04/30/2012 – The men's lacrosse team drew a tough draw in the first round of the CCLA playoffs, matching up with defending national champions #5 Davenport. Heading into the game, many experts expected an easy game for the Panthers, but the Saints had other plans for the afternoon.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, but had difficulty finding holes in the Saints' defense. An early second quarter goal by sophomore Mark Evans put Aquinas on the board and a goal by senior Ty Rosema kept the game close heading into halftime, with the Panthers up just 7-2.
Davenport seemed to gain control in the third with a three goal run, but a rip from the right side by freshman Zack Brancheau energized the Saints as they headed into the final stanza.
The Saints played the Panthers even in the fourth quarter, getting goals from Tim Hansen and Nate McCorry, both off of feeds from Brancheau. Aquinas was able to keep the Panthers defense on their heels the entire game and equaled their opponent in time of possession. Brancheau finished the day with one goal and two assists while McCorry scored once and added an assist in his final game as a Saint.
Defensively, the Saints' were able to slow down the Panthers vaunted offense allowing just 12 goals. Aquinas' strong defense, lead by senior James Burkhardt and junior Connor Sutton forced the Panthers into many uncharacteristic turnovers and frustrated Davenports star offenders all day long. Freshman goalie Jimmy Watt once again played strong in net, with 16 saves, and helped the Saints' beat a strong Panther ride to gain possession.
The Saints' finished the season with a 9-8 record after playing a very tough schedule. Seven opponents spent time in the CCLA D2 Top 25 this season, including the current #2, 5, 15, and 16 teams.