PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Fourth-seeded Plymouth State University used a balanced scoring attack and a strong defensive effort Tuesday afternoon to defeat fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 10-4, in the opening round of the Little East Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament at sunny and windy Panther Field.
Plymouth State won for the third time in its last four outings to even its overall record at 7-7, while UMD completes its season at 6-9. The Panthers advance to the LEC semifinal round, and will take on top-seeded and regular-season champion Eastern Connecticut State University this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at ECSU's Thomas Nevers Field.
The Panthers led 2-0 after one quarter and 5-0 in the second before UMD got on the board with two minutes left in the period to make it a 5-1 game at halftime. PSU tallied the first two goals of the third quarter, only to see UMD answer with a pair, and the home team got one more to go ahead 8-3 after three periods. Plymouth State outscored the Corsairs 2-1 in the final frame to earn the 10-4 decision. PSU had defeated UMD in the regular season, 10-8.
Sophomore Andrew Eriksen (Beverly, Mass.) led the winners with two goals and two assists, while junior Brian Giroux (Wolfeboro Falls, N.H.) finished with two goals and one assist and senior Dave Mokos (Nottingham, N.H./Londonderry) added a goal and two assists. Junior Tim Hadley (New London, N.H./Kearsarge) also collected a pair of goals, and seniors Dan Maiorana (Walpole, Mass.) and Jordan Buzzell (Bath, Maine) and junior Matt Johansmeyer (Shelburne Falls, Mass.) chipped in with one each. Senior Tim Nicholson (Franklin, Mass.) and sophomore Justin Dube (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) shared team-high honors with five ground balls apiece.
Junior Andrew Foster (Newbury, Mass.) led the Corsairs with a pair of goals, while senior Matt Leary (Framingham, Mass.) and sophomore Bobby Smith (Wakefield, Mass.) scored one each. Freshman Braxton Campbell (Silverthorne, Colo.) collected a team-high five ground balls and won 6-of-9 face-offs.
Sophomore goalie Kevin Hayes (Beverly, Mass.) made nine saves in the Panther goal to record the victory, while UMD freshman Cameron Crown (Walpole, Mass.) finished with 10 stops.
PSU's semifinal game will be a rematch of a game on Apr. 4 in Willimantic, Conn., won by Eastern Conn., 18-3. The Panthers upset the favored Warriors in double overtime in the semifinals of last year's tournament, 11-10.
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