May 5, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's lacrosse team lost to visiting Eastern Connecticut State, 14-8, in a Little East Conference semi-final playoff game at Cressy Field Thursday evening.
With his team trailing, 1-0, after the first quarter, Corsairs junior attacker Nick Brett (Loudon, NH/Merrimack Valley HS) evened the game with a goal at the 12:45 mark of the second quarter. The Warriors answered back in less than a minute with a goal from junior attacker Mike Sullinger (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield HS). With 4:59 left in the half, the Corsairs pulled even again at 3-3 behind goals from Brett and junior midfielder Christian Roberto (Wakefield, MA/Malden Catholic HS). Warriors' freshman attacker Tyler Fresen (Newington, CT/Newington HS) scored with 2:29 on the clock, giving ECSU the 4-3 lead going into halftime.
Less than a minute into the second half, senior attacker Josh Arsenault (Revere, MA/Malden Catholic HS) tied the game at 4-4. After goals by Fresen and Sullinger, Arsenault scored his second of the day, making the score 6-5 with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors scored five consecutive goals over the final ten minutes of the third quarter, increasing their lead to 11-5 entering the fourth quarter. ECSU added two more goals in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. The Corsairs pulled to within 13-7 behind a goal from Roberto with 8:39 to play, but never could overcome the offensive surge by the Warriors, resulting in the 14-8 final.
Brett, Arsenault, Roberto and senior midfielder Stephen Espinola (Groton, MA/Groton-Dunstable HS) did all the scoring for UMD with two goals apiece. Nine different players scored for Eastern Connecticut during the contest. Sullinger and freshman midfielder Mike Devine (Chesire, CT/Chesire HS) led the Warriors with three goals each while Fresen added two in the win.
"We played very well in the first half," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kevin Mahoney. "(Eastern Connecticut) did a great job in the third quarter. (Warriors senior midfielder) Eric Vasil (Southington, CT/Southington HS) dominated us in the face-off today. They did a good job of taking away our weapons. They had the ball all of the second half and you can't score if you don't have the ball. Whenever we did get opportunities to make something happen, their goalie stepped up. We had a real positive season, we had the team record for wins in a season, and we had a lot of good things moving forward. I'm excited about the future."
The Warriors outshot the Corsairs, 40-35. Freshman goalkeeper Nick Thayer (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) made 15 saves for UMD. Eastern Connecticut sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA/Tewksbury HS) stopped 13 shots for the Warriors. UMass Dartmouth finished the season with a 13-4 record, while Eastern Connecticut improved to 12-5 with the victory. The Warriors will return to action when they travel to Keene State in the Little East Conference championship game Saturday. The game marked the final action of the season for UMass Dartmouth. UMASS DARTMOUTH LACROSSE