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May 3, 2005

UMass Boston upsets Plymouth State in Little East Men’s Lax Tournament

PLYMOUTH, N.H.

- Junior Pat Donlan (Norwell, Mass.) scored one goal and assisted on three others Tuesday afternoon as fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston upset fourth-seeded Plymouth State University, 6-5, in the opening round of the Little East Conference men's lacrosse tournament at PSU's Panther Field.

            Sophomore Nicholi Sullo (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) added two goals and an assist to the Beacons attack, helping UMB avenge an 8-6 loss to the Panthers during the regular season.  UMB improves to 10-5 overall, and advances to an LEC semifinal game Thursday at top-seeded and regular-season champion Keene State (3:30 p.m.).  PSU had its five-game winning streak snapped, falling to 7-7, and hopes for an ECAC New England Tournament berth when the field is announced next Monday.

            It was a close game the entire way, with five ties and neither team ever leading by more than a goal.  Junior Bobby Dabrieo (Woburn, Mass.) scored twice for PSU in the opener quarter, but sophomore Ryan O'Rourke (Milton, Mass.) answered the first one for the Beacons and Sullo made it 2-2 at the end of the first period.  PSU junior Jon Gagnon (New Bedford, Mass.) scored the only goal of the second quarter at the 5:02 mark to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead at the intermission.

            Sullo and Donlan combined on the only two goals of the third period for UMB, Donlan setting up Sullo at 11:15, and Sullo assisting Donlan with 3:02 on the clock, to put the Beacons up by one goal, 4-3.

            Gagnon set up Dabrieo for PSU to tie the game at 4-4 early in the fourth quarter, but UMB regained the lead (5-4) just 23 seconds later on a score by sophomore Matt Ficarra (Syracuse, N.Y.).  Freshman Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H.) again pulled PSU even, 5-5, with 10:51 on the clock, but sophomore Rob Thayer (West Tisbury, Mass.), who transferred to UMB from PSU, scored the eventual game-winner, assisted by Donlan, with 6:22 remaining.

            Sophomore Nick Eaton (Rowley, Mass.) made 12 saves to earn the win in the Beacons goal, while sophomore Steve Valeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) made 14 saves for PSU.

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