MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Sacred Heart's chances at a spot in the first-ever Northeast Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament looked dim early on when Robert Morris raced out to a 6-0 lead before the Pioneers got on the board with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Colonial attack continued to click and SHU had no answer as it lost its fourth straight game, 27-11, in the season finale. This also marked the second straight "Patriot Game" victory for Robert Morris over Sacred Heart.
The loss closed the Pioneers season at 4-9 overall and 1-4 in the NEC after starting the season 3-2. The lone win in the last eight games was an 18-4 league win over Wagner. For RMU, the win propelled the Colonials into the playoffs and ended their regular season at 9-5 and 3-2.
On the way to an early six-goal lead, Robert Morris senior attack Corbyn Tao-Brambleby scored each of the first three goals, all within a 1:19 span, the third of which came on the man-down. After the Colonials went up six, Sacred Heart played them even for the rest of the first with goals by freshmen Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.), Tim Caton (East Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore Trevor Dauses (Glen Arm, Md.).
The second quarter started exactly like the first as red-shirt senior attack Patrick Smith scored three goals in a row in less than a minute and a half to open the frame. Trailing 16-3 late in the quarter, Mawdsley netted his second of the game and team-leading seventh man-up goal on an assist from junior attack Matt King (Brewster, N.Y.). Before the buzzer sounded on the first half, sophomore attack Eric Madigan (Ashburn, Va.) tallied a goal to go into the half down 19-5.
The Pioneers would get just one goal in the third quarter when freshman Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) found the back of the net only 1:03 into the half. SHU added five more goals in the fourth quarter, all coming against RMU back-up goalkeeper freshman Brian Bohn. Mawdsley finished the game with three goals, his seventh hat trick, and two assists. For the year, he led the Pioneers in goals and points with 28 and 38, respectively. Madigan posted his second hat trick of the season on three goals and an assist, while freshmen Cody Marquis (Londonderry, N.H.) and Alex Miller (Ridgewood, N.J.) each chipped in with a man-up goal.
In net, red-shirt sophomore Charles Ruppert started for Robert Morris made seven saves and allowed six goals. Bohn came up with two stops in relief. For Sacred Heart, senior Zach Frank (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) gave up 23 goals and made eight stops. Off the bench, freshmen Ryan Hughes (Bayport, N.Y.) and Kyle Cordaro (Worcester, Mass.) combined to stop five shots and allow four goals in nearly 24 minutes of play.