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Canisius Men’s Lacrosse battles back to edge Siena 13-12

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS



BUFFALO -- Senior Ryan McKee scored with 2:06 remaining in the fourth quarter to break a 12-12 tie and lift Canisius to a 13-12 victory over Siena in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's lacrosse action Saturday at the Siena Turf Field in Loudonville, N.Y.

 McKee's game-winning tally highlighted a four-goal effort for the Syracuse, N.Y., native as he helped the Golden Griffins (4-3, 1-0 MAAC) open conference play with a victory for the sixth consecutive season.  
 
Sophomore Carter Stefaniak recorded a career-high five goals while senior Steven Coss pitched in two goals and four assists. Senior Connor Kearnan tallied one goal and dished out a game-high four assists.
 
Chris Robertson scored three goals and added two assists while Keanan Cook and Tim Cousin pitched in three goals apiece to lead the Saints (2-4, 0-2 MAAC).  
 
Canisius trailed 11-9 early in the fourth quarter when it used three unanswered goals from senior Keith Pravato,Stefaniak and Coss over a 7:11 span to take a 12-11 lead with just under five minutes remaining.
 
Robertson brought the Saints level a little more than two minutes later with a man-up tally, but McKee responded with a goal just 46 seconds later to restore the Griffs' one-goal lead.
 
Siena had a chance to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, but senior keeper Liam Ganzhorn stopped an attempt from Robertson during a man-up opportunity to keep Canisius in front and secure the one-goal victory.
 
Earlier in the contest, Siena trailed 3-2 late in the first quarter when Nick Matzelevich brought the Saints level with an even-strength goal at the 2:22 mark of the opening frame to ignite a stretch that saw Siena tally five of the next six goals to build a 7-4 cushion with a little less than six minutes to play in the first half.
 
McKee would lead a response from Canisius, ending the Saints run with his second of the quarter and sparking the Griffs to a 4-1 spurt that was capped by the senior attacker a little more than five minutes into the third quarter to tie the game at 8-8.
 
The teams traded goals over the next eight minutes before Cook found the back of the net during a man-up situation to close out the third and Matzelevich opened the fourth with his second of the game to give the Saints a two-goal cushion and set up the Griffs fourth-quarter heroics.
 
Head Coach Mark Miyashita's Postgame Comments
"We do not panic when we are put in tough situations because we have the experiences from earlier in the season that have provided us with the opportunity to have the poise to battle through any situation we may face. Hats off to our guys for staying focused on the task at hand and staying in the moment. We did not get either too high or too low depending on the situation today and that was key for us in getting the victory.
 
"When we looked at the box score we were pleasantly surprised with our ground ball play. We knew we were playing well, but to have dominated that stat the way we did, we were really happy with that. Daniel Balawejder did an excellent job at the faceoff X today of making it a 50-50 ground ball for our wing guys to get out there and pick up. Daniel also did a good job as well of picking up ground balls off the faceoff, which was huge.
 
"The scores of the last two games prior to today were not indicative of how good Liam (Ganzhorn) has played in goal for us this season. He has taken his game to a whole new level recently and that is because he is taking the time to face extra shots at practice and come into the office to watch more film. He's dedicating himself during his senior year to be the best goalie that he can be and it's showing now. The work that he has put in is paying dividends."
 
Game Notes
• Canisius increased its lead in the all-time series versus Siena to 21-10 with Saturday's victory. Each of the last two meetings between the Griffs and the Saints have been decided by a single goal.
• Saturday's win improved the Griffs' record in one-goal games to 3-1 this season. All four of Canisius' wins in 2018 have been by two goals or less.
• Canisius out-shot Siena by a 39-36 margin for the contest. The teams both attempted 16 shots during the second half.
• The Griffs enjoyed a 26-12 advantage in ground balls for the contest, highlighted by a 15-3 advantage in the second half.
• Sophomore Carter Stefaniak recorded his third hat trick of the season as he finished Saturday's contest with a career-high five goals.
• Senior Ryan McKee posted his third hat trick of the season and 10th of his career as he tallied four goals during Saturday's contest.
• Senior Connor Kearnan tallied five points on Saturday, marking the third time this season that the senior has tallied five or more points in a game.
• Kearnan also moved into sole possession of 11th place on the program's career points chart as he now has amassed 133 points during his Canisius career.
• Senior Liam Ganzhorn recorded double-digit saves for the third straight contest as he finished with 10 stops on Saturday.
 
Up Next
• Canisius returns home Tuesday to host longtime rival Hobart in a midweek contest.
Opening faceoff between the Griffs and the Statesmen is set for 7 p.m., at the Demske Sports Complex.
• The game will be shown live on ESPN3.