The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team played a nearly flawless second half to rally past Susquehanna for a 9-8 victory on Senior Day at sun-splashed Fitzpatrick Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Royals (10-5, 4-2 Landmark) trailed 6-4 at halftime, but held Susquehanna (10-6, 4-1 Landmark) scoreless in the third period while drawing even at 6. The River Hawks scored to start the fourth period, but the Royals scored three of the final four goals, with the game-winner coming from the stick of freshman attackman Brian Dignen (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) with 5:50 to play.
The win completes the Royals' conference schedule. They have clinched a Landmark Conference playoff berth and are currently in third place, a half-game behind Susquehanna and Elizabethtown, who are both 4-1, and a half-game ahead of Goucher, which is 3-2. The Landmark Conference playoffs begin with semifinal games on Wednesday, May 2.
Freshman midfielder Daniel Mallay (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) led the Scranton attack with two goals and an assist. Senior midfielder Patrick O'Rourke (Floral Park, N.Y./Chaminade) and sophomore midfielder Joe Hill (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) added two goals each.
Senior attackman Matt Carfaro (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) and junior attackman Tim Dolan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) both had a goal for the Royals. Senior midfielder Conor Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Chaminade) and sophomore attackman Quinn Killeen (Berkeley Heights, N.J./New Providence) both had an assist.
Junior midfielder Adam Maiale (Blue Bell, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) had an outstanding game on the defensive end, leading the team with four caused turnovers and nine ground balls. Sophomore defenseman Gordon Paul (Ocean, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) added three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
Scranton finished with a dominant 41-17 edge in shots and won the ground ball battle, 39-30, while committing 14 turnovers, the team's second-lowest total of the season. The Royals won 12 of 20 faceoffs, with senior Adam Drury (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) picking up 11 of those wins. They were 15 of 18 in clear attempts, and went 0-for-3 on the power play, but two of those came in the final two minutes of the game when the Royals were protecting a one-goal lead.
Susquehanna committed 20 turnovers and was 11-for-17 in clear attempts. The River Hawks went 1-for-3 in man-up situations.
Prior to the opening faceoff, The University of Scranton honored the 11 seniors on the men's lacrosse team -- midfielder Jack Kiess (Glen Rock, N.J./Ramapo), Carfaro, midfielder Brendan McLaughlin (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), O'Rourke, goalkeeper Jeffrey Sabatini (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield), goalkeeper Timmy Gray (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia), Drury, midfielder Casey Green (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius), Carey, defenseman Kieran Pues (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and Maiale, who has a year of eligibility remaining, but will graduate in May.
The Royals will complete their regular season on Saturday, April 28, when they travel to Montclair, N.J. to face Montclair State at 7 p.m.