Lacrosse Wins Shootout with Salem State in Conference Showdown
BOSTON, Mass. – A John Powers (Marshfield, Mass.) goal off of a Dom Fichera (Scituate, Mass.) assist at the 2:17 mark and a strong stand by the defense in the closing seconds would earn the Beacons (5-10, 2-3 Little East) a huge conference win as they defeated the Vikings (7-6, 0-5 Little East) by the final of 15-14 Saturday afternoon at Clark Athletic Center Field.
Powers goal capped off a quick two goal flurry and a five goal fourth quarter to lead the Beacons to their second conference win of the season. The deciding tally, which started in the Beacons defensive third on a turnover, saw UMB work the ball up the field where it ended up in Fichera's stick. The sophomore would bring the ball down to the far post and just as the defense began to shift over, he fired the ball across the cage where it found Powers.
The attackman then took on one Viking defender and with a great move beat both the defender and the goalie to the high far corner to make it 15-13 in favor of UMB. With still plenty of time on the clock for a Salem State rally, the Vikings took about 50 seconds to cut the Beacons lead down to one on an Andy Rice goal.
Now with 1:32 left in the game, the two teams would exchange chances but the Beacons defense led by senior Henry Bristol (South Hadley, Mass.) would hold strong. Bristol came-up with a few huge saves in the final minutes of play to keep the Vikings attack off the scoreboard. With the defense holding strong and the time winding down the Vikings attack went into panic mode and tried to get off any shot they could, but with the Beacons backline double teaming and forcing the action away from the cage all they could do is wait for the final horn to sound.
Saturday's victory not only marked the first win for UMB over Salem State since 2003, but it was also the first-time that the Beacons have defeated the Vikings since they joined the Little East Conference in 2009.
As a team UMB registered a combined 31 shots to Salem State's 40. Bristol was absolutely brilliant in goal for the Beacons coming-up with 16 saves, six of which came in the final 15 minutes of play. On the face-off "X" UMB held a 17-15 advantage with Xavier Donaldson (Centerville, Mass.) winning 9-of-12 and Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) winning 8-of-14.
The Beacons special teams also had a great day going 3-for-3 on man-up attempts, while the defense held the Vikings to just one man-up goal and forced a combined 19 Salem State turnovers. Defenseman Joe Miller (Hull, Mass.) had his best game to date for the Beacons as he tallied six groundballs. Sean O'Connell (Walpole, Mass.) and Patrick McGoff (Charlestown, Mass.) each collected three groundballs and both forced a team best two turnovers.
Fichera's helper on the game-winning score capped off a five point day for the sophomore as he also fired home five goals. Delpha also stepped-up in a big way handed out five assists to go alone with his one goal.
For the Vikings Frank Lento was dynamite all afternoon recording a game-high nine points which consisted of seven assists and two goals. Andy Rice recorded a team-best four goals, followed by Ben Melaugh who had three on the day. In goal Dylan Svenson made seven stops, including three in the second.
Ian Abrahamson collected a team-best six groundballs and Dave Patnaude was 8-for-17 on the face-off "X".
The opening quarter got off to a slow start for both teams, but once Delpha found the back of the net at the 6:54 mark things picked-up in a hurry, but in Salem State's favor. UMB would manage just one other goal after Delpha's, while Salem State fired off five goals including one with six seconds left to go into the first intermission with a 5-2 lead.
The second quarter would become a shooting gallery as the two teams combined for 10 goals, with the Beacons earning a 6-4 advantage to go into the halftime break trailing by one (9-8). Fichera led UMB's attack with three goals, including one on a man-up possession.
After the break, the third would see each team score twice setting-up an exciting final quarter of play. Trailing by one, Fichera would need just eight seconds of the final quarter to tie the score at 11-11. Nick Weiss (Westfield, Mass.) then gave UMB their first lead of the day on his second goal of the day to make it 12-11. Rice evened the score at 12-12 three minutes later, but was quickly countered by a goal from Petitti to put UMB back out in front.
Bobby Bourgeois then tied the game at 13-13 off of a Lento assist, his sixth of the afternoon at the 3:56 mark. Ryan McGoff and Powers would then give the Beacons their largest lead of the day (15-13) on back-to-back scores. Salem State did cut the lead back down to one with 1:32 left, but that would be all the Vikings attack could muster as UMB held strong to walk away with the victory.
Prior to the start of Saturday's contest the Beacons honored their lone senior member in Bristol and also wore special Boston State College Green and Gold uniforms as part of the first Alumni Day in over a decade.
Lacrosse returns to action on Tuesday when they host Southern Maine at 3:30 p.m. in the final regular season home game on Clark Field.