The men’s lacrosse team has opened up Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play 2-0 for the first time in program history after they overcame an early 4-0 deficit to down Siena 17-9 at Hesse Field on The Great Lawn on Saturday, Mar. 25.
“Siena came out firing and we were a little slow to get started and adjust to their style of play,” Head Coach Brian Fisher said. “Despite the slow start, we were proud that the guys kept their poise and battled through some adversity in the first quarter before we settled in and got going in the second. Once we picked up the pace and started to play our way, the game turned in our favor as we made the plays to get some separation down the stretch.”
Monmouth responded with a 9-1 run beginning at 2:44 in the first period, when senior midfielder Tyler Keen scored his first of three goals on the day. Junior attacker Bryce Wasserman, who finished with five goals on the day, scored with 54 seconds remaining, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
Keen opened the scoring in the second period and Wasserman added two more. His second at 8:13 gave Monmouth a 5-4 lead. Siena responded to tie the game, but the Hawks scored four unanswered – one from Keen, two from Wasserman and one from senior midfielder Eric Berger – that extended Monmouth’s lead to 9-5.
Monmouth outscored Siena 8-4 for the remainder of the game. Freshman attacker Anthony Sardo and sophomore attacker Hunter Jones each scored two goals for the Hawks for the remainder of the game. It was their first career multi-goal games.
Wasserman’s five goals ties a career high and he is the only Hawk to score five goals in a game. Wasserman also had an assist and his six-point game ranks second all-time for points in a game. He has 13 goals this season and 49 for his career and was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon.
Keen, who leads the Hawks with 17 goals, has scored in eight consecutive games and is riding an 11-game point streak. He increased his career goal total to 36, while recording his fifth career hat trick.
Freshman midfielder Justin Schwenk was named MAAC Rookie of the Week after setting a new program record by winning 16-of-26 faceoffs, and he also picked up a team-high seven ground balls. Reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Week and senior goalkeeper Nick Hreshko recorded 10 saves in the contest.
The team also escaped Quinnipiac with an 8-7 win in double-overtime, stunning the defending conference regular season and tournament champions on their home turf. The Monmouth win snapped Quinnipiac’s nine-game conference regular-season winning streak. Tied at seven into the second overtime period, the game-winning goal was scored by Wasserman with 90 seconds remaining in the frame.
“It feels good to be on the right side of an overtime game and start off conference play with a win,” Fisher said. “Tonight was as good as it gets in terms of a total team win. Our sideline energy was great and really helped carry us over the course of the game. Furthermore, so many of our younger guys stepped up in practice this week and combined with our veterans and both scout teams were instrumental in helping us prepare for tonight’s game.”
Monmouth is now 5-3 overall on the season in addition to being undefeated in conference play. They will begin a three-game road trip and resume conference play on Saturday, Apr. 1 when they take on Marist. Faceoff from Poughkeepsie, NY is set for 7 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics