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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team scored early and often on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats honored their senior class members in the best way possible with a 15-10 win over Air Force Academy on Senior Day at the QU Lacrosse Turf Field. Gill Conners (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) had 18 saves in net, and Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) led the attack with a season-high six points in the win.
Quinnipiac's senior goalkeeper was the story of the game, as Conners put together his best performance of the season. He stopped 18 of the 28 shots he faced, producing a .643 save percentage in his 12th career win. Conners registered five saves in the first quarter, two in the second, five in the third and a game-high six in the fourth. He upped his career total to 366 which stands just three saves out of fourth place all-time at Quinnipiac.
Quinnipiac coupled its stingy defense was a potent attack, spearheaded by Matt Diehl. He scored four goals and assisted on two others, marking season-highs in points, goals and matching a season-high in assists. Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ontario) registered his second straight hat trick with three goals and an assist, while five others totaled multipoint games.
Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) finished with two goals, and Tom McNaney (Marcellus, N.Y.), Kevin Diehl (Towson, Md.), Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.) and Carmen French (Baltimore, Md.) each had a goal and an assist. It was a career-high for Diehl while Sagl extended his point streak to 33 straight games.
Similar to last weekend against Siena, Quinnipiac jumped out to an early lead behind five first-quarter goals. Henry Graves (Stamford, Conn.), Matt Diehl, Matt Kycia (West Harford, Conn.), Webster, and Keenan all scored in the opening frame, as the Bobcats earned a 5-2 advantage after 15 minutes of play.
Matt Diehl tacked on one more early in the second quarter before Air Force grabbed some momentum after a goal from Austin Smith. The Falcons scored four unanswered to tie the game at six apiece with four minutes remaining in the first half. However, Quinnipiac would settle back down.
Matt Diehl and Sagl each scored before the halftime whistle, and Quinnipiac scored five of the game's next six goals in the third quarter. Matt Diehl, French, Keenan, Webster, and McNaney all scored in the frame, leaving a 13-7 advantage for the hosting Bobcats.
Quinnipiac turned to its defense, led by 2013 Northeast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Gill Conners. Air Force used a quick burst to cut the deficit in half, but Conners disallowed the comeback with six saves in the fourth quarter. Keenan and Kevin Diehl capped off the scoring summary with back-to-back goals in the final minute of play.
It was a solid all-around game for the Bobcats, faring well in several statistical categories. Quinnipiac won the faceoff circle (16-13) and kept the turnover margin relatively close (-3). Freshman Zach Vehar (Hudson, Ohio) was the catalyst at the X, going 14-of-24 in the game. He upped his average to .535 for the season – serving as the 31st best percentage in the nation.
For Quinnipiac, the non-conference win was a tremendous boost and snapped a four-game skid. The field for the MAAC Tournament will be set after tonight's games. With eight possible outcomes on Saturday, there are eight different scenarios remaining. Five outcomes have Quinnipiac in the playoffs, whereas three others have the Bobcats on the outside looking in.
Eight Quinnipiac players suited up in white and gold for the last time on Mount Carmel Campus. Conners, Leo Horine (Dublin, Ohio), Tom Gilligan (Brookfield, Conn.), Brandon Kuring (New Milford, Conn.), Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario), Chris McMahon (Providence, R.I.), J.B. Marston (Duxbury, Mass.) and Henry Graves (Stamford, Conn.) were all honored before the game for the hard work and dedication to the program.
Air Force (8-5) had already clinched a spot in the ECAC Tournament. The Falcons were led by Kyle Cassady who had three goals and three assists. Goalkeepers Brett Dadiego and Doug Gouchoe combined to make 10 saves in the game.
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