WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Regular season champion Eastern Connecticut State University moved a step closer to its fifth Little East Conference men's lacrosse tournament title in six years Thursday afternoon, eliminating fourth-seeded Plymouth State University, 14-7, in the semifinals at Thomas Nevers Field.
The top-seeded Warriors will host the championship game Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against defending champion and second-seeded Keene State College. The Owls earned a title game berth Thursday with a 10-7 victory over third-seeded UMass Boston.
Juniors Dave Carpenter (Redding, Conn.) and Kyle MacDonald (Hamden, Conn.) did much of the damage for the Warriors, Carpenter recording four goals and two assists and MacDonald three goals and three assists. Freshman Matthew Savage (Southington, Conn.) also scored three times for the winners, while sophomore Tyler Prescott (Norwalk, Conn.) and junior Chris Elrod (Riverside, Conn.) added two goals each.
Senior Jon Gagnon (New Bedford, Mass.) and junior Kyle McKay (Longmeadow, Mass.) scored two goals each to lead the Panthers, while sophomore Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H.) added a goal and an assist. Sophomore Tony Aguiar (Northboro, Mass.) and freshman Luke Metraw (Chelmsford, Mass.) also scored in the setback.
Eastern Conn. outscored the Panthers 4-1 in the first quarter and never looked back, extending its lead to 7-3 by halftime. PSU tallied three of the first four goals to open the third quarter, cutting the margin to 8-6 with 8:45 on the clock, but the Warriors allowed only one more goal the rest of the way while putting the Panthers away with six more goals.
ECSU finished with a 50-26 advantage in shots, and a 46-37 margin in ground balls. PSU junior goalie Steve Valeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) finished with 15 saves, while Eastern freshman Kyle Savage (Southington, Conn.) made 10 saves.
PSU ends its season at 8-9 overall, missing out on an ECAC New England Tournament berth after advancing to the championship game a year ago.
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