Manhattan men’s lacrosse secured a share of the 2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship with a 6-2 win over Wagner in Staten Island on Saturday night in the regular season finale.
The Jaspers, who share the regular season championship with Mount St. Mary’s, beat the Mountaineers during the season, so they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. That gives the MAAC title.
Manhattan (10-4, 7-2 MAAC) never trailed and led 3-0 at the half en route to the win over Wagner. The two goals equal a program record for the fewest goals allowed in a single game. It is the seventh time in program history that the Jaspers have allowed only two goals in a game.
Another milestone hit on Saturday was Liam Walshe surpassing 100 career points with his first of two goals on the night. Walshe is the second Jasper this season, joining Kyle Gucwa, to reach 100 career points.
Walshe’s first of the night came 40 seconds after Kelly DuPree opened the scoring with 7:50 to play in the opening quarter. Walshe added his second of the game with just under two minutes to play before halftime.
DuPree added his second before Wagner (3-11, 2-7) got on the board in the third. The Seahawks did make it 4-2 on a goal from CJ Sweitzer with 12 minutes to play in the game.
Quinn Bowler restored the Jaspers’ three-goal lead a minute later before Dan MacKinney finished the scoring with 2:20 remaining in the fourth.
Defensively, the Jaspers limited the Seahawks to only five shots on goal in the first half. Joseph Persico stopped all five. Wagner only got 10 shots on goal over the entire game.
Liam McDonough did his part to limit Wagner’s offensive possessions. The graduate student went 10-11 on faceoffs.
Manhattan returns to action in the semifinals of the MAAC Championship on May 4 at Gaelic Park. Time and opponent are to be determined.
After sharing the MAAC regular season title, Manhattan head coach John Odierna was MAAC Coach of the Year, and five Jaspers earned All-MAAC honors.
The five All-MAAC honorees are Kyle Gucwa at attack, Christian Clifford on defense, and Joseph Persico in goal — all made first team. Tadhg O’Riordan, short-stick defensive midfielder, earned second-team honors, and Liam Peabody was named to the MAAC All-Rookie team.
Odierna collects MAAC Coach of the Year honors in his first season leading the Jaspers after being promoted from associate head coach last summer. Odierna is Manhattan’s second coach to receive that honor in the last three seasons. Drew Kelleher won the award in 2021.
For Gucwa, it is the second straight year the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, native is a first-team selection. Clifford moves up to the first team this season after earning second-team honors in 2022. It is O’Riordan’s, Persico’s, and Peabody’s first career All-MAAC honor.
Gucwa led the Jaspers in goals (24), assists (25), and points (49) this season. The senior has also registered a point in 44 straight games. Gucwa recorded four hat tricks this season and had five assists in the Jaspers’ win against LIU.
Clifford and Persico were part of a defensive unit that allowed the fewest goals in the MAAC (109). Clifford collected 25 groundballs and caused 13 turnovers individually. Clifford had a season-best four groundballs in a win at Quinnipiac. In goal, Persico finished the regular season leading the MAAC in GAA (7.79) and save percentage (.582). Persico was a two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week winner.
O’Riordan scored six goals and tallied one assist from the midfield for the Jaspers. The graduate student also collected 24 groundballs, and 10 caused turnovers. The short-stick defensive midfielder scored twice, including the game-winner at Navy.
Peabody recorded three goals and six assists for the Jaspers. The first-year Jasper had three points at Quinnipiac and multiple points against LIU and Siena. The Jaspers have had an all-rookie selection in the second straight season.