March 20, 2014

Men's Lacrosse Storms Past Nor'easters, 11-8

Post-Game Interviews

Mike Devine         Head Coach Justin Axel

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior All-America Mike Devine (Cheshire) converted three of the team's four extra-man goals and sophomore goalie Brendan Gillotti (Danbury) made eight saves in working the second half for his first win of the year to power the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team to an 11-8 victory over the University of New England Thursday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Blake Smaldone extends to make this first-half save in Thursday's 11-8 win over the University of New England at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. (Photo by Marissa Malouf)

Eastern (4-3), which had connected on only seven extra-man goals through its first six matches, turned six extra-man opportunities into four goals – the first three by Devine and the final one by senior Mike Jordan (Cheshire).

Devine's first man-up goal gave the Warriors a 6-5 lead two minutes into the second half, and after senior New England's (3-5) Patrick Wolfe answered with the third of his four goals on the day a little more than two minutes later, Devine put his second man-up goal past New England freshman goalie Joe Medel to give the Warriors the lead for good, 7-6, with two minutes left in the third quarter.

With the Warriors leading by just one early in the fourth quarter, Devine responded with his fifth and sixth goals of the match five minutes apart on assists from pre-season senior All-America Tyler Fresen (Newington), and Jordan followed with the team's final man-up goal with just under four minutes left to extend Eastern's lead to four, 11-7.

In a match which featured five ties and three lead changes, neither team led by more than  a goal until Devine and Jordan scored 68 seconds apart to make it 8-6 with a minute left in the third quarter.

Gillotti took over for sophomore starter Blake Smaldone ( (Hamilton, MA) after the teams played to a 5-all halftime tie. He stopped eight shots over the final 30 minutes to earn his first win of the year. Medel, making only his second career start, stopped 11 shots in the second half when he faced 22 Eastern shots.

After recording two assists through the first six matches, first-year sophomore transfer Tim Reilly (Hanover, MA) collected five helpers. Fresen's two assists upped his team-high total to 12. Jordan's four goals give him a team-high 15 this year, Devine following at 14. The duo combined on 27 of the team's 45 shots. Freshman Quincy Pecora (North Haven) won nine of 16 faceoffs for the Warriors and picked up six ground balls, with five teammates scooping up three. Eastern's man-down defense extinguished all three of New England's extra-man opportunites.

With four goals, Wolfe now has a team-high 17 for the Nor'easters. No other New England player managed more than one, however.

The loss was the second in two days against a Little East Conference opponent

For New England, which had captured its first two earlier this month against LEC foes.

The contest was the first between the programs in 17 years. Eastern has won all three of the matches contested.

Eastern visits Stevens Tech Tuesday at 4 p.m.