Men's Soccer: Parent's Hat Trick Sparks Warriors to Home Victory on Seniors' Day

Six outgoing seniors were recognized before the start of Thursday's Seniors' Day game in their final home appearance at Thomas Nevers Field. From left: head coach Greg DeVito, Nicholas Warren, Xavier Doran, Adam Traxler, JD Stearns, Justin Grant, Alexander Fazzino and assistant coach Sebby Randazzo.
Six outgoing seniors were recognized before the start of Thursday's Seniors' Day game in their final home appearance at Thomas Nevers Field. From left: head coach Greg DeVito, Nicholas Warren, Xavier Doran, Adam Traxler, JD Stearns, Justin Grant, Alexander Fazzino and assistant coach Sebby Randazzo.

 WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Sophomore forward Max Parent (Yarmouth, MA) came off the bench to score three consecutive goals as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team scored all of its goals in the final 15 minutes of the first half in a 4-0 non-conference victory over first-time opponent Lasell College Thursday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

The goals were the first in eight games for Parent, who recorded his fourth goal of the year two minutes after entering the game to give Eastern (8-7-2) a lead in the 30th minute. Just over two minutes later, he made it 2-0, then teamed with sophomore back Nick Starkowski (Marlborough) as the pair struck for goals 47 seconds apart in the final minutes of the half to push the lead to 4-0 by halftime.

Although the Warriors have struggled on the road this year with just one win in seven outings, they closed out the home season with a 7-1-1 record, going 4-0-1 in their final five after dropping their only home decision to Little East Conference foe Rhode Island College, 1-0, Sept. 16. Lasell (3-15-0) sustained its eighth shutout of the year, finishing with six straight losses.

On Seniors' Day, senior midfielders JD Stearns (Bolton) and Nicholas Warren (Southbury) contributed assists and junior keeper Ryan Murphy (Cromwell) evened his personal slate at 7-7-2 by making one save in the first half before giving way to freshmen Kyle Boutot (Tolland) and Jack Van Rooyen (Wayland, MA), who split the second half. Boutot made one save, Van Rooyen three.

Stearns and Warren set up Parent's first goal. Stearns slid a free kick – awarded when sophomore forward Griffin Luczek (Lee, NH) was flattened on the sideline – to Warren, whose cross-field serve sailed over the head of two players to an unmarked Parent at the far post. With Lasell sophomore keeper Jackson Burhans stationed at that post, Parent one-timed a ground ball inside the opposite post.

At left: Goal-scorers Nick Starkowski (far left) and Max Parent (middle) with Lucas Chaude. (Photo by Noah Gulino)

Stearns also set up Starkowski's first goal of the year to round out the scoring with 47 seconds left when he hammered a 35-yard free kick just above the leap of Burhans. As Burhans fell to the ground, the ball caromed off the crossbar to an unmarked Starkowski standing at the left post, and he calmly left-footed it from the doorstep into an unprotected goal.

Luczek was credited with his fourth assist of the year – tying him for the team lead – on Parent's second goal. Murphy initiated the scoring drive when he intercepted a crossing pass and underhanded it ahead. The ball was played out of the back to Luczek, who sent a short pass between two defenders to his left. Burhans was situated at the near post to cut down the angle, but Parent drilled an 18-yard left-footer inside a small opening between Burhans and the post.

Freshman midfielder Lucas Chaude (Montville) was credited with his first career assist as Parent completed the hat trick with 1:33 to make it 3-0. Chaude recovered a free ball near midfield when a Lasell player was knocked to the ground, and threaded a through-ball between two defenders to Parent ahead of the field.

Eastern closes out the season Saturday with a conference match at the University of Southern Maine at 1 p.m.