The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team used a dominant second-half performance, particularly on defense, to post an 8-4 victory over Goucher in the Landmark Conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.
The Royals (4-2, 1-0 Landmark) trailed at halftime, 3-2, but outscored the Gophers (3-6, 0-1 Landmark) 6-1 in the second half, including 2-0 in the all-important fourth period.
Freshman attackman Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) led Scranton with three goals while senior attackmen Jake Haimson (Montville, N.J./Montville) and John Sheridan (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) had two goals each. Junior attackman Matt Carfaro (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) continued his strong play with a goal and four assists.
After trailing at halftime, Sheridan and Carfaro combined to give the Royals the lead early in the third period. Sheridan scored back-to-back goals 49 seconds apart, both on assists from Carfaro, for a 4-3 lead with 9:34 left in the period. Kirkwood scored a minute later and Carfaro tallied with five minutes left in the period to complete a four-goal run for a 6-3 lead.
Goucher scored with 3:55 left in the third, but the Royals pitched a shutout over the final 18:55. Senior goalkeeper Alex Malecki (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) finished with seven saves, six of which came in the second half.
Junior faceoff man Adam Drury (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) won 10 of 12 faceoffs to help the Royals control possession. Junior midfielder Conor Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Chaminade) had a team-high five ground balls and sophomore defenseman Kasey Carroll (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) added four. They both also had two turnovers apiece to lead the team.
On offense, the Royals also received assists from junior midfielder Brendan McLaughlin (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), freshman midfielder Michael Elefonte (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) and sophomore attackman Casey Green (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius).
Scranton held a 39-19 edge in shots and 31-28 in ground balls. The Royals also forced 13 turnovers while committing 11 and were a perfect 13-for-13 on clear attempts.
The Royals will be back in action on Tuesday, March 28, when they host SUNY Potsdam in a non-conference matchup at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.