Eastern Men's Lacrosse Emerges in Defensive Battle
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team never trailed, but needed Tyler Fresen's (Newington) fourth goal of the match to open up a two-goal lead with six minutes on the way to a 7-5 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Wednesday night at Cressy Field.
The win is the fourth in the last six matches for Eastern (5-7, 3-1 Little East) and 18th against one loss in the all-time series with UMass Dartmouth (8-3, 2-2 Little East), whose four LEC matches have been decided by a total of five goals.
Freshman goalie Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) made double-digit saves for the fourth (straight) time in five starts, making five of his ten saves in the third quarter. Smaldone never gave up more than one goal in any of the first three periods -- stopping eight shots -- before the Corsairs broke through with two to twice cut a two-goal Eastern lead to one. in the final seven minutes.
After Fresen scored his fourth goal to give the Warriors a two-goal edge for the fourth time, UMass pulled to within a single goal for the fifth time before Kevin Fechtmann (Levittown, NY) connected on his first goal since the first quarter on a pass from sophomore Zach Thresher (Somers) to all but ice the win with just over three minutes left.
A winner of just under half of his faceoffs this year, senior Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) captured 11 of 15 at the faceoff X for the Warriors.
Tight defense by both teams and strong goaltending dominated a match where each team's top three goal-scorers were held in check, managing just one goal apiece.
Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.