|Taylor Nelson||John Gregitis|
|Matt Tibbitts||Joe Johnson|
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ—With a key Landmark Conference matchup looming Saturday, The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team was hoping to gain some momentum in its final non-conference game of the season today.
Instead, it was Centenary College that picked up the positive mojo, overcoming a two-goal fourth period deficit to pull out a 7-6 victory.
Senior attacker Cameron Gunn (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) scored his only goal of the game with 44 seconds remaining as the Cyclones won their fourth straight game to improve to 11-1. The loss dropped the Royals to 8-5.
Gunn also finished with five assists, the majority of his passes going to senior attacker Robert Nuzzolese (Woodbury, NY/Syosset), who scored a game-high five goals, including four in the second half as Centenary erased a 2-1 halftime deficit.
Senior attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) led Scranton with four goals and junior midfielder Matt Tibbitts (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) and junior attacker Joe Johnson (Annapolis, Md./Gonzaga) added one apiece.
The Royals, who held a 34-25 advantage in shots and an 11-6 margin in face-offs, also received two assists from junior midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory) and an assist each from senior midfielder Olaf Gilliam (Piermont, NY/Tappanzee) and sophomore attacker Will Mahle (Montgomery, NJ/Montgomery).
In a game that see-sawed back and forth, the Royals appeared to be heading in the right direction when Nelson scored at the end of the third period and the beginning of the fourth as Scranton opened up a 5-3 lead. Nuzzolese then scored twice during a 3-0 spurt that gave Centenary a 6-5 lead before Nelson answered with 4:33 remaining on a play set up by Gregitis.
After Gunn’s goal, the Cyclones won the ensuing face-off and were able to run out the clock.
Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Switzer (Hillsdale, NJ/Pascack Valley) offset Scranton’s shot advantage by making 13 saves for the Cyclones, including eight in the second half. Senior Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood) stopped four shots for the Royals.
Nelson’s four goals today moved him into seventh place on the Royals’ all-time scoring list with 127 points.
The Royals will host defending Landmark Conference champion Goucher College this Saturday, April 20, beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field. Scranton and Goucher enter Saturday’s game tied for first place in the conference with 4-0 records.