March 13, 2013

Eastern Men's Lacrosse Tripped Up by Amherst, 13-9

AMHERST, Mass. – All six matches in this men's lacrosse series between Eastern Connecticut State University and Amherst College have been hotly-contested, with all of them decided by five goals or less.

The problem for the Warriors, is that the Lord Jeffs have emerged with the slim victory in five of them.

Playing its fourth qualify opponent in the opening weeks of the season, Eastern (1-4) was never out of contention Wednesday, but also never led after the opening eight minutes as Amherst (1-2) won its first match of the year after two opening overtime road losses with a home-opening 13-9 triumph at Gooding Field.

Eastern's man-down unit killed eight of ten penalties to improve its season percentage to .829, and senior faceoff specialist Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) claimed 13 of 25 faceoffs to up his season mark to .475, but Amherst's defense allowed the Warriors as many as two consecutive goals only once – in the final minute of the third quarter that pulled Eastern to within three entering the final 15 minutes.

Limited to one goal through the first 42 minutes, Amherst junior Devin Acton recorded three straight Lord Jeff goals in the final 17 minutes to keep the Warriors at bay.

After totaling two goals in his first three matches, first-line junior attack Mike Jordan (Cheshire) led the Warriors with a career-high four goals against Amherst, giving him seven in the team's last two outings, but he was the only first-line attackman to break through.  Junior All-America midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) was the only other Eastern player with more than one, scoring for the 16th straight game, witih two. Devine has contributed at least one goal in 32 of his 34 collegiate matches, only failing to score at least one in the first goal of his freshman year and in the season-ending Little East Conference playoff  loss to Keene State College that season.

After Acton put the Jeffs up 10-5 late in the third, quick goals from Jordan and Devine made it a 10-7 game heading into the final frame. The Warriors would draw no closer than three, however, as two more goals from Acton helped clinch the Amherst win.

Senior Drew Deane (Vernon) turned back six shots for Eastern, five of them coming in the first half when the hosts moved out to a 7-3 halftime advantage, in sustaining his third loss in four decisions.

Eastern visits Wheaton College (MA) in a non-conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.