COLCHESTER, Vt. - A fourth-quarter rally fell short as the Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team lost to nationally-regarded Pace University, 11-7, on Saturday at Duffy Field during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are now 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the league while finishing a season-opening slate that included two nationally-ranked foes and the Setters, a team receiving votes toward the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll. Pace is 4-2 and 1-1.
Senior Mark Yetter (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery/Delaware) had three goals, two assists and four ground balls for the hosts, while junior Tim Connor (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) tallied twice. Classmate Taylor Wallace (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) and sophomore Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) both scored once, while classmate Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy) was 5-of-11 on faceoffs.
First-year Matt Cotter (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) totaled four ground balls and an assist, senior Brian Devilly (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) and sophomore Dan Johnson (Ringwood, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) both had three ground balls and two caused turnovers, and senior T.J. Bicknell (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) made 11 saves. With 35 caused turnovers for his career, Devilly tied Pete Donnally '13 and Cooper Quenneville '14 for seventh in school history.
Sophomore Liam Brennan led a balanced Pace offense with two goals and two assists, senior Matthew Cossidente and sophomore Joshua Kreitler both had two goals and a helper, and junior Brandon Donnellan scored twice and scooped seven ground balls. Senior Matt Ruquet went 14-of-22 at the X with 10 ground balls, and sophomore Robert Beshlian had 13 stops.
Brennan, Kreitler and Cossidente all scored during the opening 2:40 to put Pace up 3-0, as Ruquet won each of the first three draws and also secured the ground ball. The Purple Knights held the visitors to only one tally over the ensuing 20:53, trailing 4-0 before getting on the board when Yetter connected for his second goal of the year at the 10-minute mark of the second period. Cossidente reestablished the four-goal margin 3:33 later, but Loughlin converted junior Tom Fitzgerald's (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) man-up feed with 4:47 left in the half.
Down 5-2 at halftime, Saint Michael's saw Pace double its lead with three goals in a 2:31 stretch of the third quarter, during which time Brennan and Kreitler both had a goal and an assist. Connor scored a man-up marker off Yetter's assist with 3:40 left, but Donnellan tallied twice in 1:23 to make it 10-3 16 seconds into the fourth period.
Saint Michael's scored the next four goals over a 4:43 stretch, including the first two 15 seconds apart. After Yetter found Connor at 11:07, Ralston won the ensuing faceoff when the loose ball found its way just outside the Pace crease, where Yetter scooped the ground ball and had an initial shot saved by Beshlian. However, Cotter corralled the loose ball and passed to Yetter to make it 10-5 with 10:52 to go.
A Bicknell stop with 7:02 remaining led to Wallace snagging the loose ball, clearing the midfield by himself and going unmarked to goal at 6:49. Yetter went over his shoulder to conclude the run at 5:24, with sophomore Charlie Murphy (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) assisting. However, Ruquet won the ensuing faceoff, leading to more than a minute of possession for Pace, and only one of the Purple Knights' final four shots was on net.
Saint Michael's concludes its four-game Spring Break slate with a trio of road games next week, beginning at Georgian Court (N.J.) University on Monday at 3:30 p.m.