Croatti nets three points in season opening loss
BIDDEFORD, Maine. – Junior Ryan Croatti (Brunswick, Maine) tallied two goals and an assist but the Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team fell to the University of New England, 17-4, in a non-conference game at the Big Blue Turf on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Mitch Mullin (Cumberland, Maine) scored the first of his four goals for the Nor'Easters to put the home team up 1-0 five minutes into the contest. UNE extended the lead to 2-0 with just over 90 seconds in the opening quarter, but Croatti tallied the Panthers' first goal of the year with just four seconds left to make it a 2-1 game after one.
Junior Alex Zadworny (Florence, Mass.) scored the first of four straight goals for the Nor'Easters to open the second quarter. Mullin added his second of the game to make it 6-1 with 3:17 left in the half before Croatti added his second unassisted tally with just over a minute to play to make the halftime margin 6-2.
UNE put the game out of reach through the middle of the third quarter. The Nor'Easters tallied six straight goals, including two by Zadworny, to push the lead to 12-2 before sophomore Thomas Kelly (Chantilly, Va.) scored his first of the year for PSU with 2:30 left in the quarter. Mullin added a late score for the home team to make it 13-3 heading into the final 15 minutes.
Sophomore Collin Morrow (Nashua, N.H.) pushed the UNE advantage to 14-3 eight minutes into the final frame. Sophomore Griffin Jacobson (Windham, Maine) scored his first career goal for PSU to make it 14-4 a minute later, but the Nor'Easters closed with three more goals to secure the win.
Croatti led PSU (0-1) with his two goals and added an assist, while Jacobson and Kelly each had single goals. Junior Casey Elkins (Stow, Mass.) added an assist for the Panthers.
UNE (2-0) was led by Mullin's four goals and five assists. Zadworny added four goals and three assists, while Morrow added three scores.
Junior Zel Kerkel (Loudon, N.H.) made 10 saves over the first 51 minutes of action for the Panthers before freshman Robert Porter (Groveland, Mass.) relieved to make one save in the final 8:51. Kerkel suffered the loss to drop to 0-1. Sophomore Sam MacKenzie (Worthington, Ohio) finished with nine saves for UNE to improve to 1-0 on the year.
PSU is back on the road on Thursday (Mar. 8) for a non-league game at Lasell College. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. The Nor'Easters open Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with a road game at Endicott College on Wednesday (Mar. 7) at 4:00 p.m.
– 30 –