NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University men's lacrosse downed Emmanuel College on Saturday afternoon in the GNAC Quarterfinals on their way to a 19-7 victory and an eighth straight trip to the conference semifinals.
Things looked like they might get out of hand quickly, as Norwich came right out and scored three goals in the first 2:02 of game time. The stalwart Saints of Emmanuel College would not be put down that easily, however, answering with a 3-0 run of their own to knot things up with goals by seniors Ben Hartig-Orr (Reading, Vt.), Matt Katon (East Falmouth, Mass.) and sophomore Joe Cuticelli (Madison, Conn.)
NU's Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) notched his first goal of the game to make it 4-3 Norwich at the first break.
The second and third quarter is where Norwich began to really distance themselves. They outscored Emmanuel 12-2 over the two quarters, effectively sealing the game up by the end of the third, and they'd cruise to the 19-7 victory.
After flirting with it all year, senior Joseph Santangelo (Fallston, Md.) put up his best performance of the year to break the single-game faceoff wins record. Santangelo went 27-29 in the circle, with one loss coming due to a false start faceoff violation and the other coming when the ball rolled out of bounds off the draw and was awarded to Emmanuel. He wasn't quite done with the record book, as his nine ground balls on the day gave him sole possession of the most ground balls in a single season, besting the old record of 99 with 104 so far this year. He's gone 68-78 in the last three games, a blistering 87.1% win rate.
Katon ended the day with three goals for the Saints, Hartig-Orr finished with two scores while freshman Colin Dickinson (Barre, Vt.) scored the other EC goal.
Junior Jack Anzalone (Ridgewood, N.J.) put up a new career-high with six points via five goals and an assist. He's totaled 11 points in the last week with eight goals. Cody Moore was characteristically around the goal all afternoon, scoring four goals with an assist for good measure. His 13 man-up goals on the year, helped by one more today, ranks him second across all of NCAA DIII. Payden Masaracchia (Enola, Pa.) put up his own four goals with an assist performance, and Kevin Horchak (Mullica Hill, N.J.) had two goals and two assists. Christian Williams (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) had eight ground balls as part of the faceoff unit, and the Norwich defense individually caused ten of Emmanuel's 14 turnovers on the day.
Nick Kandra (Crofton, Md.) made nine saves in goal to pick up the win and improve to 6-2 this year while Emmanuel sophomore Aric Graves (Manchester, Conn.) made 12 saves to end the year with a 3-12 mark in net.
Norwich will now advance to the GNAC Semifinals, where they'll square off with Johnson & Wales in a rematch of last year's championship game. JWU won the game and the conference title by a 9-5 score on Sabine Field last season.
*Release courtesy of Norwich University Athletic Communications