Men’s lacrosse tops Siena 18-13 for first season victory

Keenan Koswin scored a team-high five points Saturday in the River Hawks’ win against the Siena Saints Saturday afternoon. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)

Marlon Pitter
Connector Editor

The UMass Lowell men’s lacrosse team defeated the Siena Saints 18-13 to earn their first victory of the season Saturday afternoon at Cushing Field.

The River Hawks (1-2, 0-0 America East) set a new Division I program record with 18 goals scored in a single game, breaking their previous high of 12 against Wagner College in 2016.

“I liked our enthusiasm coming out, but I don’t think we capitalized on some opportunities in the first half,” said UMass Lowell head coach Ed Stephenson. “I was disappointed in the first half, but I really respect the fact that the guys gathered themselves in for the second half.

“Sometimes it takes a couple of guys to get the momentum going, and I thought our faceoff crew really got the momentum going in the second half. I think we got, probably, about four goals in the second half off our faceoff crew.”

UMass Lowell scored six unanswered goals to begin the fourth quarter and take a 16-9 lead with 8:44 left. The Saints (0-4, 0-0 MAAC) battled back with three goals over the next six minutes, but the River Hawks answered with two goals in the last two minutes of play to keep the comeback out of reach.

UMass Lowell’s Brandon Luitweiler scored the first goal of the game with 10:25 to play in the first quarter, but Mike Reilly answered with a goal for Siena five minutes later to tie the game at 1-1.

Siena took control of the second quarter, outscoring the River Hawks 5-3 in the period behind two goals by attacker Chris Robertson to take a 6-4 lead into halftime.

UMass Lowell reclaimed the lead about halfway through the third quarter on Tyrrell’s second goal of the game with 8:20 remaining to go up 7-6. The Saints scored twice after Tyrrell’s goal to take an 8-7 lead, but the River Hawks closed out the period with three more goals before Robertson scored for Siena to bring the score to 10-9 heading into the fourth quarter, where the hosts held on for the win.

In a balanced offensive showing, five River Hawks scored multiple goals against Siena – Sam Klingsporn, Austin Lane, Jon Phillips, Sean Tyrrell and Keenan Koswin.

Robertson scored a game-high seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in the contest for the Saints, while Koswin (3g, 2a) and Tyrrell (2g, 3a) led the way for UMass Lowell with five points each.

Sophomore goalkeeper Grant Lardieri made a career-high 19 saves on the afternoon for the River Hawks. His counterpart, Aaron Lewis, stopped 12 shots for Siena.

UMass Lowell won 23 of 33 faceoffs and collected 46 ground balls but gave up 17 turnovers. The Saints, meanwhile, went 4-of-6 on extra man opportunities.

“It was great to get that first win,” said Koswin. “I thought, offensively, we got the looks that we wanted; everyone was rolling. Defensively, we did a great job shutting them down. Just overall a great game for us.”

The River Hawks continue their 2017 campaign at home Tuesday when they host the Fairfield Stags. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

Marlon Pitter is a former editor-in-chief of the UMass Lowell Connector. Hailing from Hartford, Conn., he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in journalism and professional writing and a digital media minor in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @marlonpresents.

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