Erik Kelly pumps in a pair of goals for the Ravens
RINDGE, N.H. (April 17, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's lacrosse team gave No. 9 Saint Michael's all it could handle on Wednesday, but the Ravens came up just short in a tough 8-4 setback to the Purple Knights at Sodexo Field in Rindge. Franklin Pierce dropped its third straight to fall to 4-7 overall and 3-6 in the Northeast-10, while St. Mike's improved to 9-2 and 8-0 in league play.
Marty Vanzo's goal with 12:24 remaining in the second quarter staked the Purple Knights to a 4-2 lead, but the game would go scoreless for the next 32 minutes until Cooper Quenneville sparked a scoring outburst with a marker at the 9:44 mark of the fourth.
During the scoring draught both goalies came up huge for their teams, including Franklin Pierce netminder Don Denman (Exeter, N.H.), who turned aside five shots in both the second and third quarters. Denman made a brilliant save early in the third quarter as he robbed a St. Mike's point-blank shot right on the doorstep.
Purple Knights goalie Chris DeMairo also made some huge saves, including four during the scoreless third. Saint Michael's defenders also did a good job in the interior right in front of their own net by not allowing the Ravens to generate much offense.
DeMairo finished the game with 14 saves to run his record to 9-2 on the year, while Denman brushed away an impressive 18 shots despite suffering the loss to fall to 4-7.
It didn't take long for St. Mike's to follow up Quenneville's goal as Vanzo chucked in a man-up tally 34 seconds later to give the Purple Knights a 6-2 lead.
Franklin Pierce didn't fold as sophomore middie Erik Kelly (Tewksbury, Mass.) made a nice one-on-one move past a St. Mike's defender along the left side of the goal and slipped a high shot past DeMairo to pull the Ravens to within three with 8:30 to go.
Saint Michael's made sure not to give the Ravens too much life and slammed home back-to-back markers in a little under three minutes apart to go up 8-3. Senior Scott MacDonald (Marshfield, Mass.) tossed in his first goal of the season late for Franklin Pierce. The goal was a special one for McDonald as it was his first in a little more than two years due to the fact he was forced to miss most of the 2012 campaign with an injury.
St. Mike's rang up a 40-29 advantage in shots as it put 10 on goal in each of the four quarters. The Purple Knights were also a perfect 23-for-23 in clear attempts, which allowed them to generate offense late in the game. Franklin Pierce started out well by clearing its first 16 attempts, but struggled late, which hindered its attack in the offensive zone.
Franklin Pierce continued its strong play in man-up situations in the first half by dumping in a pair of markers, including one from Kelly off a nice feed from freshman Casey Burnett (Windham, N.H.) to give the Ravens an early 1-0 lead. The Purple Knights countered with three-consecutive goals, but sophomore Kevin Dargin (Littleton, Mass.) buried another man-advantage goal late in the frame to pull the Ravens to within one heading into the second.
Vanzo finished with five points on three goals and two assists, while Evan Antolino equaled him with a trio of tallies.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Saturday when the Ravens close out their home schedule by playing host to Bentley at 3 p.m. in Sodexo Field.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's lacrosse, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's lacrosse apparel can do so on the athletic department's online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)