POTSDAM A quick start by the St. Lawrence University mens lacrosse team helped the Saints to a 13-7 win over rival Clarkson University in a Liberty League game Wednesday afternoon.
SLU (7-3 overall, 3-1 conference) scored the first three goals of the game and built a 5-1 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Saints would eventually build the lead as high as 9-1 before Clarkson (5-5, 0-4) responded.
Its been up-and-down a bit in my four years playing (Clarkson), SLU captain Sam Marvin said. It was nice to get them back for last year, when they knocked us out of the playoffs. We are kind of getting our swag back and we are going to keep moving. Were feeling good right now.
We were playing one-on-one defense pretty well. We were sliding well. We were playing well up top and they werent really able to get inside for good shots and our goalie, Nick Ford, bailed us out a couple of times. We were just playing solid (defense) in the first half.
The Saints featured a balanced offense in the first half with freshman Conor Healey scoring two goals, along with Charlie Jennings, Tommy Hovey and Pierson Fowler.
But it was Healey, playing in his first SLU/Clarkson game, who helped the Saints sustain their lead as Clarkson began to rally a bit in the third quarter.
Healey scored the first goal of the second half, and after Clarkson scored three straight goals to cut it to 9-4, he responded with a goal late in the third quarter to put SLU up 10-4. He added one more goal in the fourth quarter to finish the game with five goals and one assist.
Its definitely a big deal, Healey said of the rivalry. It was good energy. Its always good to get five goals no matter who you are playing, but against Clarkson its a big deal, it feels a little better.
Hovey added a third goal for the Saints in the fourth quarter and Garrett Gagne also scored for SLU.
The win puts the Saints in better position to make the four-team Liberty League Tournament in early May. The Rochester Institute of Technology, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation, is tied with Union atop the standings with 2-0 conference records. SLU and Rensselaer are both 3-1.
It is always part of the plan to get off to a fast start, particularly on the road, Saints coach Mike Mahoney said. We did a nice job of that. Sixty minutes is such a long period of time that we didnt want them to crawl back into it. We were happy to get the eight-goal lead and we were able to maintain it, for the most part. I thought we were solid defensively and I thought we had some really nice bang-bang offensive plays in transition. I felt like we were unselfish with the ball and got some layups just by having our head up and making the nice pass.
While the Saints strengthened their playoff chances with the win, Clarkson is all but eliminated from making the postseason after falling to 0-4 in conference play.
The Golden Knights, who are missing one of their top offensive players, Corey Herrington, to injury, have now lost four of their last five games.
They were just better than us in the first half, plain-out better, Clarkson coach Bill Bergan said. The league is always very competitive. We are a little banged up and thats been a problem for us. But (SLU) just outplayed us badly in the first 30 minutes and we couldnt recover.
One right spot for Clarkson was Ryan St. Croix, who finished with four goals and one assist. Ryan DaRin, Robert Linder and Jack Dowst also scored for Clarkson.