pa./LaSalle) were each credited with three caused turnovers for the Royals...St. John Fisher was ranked 19th in the preseason poll by United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA).


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