DANBURY, Conn. - Western Connecticut State University scored three goals in the final three minutes of the third quarter, and then put up a strong defensive stand in the fourth quarter en route to a 9-7 victory over Plymouth State University in the Little East Conference men's lacrosse opener for both schools.
PSU fell behind 5-1 midway through the third quarter but rallied with four unanswered goals in a four-minute span to deadlock the game at 5-5 with 4:39 to go in the third. WestConn answered with three of the four goals in the final three minutes of the frame to go up by two, 8-6. The Panthers pulled to within a goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter, and it stayed that way until the Colonials added an insurance goal with 2:33 remaining.
Leading the attack for Plymouth State were sophomore Brian Giroux (Wolfeboro Falls, N.H.) and senior Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H.) with two goals each. Senior John Cogswell (Jefferson, Mass.) and sophomores Steve Engel (South Windsor, Conn.) and Tim Hadley (New London, N.H.) each scored one goal, and Hadley led the team with five ground balls.
Sophomore Adam Lanehart (Redding, Conn.) led the WestConn scoring attack with three goals, followed by junior George Tsirigotis (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) who added two. Also scoring for the Colonials were sophomore Andrew Barbieri (Islip Terrace, N.Y.), freshman Tom Begley (East Islip, N.Y.), junior Vincent Bevilacqua (Branford, Conn.), and senior Ron Pac (Glastonbury, Conn.) who each scored once. Senior Dennis Skarda (Danbury, Conn.) led the Colonials in assists with three.
WestConn had a 24-12 advantage in shots in the first half, and PSU came back with a 25-12 margin in shots in the second half. Plymouth State scored in the game's second minute to take an early lead, but was held scoreless for the remainder of the first half. Lanehart scored three straight goals for the Colonials to give the home team a 3-1 margin at halftime. After the teams combined for 10 goals in the third quarter, the defenses took over in the fourth quarter, with each team only scoring once.
When Plymouth State scored in the first minute of the fourth, it appeared the scoring frenzy would continue, but both goal tenders, Plymouth State freshman Billy Morgan (Winchester, Mass.) and Western junior Kyle Wood (Hyde Park, N.Y.), turned away numerous scoring chances. The final two minutes were dominated by a flurry of Plymouth State shots and acrobatic saves by Wood, with WestConn holding on for the win. Both goalies finished with 13 saves.
The Panthers (3-2, 0-1) will play a make-up game Sunday at Nichols College (1:00 p.m.). WestConn (5-3, 1-0) travels to in-state and Little East rival Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday for a 4:00 p.m. contest.
(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information)
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