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Cole, Vernacchio, Hare lead @SJUHawks_MLax to victory in opener

Saturday, 9th February 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/9/19

Freshman Zach Cole (Lenape) won 19 of 23 faceoffs and scored once, Nick Vernacchio (Upper Dublin) had three goals and Liam Hare (Spring-Ford) led the defense with four caused turnovers, three groundballs and an assist as host St. Joseph’s opened its season today with a 15-7 win over St. Bonaventure.

Sophomore attackman Nate Patterson led the Hawks’ offense with a game-high four goals and had two assists. Shane Fable had two goals and two assists and Mike Adler posted 9 saves for the win in goal.

“I’m happy to get a win and happy to be 1-0,” said Hawks head coach Taylor Wray. “I didn’t think we played particularly well today in any facet of the game. It felt very disjointed. Saint Bonaventure played much better than they played a week ago (12-0 loss to High Point), and we’ll need to play much better moving forward in order to win some more games.”

Tied 3-3 after the first quarter, Saint Joseph’s went on a 6-0, second-quarter run to take a 9-3 advantage into the halftime break. Six different Hawks scored during that run in Vernacchio (8:00), Patterson (7:13), sophomore short stick Jack Anderson (6:53), sophomore attackman Shane Fable (5:31), junior LSM Josh Bosher (4:08), and sophomore midfielder Teo Domicx (3:29).

The Bonnies ended their scoring drought on a Cian Collins man-up goal at the 9:02 mark of the third, but SJU tore off three of the next four as Vernacchio (6:38), Domic (5:17), and Patterson (2:33) combined to extend SJU’s advantage to seven goals, 12-5, heading into the final minutes of the third quarter.

St. Bonaventure battled back to a five-goal deficit with a pair of goals in the final 46 seconds of the third, but Fable opened the fourth quarter with his second of the day on a feed from Patterson (14:17) and Patterson scored twice more (4:37, 1:22) to close the scoring for the Crimson and Gray.

Junior Hare, making the switch over from LSM to close defense for opening day, recorded three ground balls and four caused turnovers in an outstanding defensive effort.

For the game, Saint Joseph’s owned a 52-25 shot advantage; the Hawks took 31 shots in the first half alone while the defensive unit of Hare, junior Tyler Makar, and senior Thomas Tarleton held the Bonnies to just six first-half shots.

The Hawks held a 37-24 advantage in ground balls and won a total of 21 of the game’s 25 total possessions from the X.

“I thought the face-off game was a strength,” added Wray. “But other than that, there were bright spots here and there, but it never really felt like we had great momentum at any part of the game.”

Saint Joseph’s also forced 23 SBU turnovers, with nine of those coming in the form of failed clears.

Of note, the game is believed to be the first Division I men’s lacrosse game in NCAA history in which both of the head coaches – SJU head coach Taylor Wray and SBU head coach Randy Mearns – hail from Canada.T

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