SPARKILL, N.Y. – St. Thomas Aquinas College tallied the game's final 10 goals and claimed a 15-3 non-conference men's lacrosse victory over visiting Felician University on Wednesday afternoon at Spartan Field.
Felician freshman Jose McLean-Byrd (Bronx, N.Y.) was 14 for 21 on faceoffs and matched his own school record with 10 ground balls. But the Golden Falcons struggled to maintain the possessions he obtained, committing a season-high 30 turnovers as compared to taking 23 shots.
Junior Anthony Irizarry (Washingtonville, N.Y.) registered three goals and two assists and classmate Tyler Senatore (West Haverstraw, N.Y.) also scored three times for St. Thomas Aquinas (2-2). Sophomore James D'Albora (Staten Island, N.Y.) had two goals for Felician.
The game was scoreless for the first 11 minutes of action. Irizarry broke through with 3:55 left in the first quarter, then assisted on Senatore's marker at 2:40. STAC senior Kevin Alvora (Harrison, N.Y.) found the cage with just 0:20 left in the first, and the hosts exited the quarter ahead, 3-0.
Before four minutes had elapsed in the second quarter, the Spartans had pushed their advantage to 5-0. The Golden Falcon defense stiffened, however, and STAC did not score again before halftime. D'Albora put Felician on the scoreboard with 6:50 to play, then tallied again at 1:52 to allow Felician to trail by only three at halftime.
Felician junior Evan Turner (Rockaway, N.J.) scored with a man advantage early in the third quarter. But by the 10-minute mark of the third, STAC led, 7-3. It was 8-3 at period's end, and the Spartans out-scored Felician, 7-0, in the fourth, scoring on 7 of 9 shots in the quarter.
Spartan goalkeeper Ryan Mello (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) earned the victory with eight saves in 53 minutes. He also picked up four ground balls. His counterpart for Felician, Pat Hemmer (Staten Island, N.Y.), logged 55 minutes and stopped 10 shots.
The Golden Falcons (0-5) play their home opener on Mar. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Lyndhurst, N.J., in a make-up game against the University of the District of Columbia.