Early Run Propels Men's Lacrosse in LEC, 15-8

MANSFIELD, Conn. --   Four different players scored extra-man goals as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team took over sole possession of second place in the Little East Conference with a 15-8 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Wednesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Eastern's Liam Murphy (32) is pressured by Jordan MacPherson of UMass Dartmouth in the first half of Eastern's 15-8 win Wednesday. (Photo by Heather Avery).

Eastern (7-5, 3-1 Little East) entered action sharing second place in the conference with UMass Dartmouth (9-4, 2-2 Little East), which had a four-game overall winning streak ended in falling to 0-11 against the Warriors on the Warriors' home field in this series.

Trailing 2-1, Eastern ripped off eight unanswered goals over the final four minutes of the first quarter and through the second to take a 9-2 advantage into the lockerroom. The teams traded goals in the second half. The Corsairs were never able to put together a string of more than two straight goals throughout the contest.

Senior Mike Devine (Cheshire), sophomores Liam Murphy (Dover, NH) and Nick Carisio (Cheshire) and freshman Richie Miller (Weston) all netted extra-man goals for Eastern,which capitalized on all but one of its man-up opportunities.

Scoreless this season in ten games, junior Dean Accomando (Monroe) scored consecutive goals late in the first quarter as Eastern broke from a 2-2 tie, and added another with four minutes left in the second quarter during the hosts' 8-0 run. Devine, a two-time All-America, erupted for five Eastern goals on eight shots, his second-highest scoring total this year.

Thirty-three players saw action for Eastern, which got a point from ten different individuals.

Sophomore Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) played the first half and final quarter in net for Eastern, making eight saves, while sophomore Brendan Gillotti (Danbury) turned back three shots in the third quarter. Junior defenseman Travis Tiger (Ridgefield) picked up seven ground balls, sophomore faceoff midfielder Tyler Vallie (Orange) six, senior defenseman Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA)  five and senior long-stick midfielder Mike Fanning (Norwell, MA)  four.

Dan Brown and Zach Drolette each won nine of 13 faceoffs for UMass, but the Corsairs turned the ball over 24 times.

Eastern visits Salem State University Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.