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PSU Men’s Lacrosse too strong for Salem State

Panthers push win streak to eight, remain undefeated in LEC

            NEW HAMPTON, N.H. – Plymouth State University jumped out to a 7-1 halftime lead and senior goalie Chris St. George (Marblehead, Mass.) made 18 saves Saturday afternoon as the Panthers defeated Salem State University, 10-6, in Little East Conference men's lacrosse action at the New Hampton School field.

            The Panthers won for the eighth straight game, improving to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in the Little East, earning a share of first place. The Vikings dropped to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

            Sophomore Alex Croatti (Brunswick, Maine) led the Panthers with three goals while senior Nick Morello (North Billerica, Mass.) tallied two goals and an assist and sophomore Colin Claflin (Pembroke, Mass.) scored twice. Senior Mike Trocchi (Danvers, Mass.) collected three assists.

            Junior Ben Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) led the Vikings with two goals and two assists and classmate Zach Brown (Peabody, Mass.) notched two goals and an assist.  Senior Nate Staples (Salem, Mass.) won 10 of 17 face-offs and picked up a game-high seven ground balls.

            Croatti and senior C.J. Frates (Merrimack, N.H.) opened the scoring for PSU with goals a little over a minute apart midway through the first period. Senior Sean Dolan (Hampton, N.H.) found the net for PSU with less than three seconds left on the clock for a 3-0 PSU lead after one frame.

            Freshman Max Gansenberg (Beverly, Mass.) put the Vikings on the board five minutes into the second period, but PSU scored the final four goals of the stanza to push the lead to 7-1. Croatti put in his second of the game, junior Phil Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.) followed with a man-up goal, and Claflin pumped in two in a row to close out the scoring in the half.

            Melaugh and Brown scored the first two goals of the second half for Salem State to cut the margin to 7-3, but PSU answered with three in a row, two by Morello sandwiched around Croatti's third of the game, to make it 10-3. Brown and Melaugh each scored again before the end of the third period but PSU took a 10-5 advantage into the final frame.

            Junior Alex Pearsons (Burlignton, Mass.) scored the only goal of the fourth quarter with 5:31 remaining, and PSU ran out the clock for the win.

            PSU had a 41-34 advantage in shots while Salem State had a 35-30 lead in ground balls. Senior goalie Dylan Svenson (Billerica, Mass.) made 16 saves for the Vikings.

            The Panthers are back in action on Wednesday with a Little East match-up at the University of Southern Maine (4:00 p.m.). Salem State also plays again Wednesday, hosting Western Connecticut State University in a LEC affair at 7:00 p.m.

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