WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team dropped its second straight game with a 14-8 decision at in-state rival Hartford, Wednesday afternoon. The Pioneers fell to 3-4 overall, while the Hawks improved to 5-3.
For SHU, who defeated Hartford 7-6 in overtime last season at Campus Field, it was the first road loss of the season.
The Hawks dominated the first quarter as they raced out to a 4-1 lead before the first break. Junior midfielder Martin Bowes scored twice in the period for Hartford. Trailing 4-1, freshman attack Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) notched the first goal of the game for the Pioneers.
The two teams played an even second quarter and the Hawks took a 6-3 lead into halftime. Junior midfielders Chris Casey (Duxbury, Mass.) and Matt Ferrino (Orchard Park, N.Y.) each scored for SHU in the frame.
Dodds recorded his second of the game, the second straight contest that he has scored twice, 2:08 into the third quarter to bring SHU within two, the closest it would get in the game. Hartford would answer back less than two minutes later with a tally from junior attack Ryan Compitello. With only eight seconds left in the third, freshman attack Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.) netted a man-up score to end a 3-0 run by the Hawks' and cut the lead to 9-5.
Hartford went up 10-5 early in the fourth on junior midfielder Carter Bender's third goal of the game. Bender finished with a game-high four goals for the afternoon. The Pioneers responded when junior attack Matt King (Brewster, N.Y.) posted a man-up score at the 9:44 mark. The Hawks lifted the lead to 12-6 with goals by Bender and sophomore midfielder Jared Franze before SHU made one last rush with goals from Mawdsley and Ferrino only 23 secons apart, within the final four and a half minutes.
The game was put out of reach by Hartford with sophomore attack Rory Nunamacher recording his third and Compitello his second.
For the game, the Hawks outshot the Pioneers 44-29 and dominated the face-off circle, winning 19 of 24 draws. Hartford also held a 37-26 advantage in groundballs.
Sophomore Frank Piechota, who earned the start, and junior Scott Bement each took a half in net for the Hawks. Piechota allowed three goals and made two saves, while Bement stopped five and allowed five in. Senior goalie Zach Frank (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) made 14 saves in the loss for Sacred Heart.
For the Pioneers, sophomore attack Bryan Badolato (West Islip, N.Y.) collected two assists to lift his team-leading season total to 24 points, including 10 assists. King added two assists to go with his man-up score.
Sacred Heart returns to action this Saturday with a visit to St. John's at 1:00 pm.