Third quarter outburst carries Eastern over Western in men’s lacrosse, 12-9
DANBURY, CT (April, 23) — Trailing 6-5 at halftime, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team scored five unanswered goals to start the second half and never looked back taking a 12-9 victory over in-state and Little East Conference rival Western Connecticut State University Tuesday evening at the Westside Athletic Complex.
Scoring for Western were freshman John Foristall (Danbury, CT) with three goals, sophomore Anthony Nejame (Danbury, CT) with two goals, and freshman Nate Wilson (Norwich, CT) with two goals. Sophomore Nick Foley (Walpole, MA) and junior Ryan Foster (Ledyard, CT) each scored once for the Colonials.
Leading the scoring for Eastern were sophomore Zach Thresher (Somers, CT) with three goals, junior Mike Devine (Cheshire, CT) with two goals, junior Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH) with two goals, and junior Michael Jordan (Cheshire, CT) with two goals. Senior Kevin Fechtemann (Levittown, NY), junior Tyler Fesen (Newington, CT), and freshman Ryan Scott (Norwalk, CT) scored one goal each for the Warriors.
Western got off to a fast start in the first quarter when Nejame scored in the game's third minute. Eastern evened the score at 1-1 midway through the period on an unassisted goal by Devin, but then Western went on a 3-0 run to take a 4-1 lead. Eastern controlled the following faceoff however, and Morrissette trimmed the advantage to 4-2 just six seconds later. After one quarter of play, Western led Eastern 4-2.
Eastern dominated the scoring in the first half of the second quarter, taking a 5-4 lead on unassisted goals by Thresher and Jordan, and a goal by Scott. Western answered at the 7:52 mark of the second quarter to even the score and re-took the lead with two minutes remaining in the half on a goal by Foristall.
The first 10 minutes of the third quarter were the turning-point, as Eastern scored five unanswered goals to take a 10-6 lead. Morrissette got things rolling for the Warriors with just over two minutes played and Eastern scored a goal per minute for the next three minutes to push its advantage to 9-6. Just past the midway point of the third period, Devine scored an unassisted goal to increase the Eastern lead to 10-6. Foristall stopped the Eastern run with a goal at the 5:00 mark of the third, making the score 10-7 entering the fourth quarter.
The first nine minutes of the fourth quarter were dominated by defense and goaltending as neither team managed to find the net. Fresen scored with six minutes remaining to put Eastern up 11-7 and when Thresher recorded Eastern's final tally with under two minutes remaining the lead moved to 12-7. Goals by Foster and Wilson in the final minute narrowed the gap little, but Eastern's final margin of victory was 12-9.
For the game, Western held a 43-40 advantage in shots while Eastern had the edge in ground balls, 40-33. Western keeper Kevin Seery (East Lyme, CT) finished with 14 saves in goal for Western, but suffers the loss, while Eastern freshman Brendan Gillotti (Danbury, CT) made 19 saves to earn the victory.
With the loss, Western is now 8-7 on the season and 2-4 in the Little East Conference, while Eastern improves to 7-7, 5-1 in the LEC. The Colonials return to action on Saturday, April 27th, when they hosts Little East Conference rival Keene State at the WAC. Game time is slated for 3:00pm.