BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. - Sophomore transfer Brian Giroux (Wolfeboro Falls, N.H.) scored four goals and freshman goalie Billy Morgan (Winchester, Mass.) made 15 saves Saturday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team to a 9-6 victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the season opener for both schools.
A strong day in goal by Buccaneers goalie James Hitchings (Dover, Mass.) kept the score close as he made 17 solid saves.
Two goals in the opening six minutes by the Buccaneers set the tone early as Brian Burke (Del Mar, Cal.) and John Herman (Stanford, Conn.) struck quick with unassisted efforts. The Panthers got one back with 5:35 left in the first when John Cogswell (Jefferson, Mass./Wachusett Regional) got the ball to Giroux, who slipped it past Hitchings.
Seventeen seconds later the Bucs were back on the scoreboard taking a 3-1 lead as Brian Burke struck for his second of three for the afternoon. Plymouth State's Conor McCullough (Dover, NH.) closed the gap, but the Bucs came back as Burke hit his third. The 4-2 MMA lead lasted until midway through the second quarter, when the Panthers unload with three goals, including a pair by Giroux and one by Cogswell, to take a 5-4 lead at halftime.
Strong Plymouth State defense and seven quality stops by Morgan held the Bucs scoreless in the third. Hitchings faced five Panther shots in the third sending the two contestants into the final quarter with the Panthers still on top by one.
PSU opened the fourth frame with two goals from sophomore Kyle Belanger (Southington, Conn.) and one by senior Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H.) to extent its lead to 8-4. Connor Burke (Del Mar, Cal.) brought MMA within striking distance with eight minutes to play with two quick goals, the first assisted by twin brother Brian Burke and the second by Herman. PSU worked the clock in the final minutes protecting the lead, and Giroux found some daylight with 7:19 left to round out the scoring.
Four times the Bucs held Plymouth State scoreless in man-up situations. The Panthers played penalty free.
Plymouth State (1-0) continues its spring road trip with a 3:30 p.m. game Monday at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa. The Buccaneers (0-1) host Wentworth Institute of Technology Thursday at 6 p.m.
(Courtesy of Mass Maritime Sports Information)
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