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Defense leads PSU Men’s Lacrosse past WestConn

Hayes makes 12 saves to help Panthers to LEC win

            DANBURY, Conn. – Plymouth State University scored three man-up goals which proved to be the difference Saturday afternoon in a 5-2 victory over Western Connecticut State University in the Little East Conference men’s lacrosse opener for both teams at the Westside Athletic Complex.

            Five different players scored goals for PSU in the defensive-minded affair.  WestConn scored the only goals of the first and fourth quarters but the Panthers rattled off five unanswered goals in the middle two frames and held off the Colonials in the final period. Senior goalie Kevin Hayes (Beverly, Mass.) recorded 12 saves to earn the victory for the visitors.

            The Panther defensive effort was backboned by seniors Jeff McLoud (Bow, N.H.) and Justin Dube (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) and sophomores Justin Vercruysse (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Paul McInerney (Scituate, Mass.), who shut down the Colonials offense.

            Seniors Andrew Eriksen (Beverly, Mass.) and Drew Kirwin (Bow, N.H.), junior Teddy Akrivlellis (Dover, Mass.), and sophomores Stephen Patch (Newbury, N.H./Kearsarge), and Mike Ventura (Columbia, N.J.) each scored once for PSU, while Akrivlellis, Patch, and sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) each collected assists.

            Junior Mike Schoen (Tolland, Conn.) scored the only goal of the first quarter and junior Ryan Gillis (Norwich, Conn.) tallied the only goal in the fourth to account for WestConn’s two goals. Junior goalkeeper Tyler Martone (Cheshire, Conn.) made 15 saves for the Colonials.

            Defense and goal tending dominated action for much of the first quarter, but with just under two minutes remaining, Schoen picked up a rebound off a shot taken by senior James Dipientrantonio (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and quickly beat the Plymouth State goal keeper for a 1-0 WestConn lead.

            Penalties played a major role in the second period as two equipment infractions on WestConn resulted in the Colonials playing man-down for six of the quarter’s 15 minutes.  Plymouth State’s Eriksen and Ventura both took advantage of the opportunity by scoring man-up goals, while Kirwin added an unassisted marker at 8:15 and the Panthers took a 3-1 lead at intermission.

            A penalty on the Colonials with three seconds remaining in the second period resulted in another man-up goal for the Panthers by Akrivlellis in the opening seconds of the third.  Three minutes later, Patch gave Plymouth State a 5-1 lead off a nice pass from Akrivlellis from behind the WestConn goal.

            WestConn outshot Plymouth State 14-3 in the fourth quarter as it tried to mount a rally and narrowed the gap to 5-2 when Gillis scored with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game.  Three Plymouth State penalties in the fourth gave WestConn opportunities to draw closer, but the Colonials could not convert and Plymouth State’s defense held up under fire for a 5-2 final margin of victory.

            PSU, 4-3 overall, plays a non-conference game Thursday at Curry College.  WestConn, 5-4, returns to action next Saturday when it hosts LEC rival Keene State. 

(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information) 

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