Hawks Soar Past VMI to Start the Season 2-1

PHILADELPHIA The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team kicked off its home opener with a 10-3 win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Finnesey Field. With the victory, the Hawks start the season 2-1 for the first time since 2000.

"I thought that our guys battled really hard today," said men's lacrosse head coach Taylor Wray. "We said that it was going to come down to individual players stepping up and making plays and we did that. Different guys made different plays today that they hadn't done in the past. I thought our goaltending again was very good and our defense played a strong game. A lot of young guys out there played some big time minutes and they ended up making the right decisions and making plays when they counted."

Saint Joseph's wasted no time getting on the board as sophomore midfielder Josh Cavanaugh (Springfield, Pa./U.S. Naval Academy Prep (R.I)) netted the first goal of the game at the 9:27 mark of the first period to start a 4-0 SJU run.

Freshmen Richard Gabelman (Gambrills, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and Matt Blasco (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan/Westminster School) both recorded their first collegiate goals during the run while sophomore attack Michael Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) closed the run at the 6:16 mark with his third goal of the season.

VMI (0-4) scored its first goal with :29 remaining in the first period and neither team would add to the scoring in the second, giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead heading into halftime.

Saint Joseph's freshman midfielder Bryan Garrahan (Chester Heights, Pa./Archmere Academy (Del.)) notched his first collegiate goal at the 11:40 mark of the third period before the Keydets netted back-to-back goals at the end of the third and start of the fourth to close VMI's deficit to 5-3.

However, from the 9:06 mark of the fourth period, the Hawks went on a dominating 5-0 run that ended with Cavanaugh's second goal of the afternoon. For the game, Cavanaugh was good for two goals and two assists.

"Josh [Cavanaugh] is someone who is capable of playing like that all of the time," said Wray. "He just needs to improve his consistency. He's got great vision. He had a rough game a week ago, but he came back in the fourth quarter and stepped it up today. He made some incredible passes and played a great game."

Sophomore defender Will Farrell (Jamison, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) picked up a game-high five ground balls in the win while classmate Kevin Barrow (Avon Grove, Pa./Avon Grove) caused two turnovers.

Sophomore goalkeeper Dustin Keen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) improved to 2-1 on the season as he made six saves on the day.

The Hawks held the advantage over the Keydets in shots, 31-24 and turned the ball over four less times (18-14) while VMI was 9 of 16 from the faceoff.

Saint Joseph's returns to action this Tuesday, February 26, across the city at Penn. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Franklin Field. Last season, junior attack Ryan McGee had a team-best three goals in a 9-5 loss to the Quakers.

* * * *

PHILADELPHIA -- It was a two-goal game early in the fourth quarter, but the Virginia Military Institute lacrosse team fell victim to a five-goal surge over the final nine minutes of its game against the Saint Joseph's University Hawks, falling 10-3 Saturday afternoon at Finnesey Field.

It was a defensive battle in the first three quarters of the game, with each team scoring once in the third quarter. But the Hawks broke the game open in the fourth quarter after VMI's Russell East pulled the Keydets back within one on an extra man goal.

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2013-02-23



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