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Monmouth Holds Off Men’s Lax on Tuesday Night

April 4, 2017

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EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team went out of conference for the second straight game on Tuesday evening at Fisher Stadium, dropping a tight 9-8 contest to Monmouth.

The game was even throughout, played within a one-goal margin for the first three quarters with Monmouth taking a 7-6 lead into the final frame. The Hawks opened up a three-goal lead at 9-6 with 6:41 to play, but the Leopards came back to within one with a pair of tallies with 3:34 and 35 seconds to play, respectively.

Monmouth won the final faceoff, but a crease violation on their offensive end gave the Maroon and White a chance to tie with less than 10 seconds remaining. Conor Walters was able to corrale a length-of-the-field pass to the right of goal as time was running down, but his shot went just high over the bar as the buzzer sounded with a 9-8 final.

“I’m proud of the guys,” head coach Jim Rogalski said. “We preach doing your job and executing for the full 60 minutes and I thought the guys did that. We had an opportunity to tie the game up at the end, but just kind of fell short.”

The Leopards dominated most of the statistical categories, but Monmouth’s defense, ranked seventh in the nation and allowing just 7.63 goals per game, forced a bevy of distance and off-balance efforts from the Lafayette attackers. Shots were 47-29 in favor of the Maroon and White, while the Leopards won the ground ball battle, 33-25, and freshman John Becker was a force at the X, winning 13-of-20 faceoffs on the night.

Senior Matt Cortese made his first start of the season between the pipes, making seven saves in a losing effort. On the other side, Nick Hreshko was solid, stopping 14 Lafayette shots to move to 7-3 on the season.

Senior co-captain Kevin Lewis was the lone multi-goal scorer with a hat trick, while Matt Close, Will McCarthy, Walters, Michael Sands and Jake Korus each added one goal apiece. The loss drops the Leopards to 1-9 on the season overall, while Monmouth improves to 7-3 this season.

Next up for Lafayette is a return to Patriot League play on Saturday, hosting Holy Cross for Senior Day with opening faceoff set for 1 p.m.