First quarter surge lifts Huskies past Panthers
GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine men's lacrosse team scored six unanswered goals in the first quarter to take a commanding lead Wednesday afternoon en route to an 11-6 victory over visiting Plymouth State University in Little East Conference men's lacrosse play at Hannaford Field.
The win was the third straight, all in conference play, for the Huskies who improved to 8-5 overall and 3-3 in LEC play. The Huskies also ensured themselves their first winning season since 2009 and a berth in the upcoming LEC championship tournament.
The Panthers fell to 4-9 overall and 3-3 in the conference. Both teams have clinched spots in the LEC tournament with one game remaining in the regular season. There is presently a four-way tie among PSU, USM, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for third place.
Senior Austin Watts (Westbrook, Maine) led the Huskies with five points on four goals and one assist. Junior Seth Wing (West Gardiner, Maine) had two goals and dished out two assists. Sophomore Nate DelGiudice (Oakland, Maine) contributed two goals and one assist, and senior Jeff Urmston (Bellingham, Mass.) scored two goals. Sophomore goalie Zach Bessette (Readfield, Maine) had 11 saves to earn his fifth win of the season.
Juniors Colin Claflin (Pembroke, Mass.) and Alex Croatti (Brunswick, Maine) had two goals apiece for the Panthers. Senior Phil Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.) chipped in a goal and one assist. Junior goalie Jayson LaRiviere (Chelmsford, Mass.) finished with nine saves.
Watts opened the first-quarter floodgates for the Huskies with the first of his three goals in the opening 15 minutes at 9:59. Urmston converted from DelGiudice at 7:31 and forced a quick PSU timeout.
USM blew the game open with four goals in a span of 2:03 late in the quarter to go up 6-0. Wing scored on an assist from junior Keegan Smith (West Gardiner, Maine) at 3:08. Watts added an unassisted goal 26 seconds later to increase the lead to 4-0. Urmston's second goal of the quarter made it 5-0, and Watts scored off a feed from Smith at 1:05 to give USM a commanding 6-0 lead after one quarter.
Junior Mac Tetreault (New Durham, N.H.) scored the only goal of the second quarter to get the Panthers on the board. Wing and DelGiudice bracketed a PSU goal by Pichel in the third quarter to give USM an 8-2 lead heading into the final period.
Senior Jaymz McStowe (Plymouth, Mass.) and DelGiudice scored in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to push USM's lead up to 10-2. Clafin and Croatti scored 46 seconds apart to cut the deficit, but Watts responded with his fourth goal of the game with 4:02 to play. Croatti and Clafin added goals in the final four minutes to account for the final tally.
Southern Maine closes the regular season Friday evening (7:00 p.m.) with a game at UMass Boston. Plymouth State finishes with its Senior Day game on Friday (4:00 p.m.) against Western Connecticut State University.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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