Second-half surge lifts Panthers to LEC win
SALEM, Mass. – Plymouth State University scored seven unanswered goals over a nine-minute span in the second half Saturday afternoon, breaking a 5-5 tie and sending the Panthers to a 13-6 victory over Salem State University in a Little East Conference men's lacrosse game at Alumni Field.
Freshman Nick Pino (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Chris Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.) each scored twice in PSU's fourth-quarter rally. Annunciata finished with a team-high three goals for the game, while Pino and juniors Aaron Boss (Keene, N.H.), C.J. Frates (Merrimack, N.H.) and Nick Morello (Billerica, Mass.) tallied two goals apiece.
Plymouth State earned its first Little East (LEC) win of the season to go to 1-1 in conference play, and 6-2 overall. The loss leaves the Vikings at 1-1 in the Little East and 3-8 on the year.
Despite outstanding play from both goalies within the opening 10 minutes, Boss got Plymouth State on the board late in first period with a smooth finish on a pass from Phil Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.). Salem State answered within the next minute on a great move from Frank Lento (Salem, Mass.) that drew two defenders, leaving Bobby Bourgeois (Billerica, Mass.) to finish the deed. The Vikings took the lead when Ian Abrahamson (Billerica, Mass.) scooped up the ball after a face-off win by Nate Staples (Salem, Mass.), and took it all the way for a score that put Salem State atop 2-1.
Frates tied the contest at 2-2 for PSU on an assist from Nick Vitullo (Chesapeake, Va.). Plymouth State goalie Christopher St. George (Marblehead, Mass.) carried the momentum, denying eight Salem State shots. However, Andy Rice (Weymouth, Mass.) scored the Vikings' lone goal in the second period on a terrific look from Sean Quinlan (Lowell, Mass.). Freshman Colin Claflin (Pembroke, Mass.) was able to put one more goal in for PSU before the end of the half, making it a 3-3 game at the intermission.
The Panthers took a two-goal lead to open the third quarter on back-to-back goals from Morello and Annunciata, but Rice cut the Vikings' deficit to one with another unassisted goal, and Bourgeois tied the game at 5-5 with 7:36 left in the third quarter with a beautiful finish in front of the crease.
Boss scored again for PSU with three minutes left in the third quarter to give the lead back to the Panthers, and in doing so, jumpstarted Plymouths' offense which busted open a 7-1 run to finish the game.
Junior goalie Christopher St. George (Marblehead, Mass.) made 23 saves to earn the win in the cage for PSU. Salem State goalies Dylan Svenson (Billerica, Mass.) and Dominic Rovetto (Newbury, Mass.) combined for 11 saves.
PSU is right back in action Sunday at noon with an LEC make-up contest against Western Connecticut State University in a game played at The Holderness School. Salem State resumes action Wednesday at Western Connecticut at 7:00 p.m.
(With contributions from Salem State Sports Information)
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