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Friday, April 14, 2017

Canisius men’s lacrosse hosts Siena

All WNY News     Friday, April 14, 2017    

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BUFFALO – Canisius looks to remain undefeated in league play when it hosts Siena in a 3 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest Saturday at the Demske Sports Complex.

The matchup between the Griffs (5-5, 3-0 MAAC) and the Saints (1-10, 1-2 MAAC) serves as the second half of a men’s and women’s lacrosse doubleheader as the Canisius women host Quinnipiac in a MAAC contest at Noon. Both games will be shown live on Spectrum Sports (formally TWCSN).

Off to its first 3-0 start in MAAC play since the 2008 campaign, Canisius looks to remain atop the league standings following an 11-5 victory at Detroit Mercy last Saturday. Junior Connor Kearnan, the reigning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week, continues to pace the Canisius attack as he leads the team in goals (27), assists (18) and points (45). Kearnan remains among the top 25 players in the nation in points (14th), goals (14th) and assists (25th) per game. Senior Jeff Edwards is second on the team in scoring with 27 points (12g, 15a). Edwards needs just two points to match former Canisius standout Michael Biocho for 14th place on the program’s all-time scoring list (117). Lewis Vaccaro has been captain clutch for the Griffs as the senior tri-captain has scored the game-winning goal in all three of the Griffs victories in league play this season. Junior Liam Ganzhorn has been in goal for all 10 games for Canisius this season. The reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Week, Ganzhorn ranks third in the MAAC in goals against average (10.77) and fifth in save percentage (.485). Canisius has truly been a second-half team this season as it has out-scored its opponents by a combined total of 61-50 in the second half of contests this season. The Griffs have been out-scored by a combined total of 62-48 in the first half of games during the 2016-17 campaign.

Canisius scored the last eight goals of the game to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat Detroit Mercy, 11-5, in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s lacrosse action April 8 at Titan Field. Trailing 5-3 late in the second quarter, Hornung scored to make it a 5-4 contest before the halftime break while Kearnan brought the Griffs level with man-up tally at the 12:53 mark of the third quarter. The two teams would engage in a defensive battle that saw neither team convert for the next 14:53 before senior Lewis Vaccaro finally broke the deadlock 2:02 into the fourth quarter to spark the Griffs to score the next six goals to close out the contest. In a matchup of two of the league’s three undefeated teams, junior Connor Kearnan recorded six points on five goals and one assist to power the Griffs (5-5, 3-0 MAAC) attack. Freshman Alex Hornung chipped in four points with two goals and two assists while junior Eric Gold also added a pair of tallies. Junior Liam Ganzhorn made 11 saves in goal for the Griffs, including the final five shots he faced from UDM as the Griffs held the Titans without a goal for the final 31:51 of the contest.

Siena heads into Saturday’s contest looking to build upon a 16-6 victory over Manhattan last Saturday at the Siena Turf Field. Chris Robertson and Mike Reilly serve as a 1-2 scoring punch for the Saints with 34 and 33 points, respectively, this season. Robertson is third in the MAAC in goals per game (2.45) while Reilly is third on the circuit in assists per contest (1.73). Aaron Lewis and Gage Ponsetti have split time in goal for Siena this season. Lewis, who has appeared in nine of the team’s 11 games to date this season, has compiled a 16.84 goals against average and a .347 save percentage in those contests.

The Griffs have played the Saints more than any other school as the teams will meet for the 30th time on Saturday. Canisius holds a 20-9 edge in the all-time series against Siena. The two teams have split their last six matchups dating back to the 2012 campaign. The Griffs won last season’s matchup, 12-9, in Loudonville to open MAAC play. Five different Griffs tallied at least three points for Canisius in the winning effort, which halted a four-game losing skid to the Saints at the Siena Turf Field. Canisius holds an 11-3 mark versus Siena at the Demske Sports Complex. The Griffs won the last meeting between the two schools in Buffalo, a 10-9 victory in March 2015.

Canisius men’s lacrosse and DICK’S Sporting Goods will be hosting a free instructional clinic following the Griffs’ game against Siena on April 15, the team announced Wednesday. The one-hour skills clinic, running from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., will include instruction from Canisius and Canadian National Team Head Coach Randy Mearns, along with selected Griffs players. Capped at 100 participants, the players must currently be enrolled in grades one through eight, and not play on a team with the Class of 2020 or older, due to NCAA compliance. All players who sign up will receive a free ticket to the game against Siena, beginning at 3 p.m., as well as a special gift from DICK’S Sporting Goods. For more information, contact the Canisius Ticket Sales & Service Manager, Joe LaVare, at lavarej@canisius.edu or by calling 716-888-8286.

Canisius closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule April 18 with a 7 p.m. contest at Robert Morris.

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