Saint Anselm Rally Stalls in Senior Day Defeat by Pace

MANCHESTER, N.H. Senior Ryan Mee (Medway, Mass.) notched four points, including the 100th of his career, and classmate Andrew Messner (Wakefield, R.I.) also added four points, but Saint Anselm was edged by Pace, 15-13, Saturday afternoon at Grappone Stadium on Senior Day.

The Hawks fall to 5-8 on the season, including 4-6 in Northeast-10 play, while the Setters improve to 4-7, 3-7 NE-10.

Mee, who entered the contest with 97 points, notched two goals and a pair of assists, while Messner scored a season-high three goals and added a helper.

In a game that was a tale of two halves, Pace jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first 11:35 on a pair of goals from William Scioscia. Junior James Peters (Medway, Mass.) answered Scioscia's first to tie the game with 8:59 left in the opening quarter before the Setters scored four straight. Freshman Mark Vitello (Weymouth, Mass.) found the back of the net with 1:05 left to bring the Hawks within 5-2 at the end of one.

Ryan Valdez scored 1:18 into the second quarter for Pace, but senior Jake Mallinson (Middletown, R.I.) answered with 11:56 to play to keep it a three-goal game at 6-3. Just 30 seconds later, however, an Adam Mirkin strike set off a run of six consecutive Pace goals, including two more from Scioscia, to open up a 12-3 advantage at the break.

Saint Anselm came out looking like a different team in the second half, with Mee firing a shot past Pace goalkeeper Timothy Izzo off a feed from junior Geoff Kennedy (Gloucester, Mass.) to begin the comeback just 41 seconds in. Vitello and Messner followed with tallies before Mee scored again to trim the deficit to 12-7 with 5:48 remaining in the third.

Mirkin beat sophomore goalkeeper James O'Neill (East Walpole, Mass.) to temporarily stymie the rally with 2:30 left, but junior Charles Geraghty (Norwich, Vt.) scored on a pass from freshman Colin Swanson (Nashua, N.H.) to keep it a four-game game with 1:19 on the clock. Pace responded just seven seconds later on a goal from Brandon Donnellan to close the third quarter with a 14-9 lead.

Mee then set up a Mallinson goal five minutes into the final frame to collect his 100th point and bring the Hawks back within four. Mee earned another helper on Messner's second of the day with 9:25 to play before sophomore Andy Budz (Williamstown, Mass.) scored 22 seconds later to slice the deficit to two. Messner then used a great individual effort later in the half to make it a one-goal game at 14-13 with 4:50 to go.

The Saint Anselm defense then suffered one of its only breakdowns of a strong second half as Valdez halted the stretch with an unassisted tally that gave Pace some insurance with 2:41 left. The Setters captured the ensuing faceoff and took advantage of a late Saint Anselm penalty to run down the clock.

O'Neill made 11 saves, while Izzo stopped 18 shots.

Saint Anselm outshot Pace, 63-40, including 44-14 in the second half, while the Setters were 19 for 31 on the faceoff. The Hawks were 2 for 5 on extra-man opportunities, with Pace going 2 for 6.

Seniors Mee, Messner, Mallinson, Tom Gardner (Salem, N.H.), Sam MacDonald (Hopkinton, Mass.), Matthew Steele (Ipswich, Mass.), Griffin Sandler (Bow, N.H.), Andrew McIntyre (No. Andover, Mass.) and Daniel Endicott (Malden, Mass.) were honored in a ceremony prior to the game.

The Hawks, who are currently half a game out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the Northeast-10, close out their regular season Saturday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m. as they travel to take on the College of Saint Rose.


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