MADISON, N.J. - The Lafayette men's lacrosse team used a dominant third quarter to break open a seven-goal lead and cruise to a 12-4 win over NJIT at Drew University in Madison, N.J. on Tuesday evening.
The Leopards went into the halftime break at 4-2, but scored all five goals in the third quarter to open up the game. Juniors Kevin Lewis and Eric Joseph provided the majority of the offense for the Maroon and White, with Lewis scoring six points on three goals and three assists, and Joseph netting four goals on the night.
"This was a total team effort," head coach Jim Rogalski said. "I'm happy with how we possessed the ball, limiting ourselves to less than 10 turnovers. They're goalie made some great saves, but I'm pleased with 50 shots. We had great energy all over the field, with strong defense leading to good offense."
Freshman Michael Sullivan was solid at the X, winning 12 of his 18 faceoffs. The Leopards dominated in shots, 51-17, and ground balls, 32-12, while clearing all nine of their opportunities. Additionally, Lafayette took care of possession, tallying just seven turnovers for the contest.
NJIT opened the scoring just over three minutes in as Ryan Callaghan finished a John Roach feed across the goal mouth to put the home side on top, 1-0. Lafayette answered with unassisted tallies from Matt Close and Joseph to finish off the opening quarter in front by a 2-1 score.
The Highlanders' Joe Lomeli found the back of the net with 11:49 remaining in the second to tie it at two. The Leopards responded again, though, as Dillon Confalone side-stepped a defender to his left and finished low in the far right corner at 10:35 to regain the lead, 3-2.
Just over a minute later, Lewis, working up the field on the right side, found James Roberts in the middle, who slid a shot from the hip past NJIT goalie Nick Marzullo to push the advantage to two at 4-2. That score remained over the final nine minutes as the game moved into the halftime intermission.
Lafayette came out in the second half determined to take over the game. The Leopards did just that, scoring all five goals in the third quarter to open up a seven-goal lead at 9-2 entering the fourth.
NJIT closed the gap some, on the low end of a 3-2 score in the final period, but Lafayette closed out the game late with a 12-4 final. Marzullo totaled 16 saves in defeat for the Highlanders, while Jonathan Anastos picked up the win with four stops in 54:30 of work for the Maroon and White.
With the victory, the Leopards improve to 3-9 overall on the season. Next up is a trip to Lewisburg, Pa. on Friday evening to battle with Bucknell at 7 p.m.