Manhattan Stuns Marist, Sends Seniors out with Win

RIVERDALE, N.Y. - On the day where nine seniors played their final game, Manhattan did not disappoint defeating Marist, 14-12, at Gaelic Park. It was the first MAAC win in the career of head coach Steve Manitta, as the Jaspers (4-11, 1-5) knocked off the regular season champions.

From the opening faceoff Manhattan fed off the emotions of the pre-game ceremony as senior Jon Crean opened the scoring with an unassisted goal just two minutes in. That started on offensive onslaught as Patrick Hodapp and Paul Moreau each scored consecutive goals. Hodapp finished with three goals in the quarter while Moreau scored two of his game high four to put the Jaspers up 6-0 after one period.

When Marcel Godino made it 7-0 Manhattan at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter, the Red Foxes (10-3, 5-1 MAAC) looked to take some momentum away. Drew Nesmith finally broke the shutout thanks to a Jim Marks feed to get his squad on the board. The Jaspers responded though as Moreau finished a pass from classmate Tyler Jarvis and beat Dave Scarcello right in front of the cage.

Nesmith would follow up his goal with an assist to Marks as Marist scored four of the next six goals in the game. A Jarvis tally with 9:32 left in the quarter made it 9-2, Jaspers before Connor Rice and Nesmith registered the first set of consecutive goals for the Red Foxes. Jarvis once again answered for the home team before Jack Doherty and Vin Chido cut the lead to 10-6 with 1:36 to play until the break. Ryan Payton ensured that all the momentum would sit in the Jasper locker room, finishing a Godino pass with 24 second left to go into halftime up 11-6.

Coming out of the break, Manhattan used a strong defensive effort to keep Marist off the board the entire frame. In that quarter they picked up 11 ground balls to the Red Foxes' six while getting goals from Nick Enright and Moreau to lead 13-6, heading into the fourth.

The final fifteen minutes saw the regular season MAAC champs make a run at a perfect conference record. Doherty started a three goal run 40 seconds into the frame before Nesmith cut it five at 13-8. Colin Joka then got a man-up goal to bring Marist just a little closer but once again the Jaspers had an answer as Brian McGrath found Payton on the doorstep to stop the bleeding.

The Red Foxes continued to make things interesting though, scoring three goals (two from Rice) to make it a 14-12 game with 2:17 remaining. Manhattan's stout defense and possession tactics would prove to be enough to hold on for the victory and snap a three game losing streak.

For the game, Marist outshot the Jaspers 48-35 and picked up 42 ground balls to Manhattan's 41. While the Red Foxes won 18 of 28 face-offs and forced 21 turnovers, it was timely defense and strong goaltending that led to the win. The Jaspers held their opponent to just 1-7 on extra-man opportunities, including a stretch where they were down two men.

Junior goalkeeper Rich Akapnitis was monumental in net, making 13 total saves while also picking up six ground balls. Marist's Dave Scarcello made eight saves in net while Nesmith led all players with eight points, four goals and four assists. The Jaspers were paced Moreau's four goals as seven different players found the back of the net.

Along with Jarvis, Moreau, McGrath and Crean, it was also the final game in the careers of Dan Sweeney, Justin Cornetto, Alex Grandal, Jeff Mohr, and Evan Potter.

* * * *

RIVERDALE, N.Y. Marist dropped its first conference game, falling 14-12 at Manhattan on Saturday evening in the regular season finale. The Red Foxes finished 5-1 in the MAAC, sharing the regular season title with Jacksonville. They are still the top seed at next weekend's tournament by virtue of beating Jacksonville earlier this season.

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2013-04-27



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