Saint Joseph's Downs Wagner in NEC Opener

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Led by a combined 10 points from junior midfielder Mike Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) (4G, 1A) and redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee (White Plains, N.Y./White Plains) (3G, 2A), the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team defeated Wagner, 12-8, in Northeast Conference action on Saturday afternoon. Jumping out to a 3-0 run that spanned the first period, the Hawks led for the entirety of the game. With the win, the Hawks improve to 2-2 and 1-0 in NEC action.

Trailing 9-4 heading into the fourth period, Wagner went on a 4-1 run that spanned the first 7:23 to pull to within two goals, 10-8, with 7:37 remaining in regulation. However, SJU would answer with the final two tallies of the contest to expand the Hawks' lead back to four goals, 12-8, and that score would stand as final.

Saint Joseph's shut out Wagner (1-2, 0-1 NEC) in the first period as the Hawks outscored the Seahawks 3-0 in the first 15 minutes. Dougherty had a part in all three of those first goals as the junior assisted on sophomore attackman Matt Blasco's (New Canaan, Conn./Westminster) tally at the 10:59 mark and then notched a pair with 33 seconds and four seconds remaining in the first period. McGee assisted on both of Dougherty's goals.

Wagner's Paul DeVita scored the first two goals of the second half to bring the Seahawks to within one goal, 3-2, but Dougherty sparked a three-goal SJU run that extended the Hawks' lead, 6-2, with 6:49 remaining in the second period.

Ahead 6-3 heading into the third period, SJU outscored Wagner 3-1 over that 15-minute span to lead by five goals heading into the final 15:00.

For the game, Saint Joseph's held a 34-18 advantage in shots, sparked by a first period in which SJU fired off 14 shots and held Wagner to just two. The Hawks also held an edge in ground balls (30-24) and won 13 of the game's 23 face-offs. The Saint Joseph's defensive unit also held Wagner scoreless in six extra man opportunities.

Individually, Dougherty and McGee combined for seven goals on a combined 18 shots and dished out three of SJU's five total assists on the day. Blasco (1G, 1A), and freshman attackman Ray Vandegrift (Jenkintown, Pa./William Penn Charter) (1G, 1A) also added to the offense while freshman midfielder Anthony Joaquim (Guelph, Ontario/The Hill Academy) tallied his first collegiate goal with 4:43 left in regulation to cap the win for the Hawks.

Junior midfielder Will Abbott (Chevy Chase, Md./Bullis School) saw 14 opportunities from the face-off and won seven possessions for a .500 percentage from the X on the day. Freshman Danny Manning (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown Heights) went 5 of 8 from the X and picked up five ground balls. Sophomore John Winchell (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) also recorded five ground balls while senior Jack Moran (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Malvern Prep) caused a team-high four turnovers.

Junior goalkeeper Dustin Keen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) (1-1) made four saves and allowed just three goals in the first two periods for the win. Rookie goalkeeper T.J. Jones (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) made three saves in the final 30:00.

Saint Joseph's will return to action this Tuesday, March 4 at Monmouth. Face-off at Monmouth Stadium in West Long Branch, N.J. is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The game will mark the third consecutive road game for the Hawks.


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