Saint Joseph's Routs Sacred Heart to Clinch NEC Title

PHILADELPHIA Redshirt junior attackman Ryan McGee (White Plains, N.Y./White Plains) and freshman attackman Michael Rastivo (South Setuaket, N.Y./Choate Rosemary Hall) tallied four goals and three assists apiece to lead 11 Hawks in scoring as the Saint Joseph's lacrosse team exploded for a 21-9 Northeast Conference victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Saint Joseph's clinches the 2014 NEC regular-season title and is set to host the 2014 Northeast Conference Championships from May 1-3.

Saint Joseph's has now hit the 10-win mark of the season and remains undefeated in conference action as the Hawks stand at 10-3 overall and 5-0 in the NEC. The Hawks' 21 goals are the most scored by Saint Joseph's in a single-game this season.

Rastivo netted two of his goals and one of his assists in the first 7:54 of play to lead the Hawks to a 6-2 run that spanned the first period. McGee and senior midfielder Johnny Simanski (Resiterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) added a goal and assist each during that run.

Saint Joseph's continued to dominiate on the offensive end in the second period, outscoring the Pioneers 6-1 in the second 15:00 to take a commanding 12-3 lead into the halftime break. Junior midfielder Mike Dougherty (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) opened and closed the second-period scoring with a pair of tallies while senior Will Abbott (Chevy Chase, Md./Bullis School) scored his first goal of the season right off of a face-off win to push the Hawks ahead 8-3 with 12:23 remaining in the second.

Sacred Heart (5-8, 3-2 NEC) would chip back as the Pioneers recorded four of their nine total goals in the third period. After Simanski, junior midfielder Josh Cavanaugh (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) and McGee combined for a 3-1 SJU run that put the Hawks up by 10 goals, 15-5, with 3:40 remaining in the third, Sacred Heart put together a 3-1 run of its own to pull to within eight goals, 16-8, heading into the fourth period.

However, Saint Joseph's came sharp into the fourth as Rastivo and McGee pulled off a trio of plays that would continue the Hawks' momentum throughout the remainder of the game. Rastivo netted his fourth goal of the game at the 12:14 mark to put the Hawks back ahead by nine, 17-8.

Abbott won the following face-off possession and sped down the field to find McGee, who burried his 29th goal of the season to put the Hawks back ahead by 10, 18-8.

Just under five minutes later, Rastivo found McGee for the second time on the day as the Hawks took a 19-8 lead into the final 12:08.

With 2:32 remaining, rookie attackman Robert Raucci (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley) scored his first collegiate goal to give the Hawks their 20th goal of the game.

Sacred Heart's Alec Dauses would net an unassisted tally with 1:08 to play, but Hawks' junior attackman Matt Sarcona (Northport, N.Y./Northport) registered his fourth goal of the season on Abbott's second assist of the game with 1:02 remaining in regulation, and that 21-9 score would stand as time expired.

McGee (4G, 3A) and Rastivo (4G, 3A) led 36 Hawks who saw action in today's regular-season home finale. Sophomore attackman Pat Swanick (Haverford, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) (3G), Dougherty (2G, 2A), and Simanski (2G, 1A) all registered multi-goal efforts.

Abbott was good for one goal and two assists and went 11 of 24 from the face-off X en route to seven ground balls on the day. Freshman Danny Manning (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) went 6 of 11 from the X while junior defenseman Will Farrell (Jamison, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) recorded a game-high eight ground balls and caused two turnovers.

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