Panthers will travel Tuesday for LEC quarterfinal
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Jeremy Cogliano and freshman Mike Devine scored three goals apiece Saturday afternoon at Panther Field as Eastern Connecticut State University pulled out a 13-9 victory over Plymouth State University in the Little East Conference men’s lacrosse regular season finale for both schools.
Cogliano finished with a team-high four points on three goals and an assist. Senior Eric Vasil, who leads the nation in both face-offs and ground balls, won 22-of-26 face-offs and picked up a game-high 22 ground balls. Eastern held on for its third straight victory, improving to 10-5 overall and 5-2 in the Little East, while PSU drops to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in league play.
The Warriors clinch the third seed in next week’s LEC Championship Tournament, and will host a quarterfinal game Tuesday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. PSU will be the fifth or sixth seed and will travel for Tuesday’s quarterfinal round. The complete Little East Tournament pairings will be announced Sunday evening following the final regular season finale between the University of Southern Maine and Western Connecticut State University.
PSU got two goals apiece from freshman Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) and sophomore Shawn McEvoy (Spring, Texas), and a goal and two assists from sophomore Stephen Patch (Newbury, N.H.). Seniors Andrew Eriksen (Beverly, Mass.) and Drew Kirwin (Bow, N.H.) chipped in with a goal and an assist each.
It was a tight battle for the first 30 minutes of the contest, with five tie scores and four lead changes. Eastern took a 2-1 lead in the first five minutes of the game, but PSU answered with three unanswered goals to pull ahead, 4-2. The Warriors countered with the next three strikes to lead 5-4 after one frame. The upset-minded Panthers regained the lead with the first two goals of the second quarter, but Eastern answered with three in a row to go into the break with an 8-6 lead.
The visitors outscored the home team 4-1 in the third period to open up a five-goal lead (12-7) before maintaining the lead in the final frame. Cogliano tallied two of Eastern’s four goals in the third frame, and Vasil kept winning the face-offs to keep the Panthers at bay.
The Warriors finished with a 37-17 advantage in shots and won the ground ball battle, 50-24.
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