HPU men’s lacrosse surges past St. John’s in second half, wins 15-6

• High Point posted an 8-0 run through the third period including a 1:16 stretch that included four goals.
• Senior Michael LeClair tallied a season-high three assists to go with one goal to extend his scoring streak to 45 games – the second-longest streak in the nation.
• Junior Connor Robinson recorded HPU’s first hat trick of the season while freshman Colin Zimmerman netted the first two goals of his career.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – After a slow start, the High Point University men’s lacrosse team used a 9-0 second-half run to earn a 15-6 victory over Saint John’s on Saturday in Vert Stadium.

The Red Storm (0-3) jumped on the Panthers (2-2) early building a 4-1 lead through the first quarter and led 5-4 at the half. However, the Purple & White outscored their visitors 8-0 in the third including a four-goal-in-76-second spurt to take a commanding lead.

Despite a 45-minute delay in the fourth quarter, the Purple & White were able to close out the 15-6 triumph. The victory extends HPU’s home winning streak to eight games.

“Saint John’s is a really good team that is well coached and they competed hard today as they always do,” head coach Jon Torpey said. “I’m really happy with our effort, especially in the second half. We did some good things in the first half, but we weren’t consistent, so it was nice to see that consistency carry us the second half.”

Pacing the offense, senior Michael LeClair racked up a season-high three assists to go with a goal to extend his scoring streak to 45 games. Meanwhile, junior Connor Robinson led the squad with three goals on the day.

On the defensive end, sophomore Tim Troutner Jr. racked up nine saves, five ground balls and a caused turnover while freshman Griffin Basile registered the first save of his career.

Likewise, senior Tanner Landstra racked up a career-high four caused turnovers as freshman Luke Cappetto forced three and sophomore Griff Caligiuri caused two. Overall, nine Panthers combined to force 15 Red Storm miscues.

HPU’s offensive youth was apparent as five Panthers tallied their first career goals with freshmen Colin Zimmerman (2g), Mitchel Snyder and Ricky Koehler and sophomores Peyton Bozel and Griff Caligiuri all scoring. Similarly, senior Cole Carns scored his first goal since 2015 after missing 2016 due to injury.

Meanwhile, juniors Jason Ashwood (1g, 1a) and Chris Young (1g, 1a) and Snyder (1g, 1a) each registered two points. Senior Sean Harrison accounted for the team’s other goal.

Every High Point student-athlete who dressed appeared in the contest.

At the face-off dot, Saint John’s garnered a 15-9 edge as Young (5-11), freshman Davis Sampere (2-5) and sophomore Brandon Savoie (2-8) rotated in. The visitors also earned a 33-31 margin on the ground despite four from Robinson, three for LeClair and two from freshman Nick Walsh and senior Mick Horrocks.

The Red Storm vaulted out to a 4-1 lead through the first quarter thanks in large part to five saves from Daniel Costa in the cage. Only Koehler was able to beat the keeper in the opening frame netting a transition goal.

However, in the second period the Panthers were able to control possession as Zimmerman scored off an assist from LeClair. Carns, then, beat his man with a dodge from the left of the cage to pull HPU within one with 5:26 until the half.

Just over a minute later, Harrison stepped in on a feed from Ashwood and unleashed a rocket past Costa to even the score with 3:57 left in the second. The Red Storm answered in the final minute, though, to enter halftime clinging to a 5-4 advantage.

Two and a half minutes into the second half, the Purple & White unleashed a flurry on the Saint John’s.

Ashwood tied the game at 5-5 with 12:38 left in the third. Then, Robinson sandwiched goals around Caligiuri’s as HPU notched four goals in 1:16 to build an 8-5 advantage.

From there, the Panthers received goals from LeClair, Young, Robinson and Zimmerman to close the quarter with a 12-5 edge.

In the final period, Bozel dodged his way in for a goal at the 10:38 mark before lightning delayed the contest with 6:54 to play.

After the delay, Snyder and Sheekey sandwiched goals around a tally for the Red Storm to provide the 15-6 final score.

The Purple & White hit the road on Wednesday to take on No.7 Virginia at 7:00 p.m. in Klöckner Stadium where HPU won 12-11 in overtime last spring.