VILLANOVA, Pa. - Despite holding a one-goal lead with 10 minutes to play, the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team was defeated by Drexel, 10-7, as the Dragons scored four unanswered goals in the inaugural Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic at Villanova Stadium on Friday evening. With the loss, the Hawks even up at 3-3 while the Dragons improve to 2-3.

Seven different Hawks scored while sophomore midfielder Nick Vernacchio (1g, 1a) and sophomore attackman Nate Patterson (2a) recorded two points apiece.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Adler (3-3) was the standout of the night, making 10 saves in the full-game effort.

Saint Joseph's and Drexel put up three goals apiece in the first quarter; Vernacchio opened the scoring (13:51) before assisting on freshman midfielder Zach Mantei's score just 43 seconds later (13:08). Drexel responded with back-to-back scores (11:59, 11:22) before sophomore midfielder Evan Campbell added an unassisted goal (6:23) for the go-ahead. The Dragons equalized on an EMO to close the quarter, 3-3.

Sophomore midfielder Teo Domic opened the second quarter with an man-up goal, assisted by Patterson (11:38), but Drexel scored on an EMO (6:48) and added another just 65 seconds later (5:43) for its first lead of the game.

However, sophomore short stick defensive midfielder Jack Anderson (4:41) and senior midfielder Thomas LaRose (3:28), assisted by sophomore midfielder Austin Strazzulla, each put away their second collegiate goals to send the Hawks up by one, 6-5, entering the halftime break.

Drexel scored the only goal of the third quarter, as Matthew Varian's goal at the 13:16 mark served as the equalizer for the Dragons. Adler came up big in the third, making four saves on five shots on goal, to lead the Hawks into the fourth quarter tied with Drexel, 6-6.

Saint Joseph's rookie attackman Ryan Doran, who added a team-high five ground balls in a gritty performance, hit the back of the net early in the fourth quarter, assisted by Patterson (14:33), to give the Hawks a 7-6 edge and the offensive momentum heading into the final frame.

Drexel, however, did a strong job in taking care of the ball and stood tall on the defensive end while firing off four in a row (9:55, 9:01, 6:30, 5:52) for the come-from-behind win.

Saint Joseph's freshman face-off specialist Zach Cole, who went 13-for-24 from the X against the experienced Jimmeh Koita, did his job in the fourth, winning six of eight opportunities. However, the Hawks turned the ball over six times in that final 15 minutes.

For the game, Drexel earned a 35-31 edge in shots and a 30-27 advantage in ground balls. Despite six face-off violations from the X, the Dragons still won 11 of the game's 24 possessions from the X and held the Crimson and Gray to a 1-of-6 showing in EMOs.

Saint Joseph's remains in Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic action this Sunday, March 10 against Penn. Opening face-off at Drexel's Vidas Field is set for 2:30 p.m.

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