Men's Lacrosse Conquers Norwich, 12-4

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Senior midfielder Christian Roberto (Wakefield, MA/Malden Catholic HS) scored four goals as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's lacrosse team defeated visiting Norwich, 12-4, in the 2012 season opener for both teams at Cressy Field Saturday.

The Corsairs struck first, with the opening goal of the 2012 campaign coming from sophomore midfielder Justin Lawless (Quincy, MA/Archbishop Williams HS) at the 10:26 mark of the first quarter. UMD added goals from Roberto and sophomore attacker Adam Niden (Walpole, MA/Walpole HS), taking a 3-0 lead after the first quarter of play.
Norwich attempted to cut into the Corsairs lead, sandwiching a pair of goals from sophomore attacker Patrick Tommins (Fairfield, CT/Fairfield Ludlowe HS) around a UMD goal. Tommins' first goal came at the 12:48 mark, and then UMD freshman attacker Connor Gaffney (Andover, MA/Andover HS) scored his first goal as a Corsair. Tommins tallied his second goal with 7:07 to play in the first half. Lawless then netted his second goal, as the teams went into the half with a 5-2 advantage for UMass Dartmouth.
The closest Norwich found themselves was within three goals during the contest. UMD continued their offensive surge in the third quarter, getting goals from Gaffney and Roberto, book ending a goal for Norwich from freshman attacker Seth Fuller (Wheaton, Ill/Wheaton Warrenville South). The Corsairs took a 7-3 lead going into the final period.
UMD exploded for five goals in the final frame. Roberto opened the scoring with his third goal at the 12:11 mark. Gaffney scored his third goal, off an assist from Niden, with 9:23 to play. Niden followed that with a goal less than twenty seconds later off a pass from behind the goal by Gaffney. The final tally for Norwich came at the 5:27 mark with a goal from sophomore midfielder Ian Mendoza (Mount Airy, MD/Urbana HS). Roberto and Lawless added the final two goals en route to a 12-4 victory for the Corsairs.
"Today, we did a lot of good things," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kevin Mahoney. "We attacked the cage aggressively. We did a good job scoring in transition, but other times we made some bad decisions and bad passes. We made a lot of physical and mental mistakes and we hope to clean that up on Monday. Our freshman stepped up today and played well. Connor Gaffney, [freshman midfield] Riley Baxter, and [freshman defender] Matt Niden (Walpole, MA/Walpole HS) did an excellent job. [Sophomore goalie] Nick Thayer (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) played unbelievable as always. We need to play much better in practice Monday and Tuesday and move forward for Wheaton. They are a talented team and they are going to be ready for us."
Roberto led the Corsairs offensively with four goals and two assists. Gaffney and Lawless each added three goals, while Gaffney had three assists. Niden added two goals and two assist in the win. For Norwich, Tommins had two goals, with Fuller and Mendoza each netting a goal. The Corsairs outshot the Cadets, 32-31, during the contest. Thayer made 13 stops for UMD, while sophomore goalkeeper Mark Paradiso (Westford, MA/Westford Academy) made 12 saves for Norwich.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 1-0 with the victory, while Norwich fell to 0-1 with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Wheaton Wednesday afternoon. The Cadets will visit Clarkson Wednesday.    

                                                   UMASS DARTMOUTH LACROSSE