DETROIT - Three players recorded hat tricks and finished with a game-high four points as Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team handled Detroit-Mercy, 13-8, Sunday afternoon at Titan Field. Christian Haggerty (West Nyack, N.Y.), Peter McNichols (Norwalk, Conn.) and Jack Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) all found the back of the net three times, while each also assisted on another goal to lead the Bobcats to their second straight win. Quinnipiac is now 2-1 this season after back-to-back wins against Wagner and Detroit. The Titans remain winless this season, dropping to 0-3.
Oppenheimer led a Quinnipiac attack that launched 26 shots on goal in the game. The junior finished the game with seven shots on target, while McNichols and Haggerty were not far behind, firing four shots on goal each. Haggerty now has eight points in his last two games and a team-best nine this season, after also scoring three times and recoding four points against Wagner on Thursday.
Junior goalkeeper Kevin Benzing (Severna Park, Md.) turned aside eight shots in earning his second win of the season. His counterpart in the Titans' A.J. Levell turned aside 13 shots in the game, while allowing all 13 Quinnipiac goals in 60 minutes of play.
After Tim Lehto recorded the game's opening tally four minutes in, Quinnipiac scored five unanswered goals to take the commanding 5-1 lead midway through the second quarter. Haggerty scored the Bobcats' first of the game with Oppenheimer assisting on the goal. Oppenheimer scored just under two minutes later for his first of the game, followed by McNichols' first just 15 seconds into the second period.
Haggerty's third of the game came with 6:46 remaining in the first half and gave the Bobcats a 6-2 lead at the break.
Oppenheimer, McNichols and sophomore Zach Pall (Setauket, N.Y) all scored to start the second half and give Quinnipiac the 9-2 lead. Two man-up goals by Detroit's Scott Harris and Joel Matthews pulled the Titans to within five, 9-4, before McNichols answered with his third of the game, coming with the man-up opportunity and 5:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Senior Todd Kaiser (Summit, N.J.) scored his second of the season with four minutes remaining in the third quarter before Detroit scored three straight goals over the course of the next seven minutes of play.
Down a man following a Chris Coppolechia (Somers, N.Y.) slashing penalty, Oppenheimer scored his third of the game and sixth of the season with 10:22 remaining in the game. An Alex DeAlmeida (Point Pleasant, N.J.) goal all but sealed the victory a minute later as the Bobcats held off the Titans in the final 10 minutes for the 13-8 win.
For the game, the Bobcats won 14 of the 24 face-offs, while picking up 36 ground balls to Detroit's 34. Benzing held off the Titans late, making four saves in the final quarter, while Levell did not record any of his 13 saves in the final frame. Quinnipiac was 2-for-10 with the man-up opportunity, while Detroit was 2-for-9 in the game with the extra player.
The Bobcats return home to take on the Providence Friars on Saturday, Mar. 13 at the Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. The teams are set to faceoff at 1 p.m.