Waterbury paces Panthers with three goals, four points
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Chris Waterbury (Clinton, Conn.) finished with three goals and an assist, but the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team scored twice in the final 70 seconds to force overtime, then netted the game-winner 63 seconds into the extra period to top Plymouth State University, 11-10, in a Little East Conference (LEC) contest at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex on Saturday.
Trailing 5-2 with six minutes to play in the second quarter, the Panthers scored seven straight goals and entered the fourth quarter with a 9-5 lead. Junior Paul Luongo (Northborough, Mass.) and freshman Connor Delea (Manchester, N.H.) notched goals just 21 seconds apart to cut the margin to 5-4 at the half.
PSU provided all of the third quarter scoring as the Panthers rallied to take the lead. Junior Casey Elkins (Stow, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal just 39 seconds into the third to tie the game, and Waterbury added back-to-back tallies as Plymouth pulled in front. Senior Justin Roos (Coram, N.Y.) and Delea added goals midway through the quarter to push the Panthers' lead to 9-5.
Eastern Connecticut started the comeback with a man-up goal by senior Connor Wyllie (Somers, Conn.) after two-and-a-half minutes in the fourth quarter. The Warriors cut the deficit to 9-7 with 11:38 to play when junior Samuel Watson (Trumbull, Conn.) connected with sophomore Anthony Choronzy (Clinton, Conn.). Watson added a man-up goal with 4:17 left to pull within one, 9-8.
Waterbury completed the hat trick to give the Panthers some breathing room with 1:45 remaining, but senior Matthew Rougeot (Cheshire, Conn.) countered with his second goal of the game with 1:09 left to cut the PSU lead to 10-9.
Choronzy grabbed the ground ball off the ensuing faceoff and senior Harrison Urda (Milford, N.H.) tallied his 28th goal of the season with just 14 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Elkins had a shot for the win early in the extra frame but ECSU goalie Chris Gorman (Shrewsbury, Mass.) recorded his 13th save of the game. Urda's initial shot on the following possession was saved by junior Zel Kerkel (Loudon, N.H.), but he got another opportunity and found the back of the cage to secure the win.
Kerkel made 14 saves for the Panthers, including six in the fourth quarter when ECSU unloaded 17 shots, but fell to 6-8 with the loss. Delea finished with two goals and an assist and Elkins chipped in with one goal and a helper. Sophomore Charlie Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) picked up a team-best six ground balls.
Urda led the way for the Warriors with a four-goal, two-assist effort. Rougeot added three goals and an assist.
The Panthers drop to 6-8 overall and 3-2 in the Little East, while Eastern Connecticut moves to 7-6 and 3-2 in conference play.
PSU wraps up the regular season with a pair of league contests next week. Plymouth travels to the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday (Apr. 24), before returning home to celebrate Senior Day on Friday (Apr. 27) against the University of Massachusetts Boston. Both games are set to start at 4:00 p.m.
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