WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – In just its second year of existence, the Monmouth University men’s lacrosse team secured its first-ever conference postseason berth behind its 14-5 victory over Manhattan in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Monmouth Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks, who finish the regular season 6-7 overall and 3-3 in league play, earn the No. 4 seed in the league tournament and will face top-seeded Marist on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at Tenney Stadium.
Monmouth, which set a program-record with 14 goals and 21 points in a single game, received three goals from senior Ryan Schwartz (Corning, N.Y./Corning East) and five points from sophomore Chris Daly (Wynnewood, Pa./Lower Merion), as nine different Hawks scored for MU. Daly, John Castellano (Eastchester, N.Y./Iona Prep) and Eric Berger (Ardsley, Pa./Penn Charter) each scored twice for the Hawks.
“I am proud of my staff and guys for the effort today in getting a win and securing our first conference tournament berth,” stated head coach Brian Fisher. “I couldn’t be more excited for our guys, and happy for our seniors that we had an opportunity to extend our season and get another game.”
With the game tied at 1-1 with 3:32 left in the first quarter, as Daly and freshman Bryce Wasserman (Southlake, Texas/Grapevine Faith) opened the scoring for the Blue & White, Monmouth ended the period with three straight tallies in the final 1:55 to take a 4-1 advantage. In the streak, sophomore Chris Summers (San Diego, Calif./Westview), Castellano and sophomore Zack Schleicher (Wayne, Pa./Conestoga) scored for the Hawks.
Monmouth outscored the Jaspers 5-1 in the second period, which included the first five scores of the stanza, as the Hawks took a 9-1 edge on sophomore Jayson Bevacqua’s (South Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) first career goal with 2:02 remaining. Dylan Schulte (Southampton, N.J./Seneca/Bridgeton Academy) added a goal in the streak for the Hawks.
The Hawks, who scored a program-best nine goals in the first half, outscored Manhattan 4-0 in the third to claim a 13-2 lead on scores from Castellano, Berger and a pair from Schwartz, which were assisted on by sophomore Steve Murawski (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) and Daly.
The Jaspers scored a pair in the fourth quarter to climb within 13-4 with 2:22 showing, before sophomore Nick Kalas (Annapolis, Md./Archbishop Spalding) registered his first career goal off a feed from freshman Nick Wilker (York, Pa./West York), which accounted for his first career point.
Monmouth outshot Manhattan 33-29, forcing Jaspers’ goalkeeper Jonathan Cottrell to make seven saves.
All four goalies on the roster saw action for the Hawks, as senior Garrett Conaway (Marriottsville, Md./Liberty) earned the win with seven saves in the first 38:50 of action. Sophomore Nick Hreshko (Warrington, Pa./La Salle College) made two saves, while freshman Grant Gillan (Lewes, Del./Cape Henlopen) and junior Elliott Wilson (Cranbury, N.J./Princeton) each registered a save.
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