Men's Lacrosse Falls To Sacred Heart, 12-9

HAMDEN, Conn. – Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) scored three goals, but the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team was defeated by Sacred Heart, 12-9, Saturday afternoon at a rain-soaked Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 3-7, while the Pioneers improve to 4-8.

Mike Gast (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Kevin Kelly (Redding, Conn.), Gary Messina (West Islip, N.Y.), Alex DeAlmeida (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Pat Elliott (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Garett Kerr (Inglewood, Ontario) scored once each for the Bobcats. Ted Dimond (Marblehead, Mass.), Gast, Todd Kaiser (Summit, N.J.), Kelly, Ben Mullaney (Norwalk, Conn.) and Bailey Tuthill (Newbury, Mass.) added one assist each.

Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.) took the loss in net for the Bobcats, allowing 12 goals while stopping 10 shots. Zack Frank earned the win for Sacred Heart, making 13 saves while allowing nine goals.

An evenly played first half ended in a 4-4 tie. The Bobcats struck first as Gast scored unassisted at the 9:22 mark. Sacred Heart countered with consecutive goals less than a minute apart by Evan Morgan and Dennis Gannon. Dan Casciano assisted Morgan at the 6:19 mark, while Bobby Karl registered the first of five assists with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

Oppenheimer tied the game with 2:39 left in the period, wrapping around the right post before shooting low on Frank while being pushed to the ground by two defenders. The Pioneers ended the scoring in the period when Casciano scored off a Morgan assist with 47 seconds left. Morgan stripped the ball from Benzing, who'd made a save seconds earlier, then passed it off to Casciano for the easy score.

Kerr tied the game at 3-3 with a goal assisted by Kelly with 8:42 left in the second quarter. After Morgan scored at the 5:23 mark off a Karl assist, Messina again tied the game, this time at 4-4, with an unassisted goal with 4:27 left in the half.

Sacred Heart then outscored the Bobcats, 5-2, in the third quarter, including three straight goals to open the half. The Bobcats never led again. Timmy Katz put the Pioneers on top, 5-4, just over a minute into the third quarter, scoring off a Bobby Rushton assist. The lead swelled to three following goals by Casciano and Gannon with 7:44 and 4:22 remaining in the third quarter, respectively. After DeAlmeida cut the deficit to two off a feed from Dimond with 3:16 remaining, Katz responded 15 seconds later off a Morgan assist.

The teams again traded goals within a short span prior to the end of the third quarter. After Aaron Lupo scored off a Karl assist with 54 seconds left in the period, Mullaney won the ensuing face-off, streaked up field and found Oppenheimer, who got it past Frank with 46 seconds remaining.

The Pioneers opened the fourth-quarter scoring just over three minutes into the period as Jon Flood scored off a Morgan assist to push the lead to 10-6. Quinnipiac cut the deficit in half with just under 10 minutes left in regulation. A pair of long poles connected for the Bobcats as Elliott scored off a Tuthill assist with 10:46 left. Kaiser then fed Kelly with 9:49 remaining, cutting the Pioneer lead to 10-8.

But Katz stopped the bleeding with an unassisted goal with 6:14 remaining. Casciano tacked on another goal off Karl's fifth assist of the day with just under four minutes left.

Oppenheimer closed the scoring with a man-up goal off a Gast assist with 57 seconds left.

For the game, the Bobcats picked up 42 ground balls to the Pioneers' 24. They also won 17-of-25 face-offs. The Pioneers connected on 3-of-5 man-up opportunities to the Bobcats' 1-for-7 effort.

The Bobcats return to Great Western Lacrosse League action Saturday, when they play host to Notre Dame. Prior to the 11 a.m. start, the Bobcats will honor their four-member senior class as part of Senior Day ceremonies.