Panthers pull out key Little East victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) scored two goals and added one assist Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University pulled out a 5-4 Little East Conference men’s lacrosse victory over Salem State University in PSU’s home opener at Panther Field.
The Panthers out-shot the Vikings 43-22 but had to overcome an outstanding performance by Vikings senior goaltender Brendan Gill, who kept the visitors in the game with a 22 save performance. PSU didn’t trail in the game but never held more than a two-goal lead. Salem State pulled to within a goal twice in the fourth quarter but PSU held on for the win, improving to 6-4 overall and 2-1 in the LEC. SSU is now 6-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
PSU out-shot the Vikings 13-4 in the opening period but had only a 2-1 lead to show for it. Sophomore Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) and Frank scored for PSU in the first four minutes of the game, and sophomore Ryan Gendreau put Salem on the board midway through the frame. Frank accounted for the only goal of the second period with his second of the game and 16th of the season and PSU took a 3-1 lead into intermission.
Senior Robert Mulroy tallied the only goal of the third period, pulling the Vikings to within a goal, 3-2, with 15 minutes to play. Junior Teddy Akrivlellis (Dover, Mass.) scored a man-up goal for PSU from Frank to open the fourth-quarter scoring but freshman Greg Shidler answered for Salem State to make it a one-goal game again. PSU senior Drew Kirwin (Bow, N.H.) and SSU junior Matt Cordaro traded goals in the final five minutes but the home team held on for the win.
PSU senior goalie Kevin Hayes (Beverly, Mass.) made seven saves to record the victory, with help from defenders Paul McInerney (Scituate, Mass.), Justin Vercruysse (Yorktown Heights, N.Y), Jeff McLoud (Bow, N.H.) and Justin Dube (Buzzards Bay, Mass.). The Panther defense held a conference opponent to five goals or fewer for the second time in three outings.
Dube picked up a team-high six ground balls for PSU and caused four turnovers. Sophomore Devon Smith (Plattekill, N.Y.) won 8-of-12 face-offs.
Both teams play conference games in their next outing as Salem State returns home to host Western Connecticut State University Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and Plymouth State visits the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
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