Defense sparks Panthers to seventh win in a row
HENNIKER, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team held the New England College Pilgrims scoreless through the second half of play Wednesday afternoon en route to an 11-6 victory in non-conference action at Don Melander Field.
The Panthers extended their winning streak to seven games and improved to 8-1 overall, while the loss drops the Pilgrims to 5-6 on the season.
Picking up the win in net for Plymouth State was senior Chris St. George (Marblehead, Mass.), who finished with 10 saves, including seven in NEC"s scoreless second half.
PSU struck first as the Panthers got goals by senior C.J. Frates (Merrimack, N.H.) and junior Phil Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.) in the opening five minutes of play. NEC would get on the board at the eight minute mark as Sean Largay fired in an unassisted goal. PSU built its lead up to 4-1 late in the quarter on goals by sophomore Colin Claflin (Pembroke, Mass.) and senior Aaron Boss (Keene, N.H.) before an NEC score by Skyler Saunders with 1:22 remaining on the clock would make it 4-2 heading into the second quarter.
Senior Nick Morello (North Billerica, Mass.) and Boss scored unassisted goals for PSU in the first two minutes of the second quarter, but NEC reeled off three straight scores, including two by William Pendleton and one by Sunders, slicing the margin to 6-5. The two teams would exchange goals in the final minutes of the half and Plymouth held a slight 7-6 halftime advantage.
The Panther defense, led by seniors Nick Allard (Norwich, Conn.) and Scott Pelligrinelli (Glastonbury, Conn.) and junior Mike Whitney (Chaska, Minn.), would stifle the Pilgrim attack in the second half of play, holding NEC to just eight shots on net over the final two quarters. Pelligrinelli and junior Ryan Garland (Franklin, Mass.) picked up a team-high four ground balls each.
PSU tacked on goals by Pichel and senior Mike Trocchi (Danvers, Mass.) in the third quarter and Morello and Pichel in the final frame for the 11-6 verdict.
Plymouth State will hit the field again on Saturday as it battles Salem State University at 11:30 a.m. at The New Hampton School. NEC returns to action on Saturday when it travels to conference opponent Husson University.
(Courtesy of New England College Sports Information)
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