PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Fourth-seeded Plymouth State University rallied from an early 6-0 deficit Tuesday afternoon to defeat fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 15-12, in the first round of the Little East Conference men’s lacrosse tournament at Panther Field.
Senior Brian Giroux (Wolfeboro Falls, N.H.) and junior Andrew Eriksen (Beverly, Mass.) combined for nine goals and one assist to lead the Panthers, Giroux with five goals and one assist and Eriksen with four goals. The second of Giroux’s goals was the 100th of his career, making him the eighth player in school history to reach the milestone. Senior middie Steve Engel (South Windsor, Conn.) chipped in with two goals while winning 17-of-23 face-offs and picking up 14 ground balls.
UMD got five goals from senior Andrew Foster (Danvers, Mass.) and three apiece from junior Josh Arsenault (Revere, Mass.) and sophomore Christian Roberto (Wakefield, Mass.).
The Panthers, 8-7 overall, advance to Thursday’s semifinal game at top-seeded and regular-season champion Keene State College (2:30 p.m.). The Owls (10-5 overall, 7-0 LEC), who defeated PSU 15-7 a week ago, await the Panthers after enjoying a first-round bye on Tuesday. UMD completes its season at 7-10 overall.
PSU, which had defeated UMass Dartmouth 15-4 in a regular season game 10 days ago, fell behind 6-0 in the first quarter Tuesday. Foster and Roberto scored two apiece for the Corsairs in the outburst, while Arsenault and freshman Cody Santor (Glastonbury, Conn.) added one apiece.
Engel put the Panthers on the board in the final minute of the opening stanza, and the Panthers used the momentum from that goal to outscore the visitors 7-1 in the second frame to take an 8-7 lead into the intermission. Giroux and Eriksen scored three each during the Panther rally.
The teams traded three-goal swings in the third period. Senior Brett Zebrowski (Bayville, N.Y.), Engel and sophomore Teddy Akriviellis (Dover, Mass.) scored consecutive goals for PSU, but UMD answered with two from Foster and one from Roberto to make it an 11-10 game after three quarters.
Eriksen and Arsenault traded goals for the two teams early in the fourth quarter but PSU pulled away on goals by Zebrowski and Giroux, the latter coming with 4:45 to play. Foster scored one more for the Corsairs but Giroux sealed the win with his final goal with 2:31 on the clock.
UMD sophomore goalie Cameron Crown (Walpole, Mass.) made 10 saves in 43 minutes before coming out of the game with an injury. Freshman Peter Foley (Northbridge, Mass.) came off the Corsair bench and made four stops. PSU sophomore reserve goalie Jack Tyo (East Sandwich, Mass.) earned the win for the Panthers, making six saves after replacing starter Kevin Hayes (Beverly, Mass.) late in the opening quarter.
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