Men’s Lax Picks Up First League Win
By Zach Smart
The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team has officially bounced back from three grueling losses that came during the meat of their Great Western Lacrosse League schedule. The Bobcats have registered three straight victories, including their first in GWLL action.
With an 11-6 dumping of conference foe Bellarmine on April 21 in Louisville, the Bobcats have climbed over the .500 mark. They are 6-5 for the second time in as many years, with two games remaining.
The trip to Louisville came after a pair of dramatic, overtime victories against in-state foes Hartford and Sacred Heart.
The wins helped the Bobcats evaporate any self-doubt and build confidence before what was essentially a barometer game.
The ‘Cats, behind another rock-solid performance from senior standout Mike Stottler, outshot Bellarmine by a 46-37 ratio, rifling shots past Knights’ keeper J.C. Hutchens en route to arguably their best game of the season. Hutchens’ game-high 22 saves weren’t enough for a Bellermine offense that collapsed after Anthony Poerio scored on an even goal 3:25 into the fourth frame. Peorio’s goal, the senior’s fourth of the season, fueled a relentless fourth quarter attack.
The Bobcats reeled off a 4-1 run, keeping their distance after the Knights pulled within one goal in the third stanza.
Stottler, who leads the Bobcats with 26 goals in 11 games this season, had a hand in four of the 11 goals. The senior midfielder scored back-to-back goals to put the Bobcats ahead, 4-2, with 8:35 to play in the second. Hutchens might still be looking for Stottler’s second shot in the Kentucky bluegrass.
Freshman Matt Loveland and senior Tucker Prudden padded the lead with two unassisted goals, giving the Bobcats a 6-2 lead before Bellermine’s Dylan MacDougal thwarted the run with a goal right before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The goal ignited a 3-0 spurt for the Knights, who trailed 6-5 after Bryan Brown fired a shot past freshman goaltender Jamie Prudden a minute, 37 seconds into the third frame.
The Bobcats, a team that’s managed to use youth as a charm this season, looked to its seniors.
Quinnipiac, despite a surplus of freshman and sophomores on the roster, play eight seniors–all of whom are captains and maintain significant roles on the field.
Senior defenseman Mike Hennessey found the back of the net with 11 minutes to go in the third. Wedged in between Hennesey’s goal and the aforementioned Poerio’s shot was a goal from senior Jon D’ascoli, who took advantage of the man-up opportunity with 10:09 left.
The defense tightened up, stifling several promising attacks in the fourth. Senior Adam Bartholomew, with workman-like persistence, scooped up a game-high six groundballs to lead the defensive unit.
Jamie Prudden stopped 16 shots while allowing six goals for his third victory in net.
Beyond Stottler’s three goals, Prudden and Poerio each chipped in with two. Bryan Johnson’s two goals paced the Knights.