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HAMDEN, Conn. – Two upperclassmen – Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.) and Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.) – carried the bulk of the load offensively, and helped the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team to a 10-7 victory over Manhattan College on Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats joined Canisius and Siena with their first MAAC wins of the season.
"It's always nice to be 1-0 opposed to 0-1 when walking out of the first game, so we're happy," said Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete. "We do have to play a little bit better. We lost a bit of our momentum in the second quarter, after gaining some in the first. It's a work in progress though; we'll get a little better each day and accomplish more outside."
Corcoran scored three goals and assisted on another in a four-point afternoon for the Bobcats. It marked his third career hat trick and was also the third time he's had four points in a game. His career high of five points came back in 2012 at Robert Morris (4/21/12). Sagl extended his point-streak to 24 straight games with two goals and two assists. His streak is the 17th longest among active NCAA Division I players. They also combined for five ground balls in the win.
The game started on a high note for Quinnipiac when the Bobcats mustered a three-goal advantage through the first 20 minutes of play. Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ontario) scored the first goal off a feed from Tom McNaney (Marcellus, N.Y.), and then Corcoran finished off a pass from Nate Nibbelink (Hampstead, Md.) with 1:07 left in the first quarter. Sagl pushed the lead to 3-0 about five minutes into the second frame (Keenan).
However, momentum changed hands rather quickly midway through the second quarter. Manhattan rallied off four straight goals to take the lead – with the fourth goal occurring five minutes before half time. The four goals came during a 4:51 span.
Quinnipiac needed an answer, and got one from its junior midfielder. Corcoran scored his second and third goals of the game before the halftime whistle, which put the Bobcats back in front at the break, 5-4. The rally didn't stop there either, as Quinnipiac pushed the lead to 8-4 after three straight goals in the third quarter. Matt Kycia (West Hartford, Conn.) scored the first, his second goal in as many games; then Nibbelink netted his third goal of the season, and Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) capped off the run with his 10th goal of the season. The Bobcats were in control from that point forward.
Strong defense and success on the faceoff paved the path for Quinnipiac's offense. Gill Conners (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) made 14 saves on the day for a .666 save percentage. He leads the nation for the category (.663). Manhattan turned the ball over 17 times in the game, 10 of which were forced by the QU defense. McNaney led all QU players with three of them.
On the faceoff, freshman Zach Vehar (Hudson, Ohio) and Webster combined to win 14-of-19 in the circle. Vehar was 12-of-15 and collected a game-high of six ground balls. Webster had four ground balls helping Quinnipiac to a 41-25 advantage on the afternoon. Quinnipiac was also 4-of-6 on the man-up in the game.
Quinnipiac (2-3), who was a member of the MAAC from 1999-2001, picked up its first MAAC win since the 2001 season. The Bobcats also improved to 7-0 all-time against Manhattan. Quinnipiac has dominated the series, winning all seven games by multiple goals.
Manhattan was led by two goals apiece from Nick Strano and Marcel Godino. Rich Akapnitis made 11 saves in net in his sixth loss of the season.
Quinnipiac takes a week off before its next competition. The Bobcats travel to Marist College on Saturday, March 22, 2014 for a conference tilt with the Red Foxes. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at Leonidoff Field in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
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