HOBOKEN, N.J. – The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team never trailed in the first half after scoring the game's first three goals, but Stevens Tech outshot the Warriors 33-10 and outscored them 10-2 over the final 30 minutes on the way to a 14-7 non-conference victory Tuesday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex.
At right: Chris Brown (Photo by Dave Santerre)
Eastern (4-4) led by three goals late in the first quarter and by one at halftime, but Stevens (3-5) took control in the second half. Playing their first opponent not nationally-ranked after four straight, the Ducks countered with four straight goals in the third quarter, taking their first lead, 6-5, (and never giving it up) on Charlie Cronin's 17th goal of the season three minutes into the third quarter. Matt Ferentini followed with his 15th and Cronin his 18th in a man-up situation as Stevens moved out to an 8-5 lead midway through the third.
In all, Stevens capitalized on four of seven extra-man tries and held the Warriors scoreless on four, and allowed Eastern to put only ten of its 21 shots on cage.
Sophomore Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) made 12 saves in net for Eastern and sophomore Brendan Gillotti (Danbury) stopped six. Smaldone was lifted at halftime with the Warriors nursing a one-goal lead, and returned early in the fourth quarter with Eastern on the short end of a 10-6 score.
Freshman Quincy Pecora (North Haven) was 10-of-17 from the faceoff X to improve his season winning percentage to .548 (23x42), and seniors Mike Jordan (Cheshire) and Tyler Fresen (Newington) each scored three times for the Warriors, Jordan adding an assist.
Senior Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA), junior Steven Nixon (Foxborough, MA) and sophomore Tyler Vallie (Orange) all won four ground balls for Eastern.
Eastern visits the University of Southern Maine in its Little East Conference opener Saturday at 1 p.m.