Saint Joseph's Downs Richmond to Win 4th Straight

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's defeated Richmond, 7-4, on Saturday afternoon on Sweeney Field. With the win, the Hawks extend their win streak to four games and improve to 5-2 overall.

The last time the program won four consecutive games in the same season was in 2007. SJU's 5-2 overall record is the program's most successful record through seven games since the 2000 team posted a record of 6-1 through its first seven games.

Additionally, the Hawks sport a 4-0 record for games played through March; the last time SJU went 4-0 through the month of March was 14 years ago when the 2000 team won its first six games of the season, all in March, en route to a 6-2 record through eight games played in March.

Trailing 3-0 with 5:28 remaining in the first period, Saint Joseph's senior midfielder Johnny Simanski (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) sparked a six-goal run that spanned 42:39 to give the Hawks a 6-3 advantage with just under eight minutes to play in regulation.

Simanski and freshman attackman Ray Vandegrift (Jenkintown, Pa./William Penn Charter) tallied two goals apiece during that run while freshman attackman Mike Rastivo (South Setauket, N.Y./Choate Rosemary Hall/Ward Melville) and junior midfielder Mike Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) added one goal and one assist apiece during SJU's scoring streak.

Richmond (1-6) retaliated with a goal at the 7:49 mark of the fourth period to pull to within two goals, 6-4, but Saint Joseph's redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee (White Plains, N.Y./White Plains) scored with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the victory, 7-4, for the Crimson and Gray.

For the game, Saint Joseph's owned advantages in shots (40-25) and ground balls (27-19) and forced Richmond to turn the ball over 15 times, including five from failed clear attempts. The Hawks also dominated from the face-off, winning 12 of 15 total opportunities on the day and going 6 of 6 from the X in the second and third periods combined. Freshman midfielder Mike Lanham (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) went a near-perfect 10 of 11 from the face-off and picked up a game-high seven ground balls on the day.

In his second appearance back from injury, Rastivo boasted a team-best three points on one goal and two assists while Vandegrift (2G) and Simanski (2G) posted multi-goal efforts. McGee (1G) took 10 of SJU's 40 total shots, landing seven on goal. Sophomore defenseman Kevin Barrow (Avon Grove, Pa./Avon Grove) caused a team-high three turnovers.

Saint Joseph's junior goalkeeper Dustin Keen (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) (4-1) made seven saves in a full-game effort, including three in the final 3:14 of regulation to lock down the win for the Hawks.

Richmond's J.P. Forester led the Spiders in scoring with two goals while goalkeeper Benny Pugh made 17 saves in a full 60:00.

Saint Joseph's returns to action at Michigan next Saturday, March 22. Opening face-off at Michigan Stadium is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

* * * *

PHILADELPHIA -- Richmond scored the first three goals of the game, but Saint Joseph's came back to claim a 7-4 win in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon at Sweeney Field. The Hawks improve to 5-2, while the Spiders fall to 1-6 on the season.

The Spiders came on with a flurry in the first quarter, scoring the first three goals of the game. Freshman Jean-Luc Chetner (Pentiction, BC) put the Spiders up 1-0 with a goal just over four minutes into the game.

At that point, J.P. Forester (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) put in two goals in a two-minute span to push the Spiders lead to 3-0. Forester is second on the squad with 12 goals scored this season. Chetner and Rob Poirier (Wausau, Wis.) registered assists on the Forester goals.

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