Griffs relying on trio of goal scorers

 

Stefaniak_Carter action 2

Carter Stefaniak is currently second on the Griffs in goals scored (10). (Tom Wolf/Canisius College file photo)

 

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

Four games into this men’s lacrosse season and Canisius has been excelling under first-year head coach Mark Miyashita.

The Griffs, after losing their first game to Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., have now won their last three games by a combined four goals.

Canisius has been relying on the play from attack players Ryan McKee and Connor Kearnan, as well as midfielder Carter Stefaniak.

Kearnan, the Griffs’ leading scorer with 24 points so far this season (nine goals, 15 assists) had an eight-point game in the win over Empire State rival Binghamton.

The Courtice, Ont. native followed up his performance against the Bearcats with a nine-point game (two goals, seven assists) in an overtime win against Furman. The nine points tied a career-high, while the seven assists were a new career-best. He earned the Offensive Player of the Week honors from the MAAC on Feb. 27.

Stefaniak, the second leading scorer for Canisius, has enjoyed vast success in his second year with the Blue and Gold. The sophomore has 15 points this season (10 goals and five assists).

McKee has 14 points this season for the Blue and Gold (11 goals, three assists).

A last-second tally

In the Griffs first game at Dartmouth, Jack Korzelius netted the game-winning goal for the Big Green with one second left to lift the Ivy League school past Canisius, 13-12.

Along with McKee’s five-goal game, Stefaniak chipped in with five points of his own (three goals, two assists). Kearnan had four assists while Mathieu Boissonneault had a pair of goals.

Clutch second half ‘D’

After Binghamton scored eight goals in the first half, the Griffs defense stepped up big allowing only two goals in the final 30 minutes of action.

Kearnan (four goals, four assists), Boissonneault and Stefaniak scored the final three goals for Canisius in the final 7:47 of the game, lifting the Griffs over the Bearcats, 12-10.

Canisius scored eight of the final 10 goals in the game.

“This was truly a team victory. We were able to pick ourselves up after a tough loss,” first-year head coach Mark Miyashita told GoGriffs.com. “We showed the guys some video from the first half, which really helped us make the proper adjustments.”

Coss nets OT winner

Steven Coss’ goal 14 seconds into the overtime period helped Canisius avenge a five-goal deficit and defeat Furman, 14-13. The game was played at Radnor High School in Wayne, Pa. — a northwest suburb of Philadelphia.

Coss, McKee and Stefaniak each had hat tricks for the Griffs, who won their second consecutive contest.

It was the second all-time meeting against the Paladins with both contests needing an extra frame to settle the winner. Furman won the first meeting in 2015. The win in overtime was the first for the Griffs since March 28, 2015 over Siena.

Griffs outlast Vikings

Two goals in the final 1:56 helped the Griffs extend their win streak to three, beating Cleveland State, 12-11, at the Demske Sports Complex.

The game initially scheduled for Saturday was pushed back to Sunday due to heavy snowfall last Thursday evening into Friday morning.

Boissonneault scored the game-tying goal before Stefaniak potted the game-winner with 37 seconds left.

What’s next

Canisius (3-1) will head back on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) when they will take on Colgate (3-3).

It will be the first meeting between the Griffs and Raiders since Feb. 13, 2009 when the No. 16 Raiders beat Canisius, 15-11.

The Raiders, who play Boston University on Saturday in their first Patriot League game, have lost their last three contests.

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