St. Louis- Fontbonne University men's lacrosse took to Gay Field for the first time this season, with their home opener against Rockhurst University. Rockhurst, an NCAA Div. II program, is competing in their first varsity season. The Griffins fell in a 9-8 thriller and are now 0-2 on the 2014 season.
Senior Thomas Carroll kept the Griffins in the game, setting a new school record 24 saves. The previous record was set last year by Chad Meurer with 20 saves.
The Griffins got out to a dominating 4-0 start before Rockhurst netted two goals to end the first quarter. Carroll recorded the assist in the first goal. Rockhurst rebounded during the second quarter, scoring five goals and making Carroll work hard as he saved his quarter-high 10 saves. The Hawks scored four straight before the quarter ended, with three of those within the final 1:15. The Griffins posted one goal, giving Rockhurst a 7-5 halftime advantage.
Fontbonne's Brendan Friss scored his second goal of the game a little over a minute into the third quarter. In the following position, the Griffins shot wide six times and had one shot blocked before a penalty awarded Rockhurst a goal. After Rockhurst posted another goal, Griffin Joey Mirth scored just 18 seconds after his face-off attempt to cut the deficit 9-7, ending the third quarter.
Fontbonne was able to slip another goal past Rockhurst after the Hawks couldn't turn six shot attempts into a point on the board. Friss's third goal of the game, would be the final goal of the contest. The Griffins had two shot attempts in the last 38 seconds of the game. Ryan Cole's last-second tie chance was denied by Hawk goalkeeper Zach McGruff.
Carroll's attempts at giving the Griffins the advantage late in the game were nulled as Fontbonne struggled hitting the cage, shooting 16 of 34 attempts on goal.
McGruff averaged .500, saving eight of those 16 shots on goal.
Each team was 10 for 20 in faceoff attempts. Rockhurst edged Fontbonne in groundballs 21-17.
Friss tallied an additional five groundballs to go with his three goals. Mirth finished with two goals and five groundballs for Fontbonne.