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Clarkson laxmen face must-win situation today against SLU

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POTSDAM - Without a win this afternoon against North Country rival St. Lawrence University, the Clarkson University men’s lacrosse team will be eliminated from the Liberty League playoff hunt, so the Golden Knights will be going all out to keep their post-season hopes alive when they take on the Saints at Hantz Turf Field.

The Golden Knights are 5-4 overall but have dropped their first three games of the Liberty League slate in a conference that has three teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation for most of the season.

In fact, the Green and Gold’s run of games this year is currently ranked fifth in terms of strength of schedule according to the website laxpower.com. St. Lawrence (6-3 overall, 2-1 Liberty League) was 17th in the polls until it suffered a loss last week to Plattsburgh State.

Clarkson and the Saints split last season with St. Lawrence taking the regular-season tilt 10-3 and the Knights winning the conference semifinals contest 7-5. Clarkson has 20 times in 59 all-time meetings against St. Lawrence.

Junior Mark Nortz (Lowville, NY) leads the team in all offensive categories, including points (24), goals (15), and assists (9). Classmate Corey Herrington (Camillus, NY) has 15 points on six goals and nine assists, and freshman Ryan St. Croix (Camillus, NY) and junior Matt Gold (Pittsford, NY) have each delivered 12 goals for the Knights. Junior Dylan Broomfield (Clinton, NY) is back from injury as the top faceoff man for the Knights, having won 58.2% of his tries at the “x” (71-for-122), and he also leads the team with 43 groundballs. Senior Rick Clement (Cotuit, MA) is second in groundballs with 27 and classmate Brian Freeland (East Berlin, CT) has 23 groundballs. Junior JD St. Croix (Camillus, NY) has kicked in 20 groundballs and a team-best nine caused turnovers. In the Clarkson net, junior Harrison Washuta (Maple Grove, MN) has posted 88 saves in nine games for a 50.9 save percentage and a 10.16 goals against average.

Although he hasn’t started a game this year for the Saints, Conor Healey is the team’s leader in points with 28 on 17 goals and 11 assists, while Tommy Hovey has produced a team-high 24 goals among his 26 points this season. Jeremy Vautough has 21 points on eight goals and 13 assists. Winning 56.6% of his faceoffs, Ryan Brigham leads the Saints with 32 groundballs, just one ahead of Sam Marvin, who has also caused 25 turnovers. Caleb Kane has also been a key member of the defense with 23 groundballs and 21 caused turnovers.

In goal for the Saints, Nick Ford has a goals against average of 8.48 and a 57.1% save rate having stopped 96 shots in nine contests.

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