Junior attackman Pete Carbonneau’s two-goal performance sparked the St. Thomas men’s lacrosse team’s 8-3 victory over the University of Minnesota Sunday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Tommies used the victory to bounce back from a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to St. John’s in Collegeville on Saturday that put an end to their perfect season and nine-game winning streak.
“It was a great win coming off of a bad loss yesterday,” junior goaltender Steven Bang said. “It was a great way to come back and fight, do what we need to do and just get back into it.”
The Tommies got out to a two-goal lead in the first quarter, but the Gophers rallied in the second to tie the game up 2-2 just before halftime.
After Minnesota’s senior midfielder Thomas Van Valkenberg was called for a 30-second slashing penalty, junior midfielder David Chlipala put in a big goal for St. Thomas to start the second half, and Minnesota would never regain the lead.
In the third quarter, Carbonneau provided a huge transition goal after sophomore midfielder Guiseppe Palermo made an acrobatic play to keep an errant ball in bounds.
St. Thomas capitalized off of Minnesota’s turnovers all game, turning ground balls into goals.
“That’s what we practice every day is riding hard and playing all four facets of the game,” coach Peter Moosbrugger said. “This is probably the best we’ve ridden all year, and it gave us more possessions and more opportunities to shoot.”
St. Thomas hit its stride late in the third quarter by adding three goals. Chlipala scored a second goal, and Palermo and junior attackman David Burke both added goals as well.
“I’d say we’re a really athletic team, and we usually do well when we’re on the run,” Carbonneau said. “We have a lot of great finishers on this team.”
Moosbrugger said he was unimpressed with the way his team played in the first half but was proud of how it turned the game around after halftime.
“Basically what we said (at halftime) was that we needed to start running our stuff but much more eloquently of course,” Moosbrugger said. “But we just weren’t running our systems, we were trying to force passes instead of making the easy passes and looking for open shots.
The Tommies (3-1 UMLL-Division II, 10-2 overall) have one game left on their schedule before playoffs begin. Carbonneau said the team wanted to use the game against Minnesota to prepare for a run at a third national championship.
“We knew that today was going to be a defining point in our season just because it was huge loss yesterday,” Carbonneau said.
Nick McAndrews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.