DANBURY, Conn. - Freshman Wes Downing (Glastonbury, Conn.) and senior Kyle McKay (Longmeadow, Mass.) scored two goals apiece Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University defeated Western Connecticut State University, 6-4, in the Little East Conference men's lacrosse opener for both schools at the Westside Athletic Complex.
Senior Steve Valeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) was outstanding in the Panther goal, registering 23 saves in the win after holding the Colonials to just one goal in the middle two periods.
Junior Ron Pac (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored the only goal of the first period to give WestConn the 1-0 lead, but PSU answered with the only three goals of the second quarter, coming off the sticks of McKay, Downing and sophomore Dave Mokos (Londonderry, N.H.). The Colonials out shot the Panthers 27-11 in the first half but Valeri made 14 saves to limit the home team to one goal.
Downing added his second goal early in the third quarter and PSU maintained a 4-1 advantage the next eight minutes. WestConn sophomore Michael Nazzaro (Trumbull, Conn.) and PSU junior Tony Aguiar (Northborough, Mass.) traded goals late in the frame to make it 5-2 after three.
Senior John Stashenko (Norwalk, Conn.) pulled the Colonials back to within two goals with 12 minutes to play in the game, but McKay's second of the game with 5:35 to go all but sealed the win for the Panthers. Freshman A.J. Barbieri (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) finished out the scoring for Western with 21 seconds remaining.
Senior Nick Duffy (Peterborough, N.H.) led the Panthers with five ground balls, while sophomore Terry Stroz (Monroe, Conn.) picked up six ground balls for the Colonials.
WestConn., 3-3 overall, travels to Nichols College on Sunday (7:00 p.m.) Plymouth State, 3-2, returns home for an LEC contest Wednesday at Panther Field against Southern Maine (4:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of WestConn Sports Information)
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