|Quinn Killeen||Michael Elefonte||Jalen Holmes|
|Shayne Fallon||Collin Purdy||Gordon Paul|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Scranton clinched a berth in the Landmark Conference men's lacrosse playoffs with an 11-7 victory at Catholic on Saturday afternoon. The Royals outscored the Cardinals 7-1 in the second half to secure their ninth consecutive postseason bid while moving into sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
Scranton (9-6, 4-0 Landmark) can lock up the top seed and home field advantage throughout the Landmark Conference playoffs with a win over Elizabethtown in its next game on Thursday at Weiss Field.
For the fourth time this spring, the Royals overcame a halftime deficit with a big second half to post a victory as Scranton scored eight of the final nine goals on Saturday to defeat Catholic (8-6, 4-1 Landmark).
Junior Quinn Killeen (Berkeley Heights, N.J./New Providence) and junior Michael Elefonte (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) had four points apiece to lead the Royals offensively against the Cardinals with Killeen netting a hat trick to go along with an assist while Elefonte scored twice and dished out a pair of assists.
Sophomore Jalen Holmes (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) also netted a pair of goals while classmate Shayne Fallon (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) made a game-high 11 saves to post his seventh win of the spring in Scranton's cage.
Sophomore Collin Purdy (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) went 14-of-22 on face-offs and led all players with eight groundballs. Elefonte picked up seven groundballs, junior Gordon Paul (Ocean, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) added five groundballs and two caused turnovers, while junior Brendan McGinn (West Chester, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) was credited with a pair of caused turnovers.
Catholic and Scranton went goal-for-goal in the first quarter of Saturday's matchup to end the period knotted at 3-3. The Cardinals scored three straight goals in the second stanza to open up a 6-3 advantage with 1:44 remaining before halftime, but Killeen netted a key goal for the Royals just 38 seconds before the break to cut Scranton's deficit to 6-4.
The third quarter belonged to the Royals as the visitors netted all four of the stanza's goals to take an 8-6 lead into the final 15 minutes of regulation. A man-up goal midway through the four quarter pushed Scranton's lead to 9-6 before Catholic netted their lone goal of the second half with 4:11 remaining to make it a two-goal game.
Scranton sealed the victory with a pair of goals in the final 3:05 of the contest.
Senior Tim Dolan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and junior Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St Peter's Prep) finished with a goal and an assist apiece while freshman Cole Lukasiewicz (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) and junior Joe Hill (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) also found twine for the Royals in the victory.
Catholic finished the afternoon with a 48-34 advantage in shots while Scranton won the groundball battle, 35-22. The Royals were efficient on clears, going 15-for-17, while the Cardinals went 14-for-19 on their clearances.
Scranton will host Elizabethtown on Thursday in a Landmark Conference tilt starting at 7 p.m. at Weiss Field.