Balanced attack leads Panthers in home opener
HOLDERNESS, N.H. – Junior Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) recorded a game-high seven points with two goals and five assists Saturday afternoon as the Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team powered past the University of Massachusetts Boston, 15-4, in the Little East Conference opener for both schools in a game played at The Holderness School turf field.
Frank led a balanced Panther attack, as 10 different players got into the scoring act. Junior Brett Miller (Windham, N.H.) tallied a team-high three goals and added an assist, with all three goals coming in the first half. Sophomore C.J. Frates (Merrimack, N.H.) and senior Ty Long (Dover, N.H.) chipped in with two goals apiece for the Panthers, who improved to 4-1 this season.
Junior Pete McNichols (Norwalk, Conn.) topped the visitors with three goals, and sophomore Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) collected two assists, but UMB slipped with 2-7.
It was a 2-2 game midway through the first quarter when Miller and Frank each scored for PSU in the final two minutes of the frame to put the home team ahead, 4-2, after 15 minutes. The Panthers out-scored the Beacons 6-1 in the second quarter, opening up a 10-3 halftime margin. Six different players scored PSU's six second-quarter goals.
Plymouth State put the game away in the third quarter with four unanswered goals, and the teams traded scores 37 seconds apart midway through the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
PSU finished with a 51-24 advantage in shots, and a 33-22 margin in ground balls. The Panthers also won 16-of-22 face-offs, with senior Devon Smith (Plattekill, N.Y.) winning 9-of-11 and junior Scott Giusti (West Newton, Mass.) taking 7-of-11.
Junior Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) made seven saves in the first 45 minutes to earn the win in the PSU goal, and senior Shane Valeri (South Grafton, Mass.) came on to make one stop in the fourth quarter.
Senior Justin Vercruysse (York Heights, N.Y.) and sophomore Scott Pelligrinelli (Glastonbury, Conn.) shared PSU team-high honors with four ground balls apiece. Junior Andrew Guy (Northbridge, Mass.) led the UMB defense with five ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Plymouth State will host another Little East Conference match-up next Saturday, Apr. 6, against Salem State University (12:30 p.m.) UMB plays a non-conference affair Tuesday at MIT (4:00 p.m.)
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