Men’s lacrosse bounces back with staggering 19-4 victory over American Int

Dan Flatley, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm men’s lacrosse team dominated their most recent opponent, American International College, after losing their previous two games to Le Moyne College and Merrimack College. The Hawks came away with a whopping 19-4 blowout victory.

The Hawks rebounded nicely after losing to Le Moyne and Merrimack with a nineteen to four road victory over American International College (AIC) on Friday, April 6 at Abdow Field on AIC’s campus. Junior attackman Patrick Sweeney led the way with five goals on a night when nine players scored for Saint Anselm. Sweeney scored on five of his six shots in the game. The win was the 20th win in a row for the Hawks in the series against American International, while the 19 goals matched Saint Anselm’s season-high total. Saint Anselm rattled off the game’s first 12 goals, holding American International scoreless until late in the second quarter. Six Hawks scored in the opening quarter as Saint Anselm opened up an eight to zero lead, with Sweeney and junior attackman Anthony Busconi each scoring twice in the first 15 minutes.

As previously mentioned, Saint Anselm had two difficult games prior to their latest win against AIC. The Hawks played, and lost, a home game against number 1 ranked Le Moyne College on Saturday, March 31. The Hawks lost the game by a final of eight to three. Patrick Sweeney scored two of the three goals for Saint Anselm, with junior attackman (Francis) Xavier Quinn scoring the other goal. At the time of this game, the Hawks were ranked 20th in division two.

Following the loss to top ranked Le Moyne, Saint Anselm played second overall ranked Merrimack College. Merrimack beat the Hawks by a final score of 17 to nine on Tuesday, April 9. The game was played at Merrimack. Patrick Sweeney and freshman midfielder Griffin Shoemaker picked up three goals apiece, and six other Hawks recorded at least one point on offense. Freshman midfielder Matt Ward registered a goal and an assist for Saint Anselm. Merrimack overwhelmed Saint Anselm to start the game, building a dominant 11 to one lead through the game’s first 19 minutes of play. In the first half alone, the Warriors won all but one of the game’s 20 face-offs and controlled the ground game, securing 28 ground balls and limiting the Hawks to only ten through the first 30 minutes of action.

When asked about the difference between the losses and their most recent win, Xavier Quinn stated, “In the Northeast-10 it’s really anyone’s game. It has to be one of the most competitive lacrosse conferences at any level in the country. With that said, all three games were a battle, we just happened to be on the victorious side on Friday night [against AIC].”

Quinn offered his opinion of the strongest qualities of the Saint Anselm men’s lacrosse team, saying, “I think the strongest quality of our team is grit. The word has become a staple in our program and is something we try to bring to the table every day. There are days where we might not be getting the looks we want on offense or we are giving up looks we normally do not give up on defense, but we bring this grit to the table that allows us to fight back. We try to emulate the blue collar, hard-working, kind of attitude as a team.”

When asked about the young players on the team, Quinn said, “I think that there is always room for improvement. Whether you are a four-year starter or a first-year player there are ways in which you can improve upon your game. I will say, I am incredibly impressed with the impact the young guys are making. The work ethic they bring on and off the field is strong and has a positive impact on the team.”

Finally, Quinn offered his thoughts on the next steps and goals for his team. He said, “Our goal is to go out and win every game we play. So far this season, we have had some ups and some downs. It has not been perfect by any means. That being said, we want to be the best. As a team, as individuals, we want to win. Looking ahead, the only thing we are focused on is our next game and after that the next game and continue that for the rest of the season. We have been tested by some really talented teams already and have grown as a team for the better through these experiences. Going forward we just need to get better every day and we will see where the season takes us.”

Saint Anselm returns home to host fifth-ranked Pace University in a 4 p.m. start at Grappone Stadium on Wednesday, April 11.