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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Canisius men's lacrosse travels to league-leading monmouth

All WNY News     Thursday, April 20, 2017    

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BUFFALO -- Canisius travels to league-leading Monmouth Friday for a 7 p.m. matchup at Hesse Field.

The contest serves as a matchup of the top two teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as the Hawks (10-3, 4-0 MAAC) hold a one-game lead over the second-place Griffs (5-7, 3-1 MAAC).

The game will be shown live on ESPN3.

Junior Connor Kearnan continues to pace the Canisius attack as he leads the team in goals (30), assists (20) and points (50). Kearnan heads into Friday’s contest leading the league in points per game (4.17) and ranks second in both goals (2.50) and assists (1.67) per contest. Senior Jeff Edwards is second on the team in scoring with 31 points (13g, 18a). Edwards needs just two points to match former Canisius standout Nick LoCoco (2008-11) for 13th place on the program’s all-time scoring list (121). Junior Ryan McKee is second on the team in goals (20) and third in points (27). McKee tallied two goals in the Griffs’ contest at Robert Morris on Tuesday.  - Junior Liam Ganzhorn has been in goal for all 12 games for Canisius this season. Ganzhorn ranks fourth in the MAAC in goals against average (11.02) and fifth in save percentage (.475). Canisius has truly been a second-half team this season as it has out-scored its opponents by a combined total of 70-56 in the second half of contests this season. The Griffs have been out-scored by a combined total of 79-56 in the first half of games during the 2016-17 campaign.

A strong first half by Robert Morris proved to be too much for Canisius to overcome as the Colonials posted a 12-7 victory over the Griffs Tuesday at Joe Walton Stadium. Robert Morris trailed 1-0 in the early going before rattling off four unanswered goals to build a 4-1 cushion. Canisius temporarily halted the spurt to make it a 4-2 contest, but the Colonials countered with another four-goal spurt to build an 8-2 cushion. Juniors Ryan McKee and Eric Gold recorded two goals each for the Griffs (5-7). Senior Jeff Edwards, junior Connor Kearnan and freshman Carter Stefaniak also scored for the Blue and Gold. Junior keeper Liam Ganzhorn made 10 saves for Canisius. Junior Connor Kearnan became just the 15th player in program history to record 50 points in a season thanks to his three-point effort on Tuesday. Kearnan has exactly 50 poins (30g, 20a) to his credit this campaign. Senior Jeff Edwards notched his 119th career point on Tuesday, moving within two points of matching former Canisius standout Nick LoCoco (2008-11) for 13th place on the program’s all-time scoring list (121) Junior Liam Ganzhorn recorded double-digit saves for the sixth time this season and the 13th time in his career with his 11-save effort Tuesday.

One of the hottest teams in the country, Monmouth heads into Friday’s contest riding a winning streak that reached seven games last week following an 11-8 victory at Detroit Mercy last Saturday. Bryce Wasserman leads the Hawks attack, pacing the team in both points (31) and assists (11). Wasserman ranks 10th in the league in points per game (2.38) and is tied for first in the MAAC with three game-winning goals. Tyler Keen leads the team with 22 goals scored. He sits sixth in the MAAC in goals per game (1.83). Nick Hreshko has started all 13 games in goal for the Hawks. He ranks first in  the MAAC in goals against aveage (7.28) and is second on the circuit in save percentage (.580).

The schools are set to meet for the fourth straight season, all of which have come since Monmouth’s inaugural campaign in 2014. The Hawks hold a 2-1 edge in the series, having won each of the last two matchups, including a 11-6 victory last April at the Demske Sports Complex. Canisius has fallen in its only visit to Hesse Field, suffering a 10-7 defeat to the Hawks on the road during the 2015 campaign.

Canisius closes out the regular season April 28 when it hosts Quinnipiac in a 4 p.m. contest at the Demske Sports Complex. The contest serves as the program’s senior day, with the team honoring its six senior student-athletes in a ceremony prior to the start of the contest. The game will be shown live on ESPN3

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