The Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team faced a tough task heading into the fourth period of its game against the Canisius Golden Griffs Saturday. What had been a one-goal Jaspers lead at halftime had turned completely upside down as Manhattan now sat inside a five-goal hole.
But as the Jaspers started to chip away at the Griffs’ lead in the fourth period, it seemed a comeback was in the cards. Yet Manhattan fell just short as a goal by Canisius’ Jeff Edwards with less than two minutes remaining helped the Griffs’ stave off Manhattan and pull out a 12-10 victory at Gaelic Park.
“I love my guys, they play their tails off and they don’t quit,” Manhattan head coach Drew Kelleher said. “I’ll tell you what, if we can start matching our execution with our energy, we’re going to be a tough out for anybody.”
The Jaspers entered the fourth period trailing 11-6 after a disappointing third period which saw Manhattan give up six unanswered goals. Defensively, the Jaspers struggled to create turnovers and get the ball back, while offensively the Jaspers did very little, attempting just four shots.
“I think it starts at the face off,” Kelleher said about the performance in the third period. “They kind of took control there, and then their defense actually got some kills. We just couldn’t get the ball and transition to offense very fluid.”
But what plagued the Jaspers in the third period disappeared in the fourth. It took Manhattan some time to start the comeback, but with nine minutes remaining, Matt Garvey picked up a goal that gave Manhattan some hope.
Just 16 seconds later, Parker Giarratana also found the back of the net, making the game 11-8. Garvey and Giarratana would take turns, each scoring once more, and with six minutes to play, the Jaspers found themselves down just 11-10.
Manhattan threatened to score several times down the stretch, forcing some saves from Canisius, but could not get the goal that would tie the game.
With less than two minutes to play, Edwards scored his huge insurance goal, helping seal the Griffs’ 12-10 victory.