Annunciata leads Panthers into semifinal game at Keene State
DANBURY, Conn. – Senior attack Chris Annunicata (Waltham, Mass.) scored a career-high nine goals Tuesday afternoon to lift fifth-seeded Plymouth State University to a 15-10 victory over fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinal at The WAC.
PSU improves to 9-5 on the season, avenging a 10-9 setback to Western back on April 13. The Panthers posted a first-round upset in the LEC Tournament for the third straight year; sixth-seeded PSU knocked off third-seeded Western Conn. in 2012, 9-5; and fifth-seeded PSU upended fourth-seeded UMass Boston last season, 17-11.
The victory sends PSU into a semifinal game Friday at 5:00 p.m. at top-seeded and regular season champion Keene State College (8-6 overall, 7-0 LEC).
Plymouth State took and early 1-0 lead on Annunciata's first goal of the day just 1:32 into the contest. Western righted itself and rattled off three straight goals, two by sophomore John Foristall (Danbury, Conn.) and another by Nick Foley (Walpole, Mass.) with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter. Foristall finished with a team-high three goals while Foley and Ryan Foster (Ledyard, Conn.) followed with two goals each.
Plymouth State scored four straight goals in the final 4:46 of the first stanza, two by Annunciata and a pair from Nick Pino (North Andover, Mass.), and held a 5-3 lead heading into the second period. Goals by Western's Jack Pantani (Branford, Conn.) and leading scorer Nate Wilson (Norwich, Conn.) drew the teams even at 5-5.
The Panthers then scored six of the game's seven goals to pull away, 11-6. During that stretch, Annunciata tallied his fifth and sixth markers of the afternoon, and he wasn't done. The Colonials would pull within three goals, 12-9, following a goal by their lone senior, Foster, with 10:42 remaining in the game.
Annunciata registered three more insurance goals down the stretch. His nine goals tied for the third-most goals scored in a game in school history and the most for a Panther since Jim Martocchio scored 11 and 10 goals in separate games in 2000. Scott Walden also tallied nine goals in a game for the Panthers, once on Apr. 24, 1996, and the first time on Apr. 27, 1994, the day he set the NCAA Division III record for points in a game (21).
Annunciata increased his season total to 43 goals, tied for 10th-most in a season in PSU history, and bumped his career total to 116, seventh on the all-time scoring list. Classmate Zach Frank (Wakefield, Mass.) has also moved up to ninth on the career assist list with 69.
Plymouth State netminder Jesse Kutz (Hopkinton, Mass.) had a solid performance, making 12 saves in the victory.
Kevin Seery (East Lyme, Conn.) was the first of a trio of goalies for the Colonials. He made 12 saves before yielding to Patrick Tynan (Somers, Conn.) with 21 minutes remaining in the game. Tynan made four stops before Zach Craybas (Bethel, Conn.) came on for the final two minutes. The Colonials end their season at 7-10.
(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information)
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