PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Wes Downing (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored his second goal of the game with 34 seconds left in the second overtime Saturday afternoon to give top-seeded Plymouth State University a dramatic 7-6 victory over fourth-seeded Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the first semifinal of the ECAC Division III New England Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Panther Field.
The victory sends Plymouth State, 10-6, into the championship game against second-seeded Roger Williams University Sunday at Panther Field (12:00 p.m.). The Hawks, 8-6, advanced to the title game with a 14-12 victory over third-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the second semifinal at Panther Field.
All of the goals in the PSU-MIT game came in pairs until the game-winner. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead, and Engineers evened the game at 2-2. PSU pulled ahead 4-2, and again MIT tied it up, 4-4. The Engineers pulled ahead 6-4 with a couple goals late in the second quarter, but this time the Panthers came back, scoring the only two goals of the third to deadlock the score at 6-6 at the end of three quarters.
The defenses took over, as neither team was able to score in the fourth quarter or the first four-minute overtime. It appeared the game was headed to a third extra session when Downing took a pass from freshman Matt Johansmeyer (Shelburne Falls, Mass.), turned and fired the game-winner for the home team.
Downing and junior John Cogswell (Jefferson, Mass.) finished with two goals apiece for PSU, and junior Dan Maiorana (Walpole, Mass.), sophomore Jordan Buzzell (Bath, Maine), and freshman Tim Hadley (New London, N.H.) scored one goal apiece. MIT limited PSU's leading scorer, junior Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H.), to one assist.
Sophomore Ryan Ballentine (Simsbury, Conn.) and graduate student Brennan Sherry (Wayland, Mass.) led the Engineers with a goal and two assists apiece, while senior Tyler Sorba (San Anaelmo, Calif.) topped the team with two goals. Sophomore Dylan Roden (Bellport, N.Y.) and senior Jon Stolmeiwe (San Antonio, Texas) also scored for MIT.
Both goalies came up with several big saves for their team, especially in the fourth quarter and the overtimes, and both PSU senior Steve Valeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) and MIT senior Zach Brewer (Durham, N.C.) finished with 14 stops.
-- 30 --