WNE Gets Down to Business, Ousts Eastern Men's Lacrosse from NCAA
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University men's lacrosse team scored seven consecutive goals spanning the first and second halves and went on to a 16-10 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in a first-round game of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Golden Bear Stadium.
Less than two minutes after Eastern (10-8) took its only lead of the match midway through the second quarter, the Golden Bears (12-6) held the Warriors scoreless for 23 minutes and scored seven unanswered goals to build a six-goal, 11-5 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter. On 14 possessions during that scoreless stretch, Eastern turned the ball over nine times, shot wide twice and hit the post once and had two attempts saved.
Sean Lawton and George Knapp scored three times each for Western New England, and Brandon Body made seven stops for the winners in net.
Sophomore attack Tyler Fresen (Newington) led Eastern with three goals and two assists, and junior All-America Mike Devine (Cheshire) followed with three goals. Freshman Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) and senior Drew Deane (Vernon) combined for ten saves in net. Fresen finished the season with 14 goals and 15 assists in the team's final seven matches.
Eastern season scoring leader Mike Jordan (Cheshire) was limited to one goal and one assist.
Close defenders Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD), Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA) and Travis Tiger (Ridgefield) combined for nine ground ball for the Warriors, who turned the ball over 27 times -- equaling their third highest total this year. Senior midfielder Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) won 16 of 27 faceoffs against three WNEU opponents.
Both teams had qualified for the NCAA tournament after winning their second straight conference playoff championships, Eastern in the Little East Conference and Western New England in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.