BOSTON, Mass. – Trailing by three with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter, freshman midfielder Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) would drive home back-to-back scores to make it just a one goal game. On the final face-off of the afternoon, the Beacons would win the ball, but there last second shot would fall just short as Salem State University (4-10, 1-4 Little East) managed to hang on to defeat men's lacrosse (2-11, 1-4 Little East) by the final of 12-11 Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Field in a Little East Conference contest.
Delpha's two goals in the final 41 seconds of play would cap off a four goal afternoon for the midfielder and a five goal fourth quarter for the Beacons. After being held to just two goals in the first 30 minutes of play, UMass Boston outscored the Vikings 9-5 in the final two frames. Unfortunately the four goal second quarter by Salem State proved to be the deciding factor as the Vikings went into the halftime break with a 7-2 lead over UMass.
Also closing out Saturday's match-up with multiple goals was Thomas Petitti (Quincy, Mass.) who recorded his first collegiate hat-trick and Leo Ajemian (Walpole, Mass.), who finished with two goals. Ryan McGoff (Charlestown, Mass.) proved to be the Beacons go-to playmaker with his three assists and one goal. Cam Hanlon (Hanson, Mass.) also found the back of the net in the opening minutes of the first quarter.
For Salem State the game-deciding goal in Saturday's contest came from Matt Whited off of Frank Lento assist with 4:04 left in the fourth. The goal marked Whited's seventh of the year, while Lento's helper was his 12th.
On the day, UMass outshot Salem State 46-34, and were 3-for-5 on their man-up opportunities. Salem State ended the game with 36-28 advantage in groundballs and was 14-for-26 on the face-offs.
Kyle Tuneburg, who picked-up the win for the Vikings his second of the season, tallied 13 saves. Anthony Fitti (Havertown, Pa.) and Henry Bristol (South Hadley, Mass.) totaled 14 saves respectively, with loss going to Fitti.
Nate Staples (Salem, Mass.) was dominant on the face-off x as he went 9-for-13 overall. He also collected a game-high five groundballs and nearly tied the game on the last second shot in regulation. Dave Patnaude was 10-for-18 overall on face-off attempts for Salem State and also managed the game-high five groundballs alongside Tuneburg.
Men's Lacrosse returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Southern Maine for a 4 p.m. Little East Conference game. Tuesday's contest will have huge postseason implications. Currently Southern Maine, Salem State, and UMass Boston are all biding for the final spot in this year's postseason tournament.