Morello, Long lead Panthers to fifth straight win
BOSTON, Mass. – Freshman Nick Morello scored five goals and junior Ty Long added three Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University defeated the University of Massachusetts Boston, 8-3, in the Little East Conference men's lacrosse opener for both teams at the Clark Athletic Center Field.
Morello and Long fueled the Panthers to their fifth straight win (5-1 overall, 1-0 Little East). Senior goalie Jack Tyo made seven saves to improve to 5-0 on the season.
The Panthers dominated the face-off circle with Scott Giusti winning 12 of the 15 draws. The sophomore midfielder also tallied a game-high eight ground balls as Plymouth State also held a 42-29 advantage in groundballs with 17 of those coming in the fourth quarter alone.
The Beacons (1-5, 0-1 Little East) got goals from Nate Staples, the first of his college career, Domenic Fichera, and Ryan McGoff. Between the pipes senior Anthony Fitti totaled a season-high 14 saves.
PSU wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first quarter as Long drove home a goal less than two minutes in. Morello added to the lead with just over six minutes remaining the first before McGoff cut the Panthers lead down to one on his only goal of the day. Morello tallied the only two goals of the second quarter to give PSU a 4-1 advantage at halftime, and Long and Morello each added one in the third quarter to extend the margin to 6-1.
The Panther defense stifled the Beacons' attack, keeping the home team off the scoreboard in the middle two quarters. UMass would try time-and-time again to find the back of the cage but were unable to. Their scoreless drought did come to an end in the fourth when Fichera netted his seventh score of the year with 12:18 left in the contest. The Long-Morello due went back-to-back again to make it 8-2 with seven minutes remaining, and Staples rounded out the scoring for UMB.
PSU is back in action Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. game at Clark University, while UMB hosts MIT on Tuesday.
(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
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