|John Gregitis||Matt Finor||Ryan Mygatt|
|Nicholas McKaba||Mike Deliberti||Brad Elkin|
SELINSGROVE, Pa.—In a game that featured a number of momentum swings, Susquehanna University put together the one that mattered most, pulling out an 8-7 victory over The University of Scranton in Landmark Conference men’s lacrosse action Thursday evening.
Senior attacker Austen Lein (New Vernon, NJ/Madison) led the Crusaders with two goals and an assist, sophomore midfielder Ryan Buckley (Stony Brook, NY/Ward Melville) scored two goals, and sophomore attacker Nick Reardon (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford) finished with a goal and two assists as Susquehanna improved to 8-7 overall and moved into a three-way tie with Scranton and Goucher College for first place in the Landmark at 4-1.
The Royals, who fell to 9-5 overall, were led by senior midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory) with three goals, freshman attacker Ryan Mygatt (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) had a goal and an assist, and seniors Mike Deliberti (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) and Gus Sturm (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) and sophomore Brad Elkin (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prerparatory) chipped in a goal apiece.
Gregitis kick-started a 4-0 rally early in the second period with back-to-back goals as the Royals erased a 3-1 deficit to take a 5-3 lead with 6:44 remaining in the third period. Buckley then started a 5-1 run with a goal with 1:34 left in the third period that ended with a goal by sophomore midfielder Jake Calder (Lutherville, Md./Dulaney) with 7:56 remaining in the fourth to take the lead for good, 8-6.
Gregitis ended a 10-minute scoring draught for Scranton with an unassisted goal with 6:22 left, but the Royals were unable to score again on their final two possessions.
Scranton took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Elkin with 6:34 left in the first period before Lein and Brogan scored within a 43-second span to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead entering the second period. Midway through the second period, Buckley put Susquehanna up 3-1 with an unassisted goal before Gregitis answered a minute later to get the Royals back on track.
Junior Matt Finor (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South) won 14 of 19 face-offs for the Royals, who held a slim 23-19 advantage in ground balls, but the play of Crusader junior goalkeeper Jared Knowlton (North Salem, NY/Kent School) offset those Scranton advantages by making 12 saves.
Knowlton’s counterpart, Royal sophomore goalkeeper Nicholas McKaba (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris), stopped eight shots.
Scranton will break for the Easter holiday before returning to action on Saturday, April 26, against Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, beginning at 3:30 p.m. To earn the top seed and home field advantage throughout the Landmark tournament, the Royals must beat Goucher and Susquehanna must lose to Catholic University in its regular-season finale, also on April 26.
If Goucher wins, they are the number one seed and Scranton falls to third regardless of the outcome of the Susquehanna-Catholic game. The Royals can earn the two seed with a win over Goucher and a victory by Susquehanna, thereby making the Crusaders the top seed and Goucher third.