COLCHESTER, Vt. - Thanks to an offense that erased a deficit with 15 straight goals and a defense that at one point posted 36-plus consecutive shutout minutes, the Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team earned a season-opening 20-5 victory over Georgian Court (N.J.) University on Thursday at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights downed the Lions for the second straight season, as the visitors slipped to 1-5.
Junior Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) scored a career-high five goals to go along with two assists in the contest, moving into a tie for 23rd in program history with 91 points - through 29 career games - to match Charlie Niznansky '10 and assistant coach Mark Yetter '16. Loughlin also took over seventh with 53 assists. Junior Charlie Murphy (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) added two goals and a career-high four assists.
First-year Ralph Grillone III (Brockton, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) debuted with two goals, two assists and three ground balls, while sophomores Matt Blois (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) and Harry Colyer (Stowe, Vt./Stowe) and first-year Jason Feinberg (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) also scored twice, with Blois and Feinberg recording the achievement in their initial college game. As the first of three goalies, junior Matt Hanley (Plainview, N.Y./Bethpage) made five saves in 35:40 to earn the win while scooping three ground balls.
Junior Bobby Frank (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) had a goal, an assist and four caused turnovers, while senior Tom Fitzgerald (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) and first-year Anthony Sullivan (Westfield, Mass./Westfield) both registered one goal and one assist. Classmate Aidan Maron (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) posted two assists and four ground balls as a long-stick midfielder, while sophomore Connor McGuirk (Glens Falls, N.Y./Glens Falls) and first-year Alex Papadakis (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) both scored.
Sophomore Matt Cotter (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) had six ground balls, while junior Johnny Karanasios (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) and sophomore Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) collected three apiece, with Logue doing so in his college debut. First-year Justin Richmond (New Market, Md./Linganore) was 11-for-15 on faceoffs with three ground balls, and classmate Alec Sharlow (Watertown, N.Y./South Jefferson) turned in a 6-of-7 performance. Junior Jake Sonberg (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) posted 16:04 shutout minutes of relief while making three saves, and first-year Brayden Carney (West Newbury, Mass./Brewster Academy) had one stop in 8:16.
Sophomores Joe Ramirez and Ryder Verdoni and first-year Tanner Lee all had one goal and one assist for the Lions, while classmate Austin Geissel recorded 13 saves in 27:56 as the first of four goalies.
Geissel had five saves in the opening 4:23 alone, and Ramirez's tally with 4:54 remaining in the first quarter was the first goal for either side. Saint Michael's was held off the board until Blois knotted the game at 1:23, and Loughlin's buzzer-beater with two seconds left put the hosts ahead 2-1. Junior Christopher Van Ooteghem netted a man-up tally 49 seconds into the second period before Lee made it 3-2 49 seconds later, but the Purple Knights countered with 15 straight goals in a 34:23 span while shutting the Lions out for the 36:12 following Lee's tally. Eleven different Saint Michael's players scored in the 15-0 run, with Loughlin's three goals and two assists leading the way. Murphy had two goals and two assists, as each of the final eight goals were assisted.
After Sullivan's goal at 12:39 of the second period knotted the game, the Purple Knights scored seven times in a 7:26 span before five players scored once during another 3:52 spurt in the third quarter. Colyer and Feinberg netted tallies 19 seconds apart to cap the run nearly midway through the fourth stanza.
The Purple Knights host Molloy College, which is receiving votes toward the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, on Tuesday at 1 p.m. That contest begins a 10-game stretch during which each of the Purple and Gold's opponents is either nationally ranked or receiving national votes toward this week's USILA poll.