By Robert Kells, Staff Writer
After dropping two straight games, the St. John Fisher men’s lacrosse team was eager for a chance to get its season back on track. The opportunity came on Saturday, April 1 at Growney Stadium against cross-town rival Nazareth College.
The teams combined efforts with Donate Life America for what was termed the “Donate Life Game” where a tent was located near the field offering attendees easy access to sign up to be an organ donor.
The Cardinals attackmen set the tone early, with the trio combining for the first two goals of the game. Senior Drew Brown buried the first goal just over a minute in, with fellow senior Nick Papayanakos finding the back of the net moments later. Both goals were assisted by junior TJ VanDeusen, and helped give Fisher major momentum in the early stages of the game. Fisher’s defense also helped contribute to the fast start, as they held Nazareth scoreless throughout the entire first period.
The second period saw Nazareth tally its first goal of the game before Fisher was able to score two more, with VanDeusen scoring on a great feed from junior Andrew Rosso. Rosso then scored unassisted to send the game into halftime with the Cardinals leading 4-1. Despite Nazareth’s multiple scoring chances, senior goalie Tanner Swan and the Fisher defense held strong, grounding the Flyer’s powerful offense.
The third quarter began with Nazareth’s offense finally coming to life. The Flyer’s scored the first two goals of the second half, bringing the score to 4-3. The momentum in the game was starting to shift in Nazareth’s favor. However, later In the third quarter, Rosso’s offensive talents were on full display. The junior scored back to back goals about a minute apart from each other. The goals came in a big moment of the game, as Fisher was able to go up 6-3, and give itself some breathing room before the fourth quarter.
Rosso continued his dominance in the fourth quarter, scoring again to push the lead to 7-3. He was too much to handle for Nazareth’s defense, finishing with 4 goals and 1 assist. Brown scored his second goal of the game minutes later, helping to increase the lead to 8-4. Sophomore Glenn Roschetzky then scored unassisted on an excellent take from the top of the field, making the game 9-4.
Despite the five goal deficit, Nazareth had not given up. The Flyers went on their own scoring run, bringing the score to 9-7. Nazareth looked poised to tie the game late in the stages of the fourth quarter as the team ate into the Cardinal lead.
Before the comeback could be completed, Fisher regained possession of the ball which led to senior attackman Papayanakos beating his defender behind the net and scoring to go up 10-7. Despite a late Nazareth goal, Papayanakos’s goal secured the victory for Fisher, winning with a final score of 10-8.
The win was a complete team effort, as Fisher needed everyone to step up in order to beat such a quality opponent. Swan finished the game with 16 saves, including 10 in the first half. The Fisher defense recorded ten takeaways led by senior Zakary Bussey with three. Rosso leads all goal scorers, tallying 20 goals through nine games.
St. John Fisher gets back in action on Tuesday, facing Union College from the Liberty League. The game is at Growney Stadium, with face off time slated for 4 p.m. Tuesday will see temperatures in the mid 60s, providing students with a great opportunity to enjoy the spring weather and support the Cardinals.
The very next day, the Cardinals will travel to Houghton College for in-conference action at 7 p.m.