MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team led 15th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University heading into the fourth quarter and was tied with six minutes remaining before falling by a 14-9 final on Wednesday at Larkin Field. The Purple Knights, who took on their fourth consecutive nationally-ranked opponent, are 1-4 overall and 0-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Penmen moved to 6-2 and 4-2, as their ranking is according to this week's United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll.
Junior Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) netted a hat trick and an assist for Saint Michael's, becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau for a career, and just the 10th Purple Knight to hit the mark prior to his senior season. With 101 points, he moved into 21st place, passing Ken Wosczyna '98 (98) and Mark Agostinelli '08 (100). With 58 assists, he tied Marty Vanzo '13 for fourth in program annals.
Senior Keifer Heckman totaled six goals, one assist and seven ground balls for the Penmen, who won for the sixth time in seven tries, with their lone loss in that stretch a one-goal defeat at the hands of seventh-ranked Adelphi University. Junior Corey Cairo totaled two goals and a helper, sophomore Andrew Liu went 13-for-17 on draws with eight ground balls, and senior Tyler Walsh made 10 saves.Junior Charlie Murphy (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) had two goals, sophomore Matt Blois (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) notched a goal and an assist, senior Taylor Wallace (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) dished three assists, and junior Matt Hanley (Plainview, N.Y./Bethpage) made 20 saves for his second 20-stop outing in the last three games. Classmate Patch Ryan (Holden, Mass./Saint John's) scored and scooped three ground balls, and sophomore Connor McGuirk (Glens Falls, N.Y./Glens Falls) and first-year Jason Feinberg (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) also found the back of the net. Classmate Will Moriarty (Ashland, Mass./Catholic Memorial) controlled three ground balls, and first-year Justin Richmond (New Market, Md./Linganore) had seven faceoff victories and six ground balls.
Blois fed McGuirk at 8:48 of the opening quarter to counter a Heckman goal less than a minute prior, and scored off of Loughlin's pass with 2:54 to go and give Saint Michael's a 2-1 edge, but the Penmen scored the next five goals, and six of seven. Southern New Hampshire led 7-3 on Heckman's man-up tally at 13:09 of the third quarter.
Keyed by three extra-man markers, the Purple Knights scored the next five goals to go back in front. After Loughlin trimmed the deficit to three at 9:22, Wallace dished off on three consecutive markers, and four straight visitor goals in a matter of 4:09 capped the run to create an 8-7 cushion with 1:51 left in the stanza. Murphy scored twice in that stretch before Loughlin and Feinberg scored 53 seconds apart.
Heckman knotted the game on a man-up tally at 13:31 of the fourth, and Cairo gave his team a brief lead with 9:23 left before Ryan evened the game 1:53 later. Liu won the ensuing draw, and Hanley registered a save to keep the teams level, but the Purple Knights failed the clear try. After Hanley denied one Penman at 6:02, Cairo's follow-up attempt with 5:59 left put his team up for good. Saint Michael's lost the next faceoff before forcing a turnover, but an immediate giveaway put the ball back in the hosts' sticks, and Southern New Hampshire scored three insurance goals in a quick 1:19 stretch without ever giving up possession.
Saint Michael's hosts Assumption College, which is receiving votes toward the latest USILA national poll, on Saturday at 2 p.m.