Griffs clinch spot in MAAC Tourney


Mathieu Boissonneault scored three goals in the Griffs’ critical win over Manhattan last Friday. (Tom Wolf/Canisius College)

By Nolan Hopkins

Assistant Sports Editor

The men’s lacrosse team clinched a spot in the conference tournament with their win over Manhattan last Friday, 19-11.

The Griffs came into the contest losers of their last three games but quickly swung momentum in their favor as they scored three goals within the first eight minutes of action.

Ryan McKee, Reece Eddy and Keith Pravato all scored to give their team the advantage, 3-0.

For the remaining seven minutes of the first quarter, the teams traded goals. McKee scored his second goal of the game, and Mathieu Boissonneault and Carter Stefaniak each chipped in a goal of their own to give the Blue and Gold the lead after first quarter, 6-2.

The squad would extend their four-goal lead in the second quarter, as they found the back of the net three more times in the period. McKee tallied his third goal of the game with just 10:29 left to play in the quarter, and Boissonneault quickly followed that up with his second goal of the game 24 seconds later.

The Jaspers would get two goals back in the quarter, but the Griffs held the advantage heading into halftime, 9-4.

Canisius dug Manhattan into an even bigger hole in the third quarter, as they outscored the Jaspers, 5-3. Stefaniak and Steven Coss scored each recorded a goal to open the half before Manhattan would score a goal with just under eight minutes remaining in the quarter.

Over the next three minutes of game action, the Griffs scored three goals, giving them a nine-goal advantage, 14-5, which was their largest lead of the game to that point.

However, Manhattan would score two goals before the close of the quarter, including a goal with just four seconds remaining in the period, which trimmed the Canisius lead, 14-7.

The Blue and Gold put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter, as a 4-2 run over the first 10 minutes of the quarter effectively ended any chance of a comeback.

Both squads traded blows over the final five minutes of the contest, with the Griffs earning the wire-to-wire victory, 19-11.

In addition to McKee’s three goals, Boissonneault and Stefaniak also contributed three goals apiece, while Coss, Connor Kearnan and Mario Caito each scored two goals of their own.

Ten different players scored in the contest.

Mark Miyashita, in his first year at the helm of the men’s lacrosse team, ensured his squad a spot in the MAAC Tournament taking place May 3 at Monmouth with the win over Manhattan.

“There’s nothing we’ve done as coaches that’s been anything crazy, they’re the ones out there playing,” Miyashita said in regard to making the tournament in his first year as head coach. “It’s the guys who are putting the long hours in,  conditioning, lifting and then the practice and the film. I think it’s just a testament to the hard work that the guys have put in and I’m happy for them first and foremost.”

The stage is now set for an important regular season finale against Monmouth. Both squads currently have a 3-2 record in the conference.

If the Griffs beat the Hawks, they would find themselves as the No. 3 seed in the MAAC Tournament, playing Detroit Mercy.  A loss would mean they will fall to the No. 4 seed and would face top-seeded Quinnipiac in the first round.

Faceoff against Monmouth is set for 4 p.m. today at Demske Sports Complex, with the game also being broadcasted on ESPNU.

“I think it is going to be an exciting day, we’re looking forward to hopefully packing the bleachers and giving a good show,” Miyashita said.


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