St. Joe’s closes the season with a 14-7 victory. 16 players hit the scoresheet to close out the 2021 NEC season and the top seed in the playoffs. The Wagner Seahawks (1-8, 1-6 NEC) visited scenic Sweeney field to try to break the St. Joseph’s Hawks (8-3, 8-0 NEC) 7 game winning streak.
Things were tight for a bit and Benjamin Stewart (3g) gave Wagner a lead at the 10:14 mark. The Matt and Matt show stepped up with Matt Bohmer (1a) setting up Matt Tufano (2g,2a) to even things up at the 5:58 mark. Nick Martini (2g) closed the first with Wagner up, 2-1.
It took all of :43 for Austin Strazzula (1g,1a) to even the score again. The trend would continue with Stephen Dwyer (1g,2a) for Wagner. It was matched by Matt Bohmer (1g,1a) nabbing his 27th to put it to 3-3. The complexion of the game would tilt the Hawks way when Shane Fable (1g), Ryan Doran (1g,2a), Freshman Carter Page getting his first of four (4g,1a), Cole Peters (1g) on the man down and Page bagging his second with just :03 on the clock to close the half with the Hawks in front. 8-3.
Tufano hitting his 13th pushed it to 9-3 before Stewart had a reply eight minutes later to get it a five-goal differential, 9-4. The Hawks took the hit and countered with tallies from Page getting his hat trick a grad student, Liam Hare (1g) with his second of the year that was assisted by Page to close the third with an 11-4 lead for the Hawks. Wagner would rally with three of the first four goals in the fourth started by Stephen Dwyer setting up Martini for his 4th of the season at 14:12. Tim Schmidt (1g,1a) would hit net 3:13 later to get it to 11-6. After Page hit his fourth, Stewart got his hat trick changing the score to 12-7.
“It was an opportunity that I have been looking forward to since stepping on the field with this team this fall,” said Page following the game. “It felt great to get in some action and feel out the game before heading into our NEC Championship pursuit. It was a great feeling to have things go my way on the scoresheet and do my part in helping the offensive unit have success, yet the work is long from over for us this season as we look forward to riding our highs into the postseason this coming week.”
Wil Vandegrift registered his first career assist off Ryan Kemp’s first of the season. Netminder, Jack Zullo fed Sal Fascarello (1g) who took off down the field to close the book on the 14-7 Hawks win. By virtue of having the best record in the Conference, St. Joe’s will host the NEC playoffs on Wednesday and will take on LIU in the first game at 1:00 pm.
By the Numbers
The Hawks had the edge in shots, 48-38, and shots on goal, 31-20. Wagner turned the ball over 22 times to only 13 for the hosts.
Ground balls tilted the St.Joe’s way, 37-32. Zach Cole, FoGo for St. Joseph’s went 13 of 16 from the “X” and scooped 12 ground balls. St. Joe’s closes the season with a 14-7 victory.