Jaspers Falter on Senior Day in Narrow Loss to Canisius

RIVERDALE, N.Y. - With 11 seniors saying goodbye to Gaelic Park and a MAAC playoff birth on the line, Manhattan came out like a team with something to prove but again unraveled in the final two quarters in dropping a 5-4 decision to Canisius Saturday evening and falling one win short of postseason play.

Looking to advance to the conference playoffs for a program-best fourth consecutive season, Manhattan (3-13, 2-4 MAAC) jumped out to three separate one-goal leads through the first two quarters but were outscored 3-1 in the closing half to come up empty against the rival Golden Griffins (3-9, 3-3 MAAC).

For Manhattan, senior captain Justin Jensen (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) led the way with two goals, while fellow classmate Brett Miranda (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining) and sophomore Tyler Jarvis (O'fallon, Mo./Ft. Zumwalt West) each added one. On the other side, Canisius' Simon Giourmetakis and Greg Michaels each tallied a pair of scores in the contest.

Opening the scoring, Manhattan took a 1-0 lead when Miranda beat Golden Griffins' goalkeeper Sean Callahan on an unassisted tally at 12:13 of the first quarter. Answering back in a man-up opportunity, Canisius' Travis Gibbons tied the contest at 1-all with a goal at the mark.

In the second quarter, Jarvis pulled the Jaspers back in front on a goal assisted by redshirt freshman Brian McGrath (Garden City, N.Y./Carey) with 9:27 left in the first half. The first of his two goals, Giourmetakis then evened the score at 2-2 off a feed from Nick LoCoco at the 4:56 mark.

Ending the first half with an impressive possession, the Jaspers cycled behind the net for almost two minutes before junior midfielder Tyler Sabens (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) found a cutting Jensen to the left of the cage for a 3-2 Manhattan lead with 32 seconds left in the second.

With momentum on their side coming out of the break, it seemed as though the home team was set for a night to remember, but instead it was the road team who would play the role of spoiler. The Golden Griffins scored three goals while allowing only one in shutting down the Jaspers and stealing a win on the road.

A tight battle in the third, Michael finally got Canisius back on the board when he scored with 3:47 left in the third to notch the contest at 3-all. Continuing to hurt the Jaspers, he found the net again to open the final quarter, giving the Golden Griffins their first lead at 4-3 with 10:44 remaining.

Unable to find the back of the net, the Jaspers upped their tempo in the final minutes but fell behind by two when Giourmetakis scored at the 3:36 mark of the fourth quarter. Showing late life, Jensen cut the deficit to 5-4 with 35 second remaining. Following a face-off win, Manhattan had one more opportunity to tie the contest with the game clocking winding down but the shot went wide along with the Jaspers chances of overtime and a shot to continue their season.

In the cage, Callahan made nine saves in recording the win, senior goalkeeper Matt Solomito (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem) recorded five saves in the loss.

Overall, Manhattan held advantages in shots (26-19), clears (17-15) and turnovers (12-18), while Canisius led in ground balls (30-25) and face-offs (7-6). Each team converted one man-up opportunity.

Prior to the contest, the Jaspers honored fourth-year members Sean Firth (Glen Rock, N.J./Bergen Catholic), Chris Kaiser (Chesterfield, Mo./DeSmet Jesuit), Chris LoGuidace (Patchogue, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford), Kelly Mahon (Spring Lake, N.J./Manasquan), Brett Miranda, Mike Pisciotta (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), Erich Smith (St. Louis, Mo./Christian Brothers), Matt Dolomite, John Llewellyn (Brookhaven, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford), Mike Llewellyn (Brookhaven, N.Y./Patchogue-Medford) and Justin Jensen for their service to the Manhattan men's lacrosse program.

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