Speciale Nets a Hat Trick for Men’s Lacrosse

UNION, N.J. (4/9/15)Matt Speciale scored three times and nearly succeeded in completing a Kean comeback attempt, but the Cougars fell to Skyline Conference rival Stockton Univesity 12-9 on Wednesday night. Kean is now 3-1 in the conference and 8-6 overall, while the Ospreys improved to 9-4 and 2-2 in the league.

Anthony Carpenter started the game off strong, with two of Kean's three first-quarter goals. The second of those was especially nice. It started with a Maxwell Fields save that led directly to a Kean fast break. Carpetner's goal really could have had three or four assists, as the Cougars executed the rush to perfection with a flurry of precision passes. Tom Kelly had the final one to set up the score.

With two minutes to go in the first, Anthony Rybek set up Jeff Christiano for the go-ahead goal and the Cougars took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter.

But the Ospreys outscored Kean 3-1 in the second. They got goals from Andrew Clarkson, James O'Donnell and Mike Caposella in the period.

Christiano scored again with an assist from Eric Talbot to tie the game at four with 3:22 left in the first half, but Caposella's goal came with less than a minute to go in the period to give the Ospreys the lead at the break.

Stockton continued its momentum and outscored Kean 4-1 in the third. The Cougars were able to close the gap with four fourth quarter goals – three from Speciale – but ran out of time in the end.

Mike Cestaro (pictured left) provided a good spark and went 2-for-2 on a pair of late faceoffs for Kean. Anthony Perrotta and Speciale gobbled up six ground balls apiece without even taking faceoffs for Kean. Perrotta had four caused turnovers and Tyler Randolph had three.

Fields was busy in goal and recorded 17 saves on the night. Though the shot count was similar (39-33) for the two teams, Stockton had much more success putting the ball on net.

Caposella finished with four goals for the Ospreys.

The Cougars will have a week off before staging another rivalry game next Wednesday, April 22 at Montclair State University under the lights at 7 p.m.