WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Fifteen players contributed to the scoring as the top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team moved into its fourth consecutive Little East Conference championship match with a 23-8 win over fourth-seeded Plymouth State University Thursday afternoon in the semifinal round at Thomas Nevers Field.
With its ninth straight win, Eastern (10-5) sets up a rematch of last year's title game with third-seeded Keene State College (10-5). The Owls eliminated second-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth 15-2 Thursday in the other semifinal. PSU completes the season with a 6-7 record.
Ranked seventh in New England, Eastern remained unbeaten in 30 conference matches over a four-year span and defeated Plymouth State for the 10th straight time. Eastern is the three-time defending playoff and four-time regular-season conference champion.
Junior Brian Hebron (Hicksville, Conn.) led the Warriors, improving his team-leading point total to 62 with five goals and two assists. Sophomore Rob Quamily (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) added three goals.
Sophomores Jon Gagnon (New Bedford, Mass.) and Bobby Dabrieo (Woburn, Mass.) and freshman Eric Oliver (Winchester, Mass.) scored two goals apiece for the Panthers, while junior Steve Skinner (Hingham, Mass.) and freshman Tim Vasconcellos (East Falmouth, Mass.) collected one goal each. Skinner and Gagnon finish the season tied for the team scoring lead with 37 points apiece; Skinner tallied 25 goals and 12 assists and Gagnon notched 28 goals and nine assists.
Eastern had a 63-22 advantage in shots, and all three Panther goalies saw action. Freshman Steve Valeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) played the first three quarters and made 16 saves, while sophomore Michael Rodrick (Plaistow, N.H.) followed with three saves and senior Tim McNamara (West Lebanon, N.H.) finished up the last four minutes.
(Courtesy of Eastern Conn. Sports Information)
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