PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Chris Annunciata, sophomore Nick Morello and senior Ty Long combined to score 12 goals Tuesday afternoon as fourth-seeded Plymouth State University defeated fifth-seeded lacrosse, 17-11, in the first round of the Little East Conference men's lacrosse tournament at Panther Field.
The upset-minded Beacons matched PSU goal for goal in the first quarter before the home team outscored the visitors 5-2 in the second frame and 8-2 in the third to push the lead to 16-7, and then held off a late rally by the Beacons in the final session. Despite the loss, the Beacons saw sophomore attackman Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) reached the 100 point plateau. The Walpole native ended his sophomore season with a combined 63 goals and 37 assists to continue to lead the Beacons offense since arriving on campus last season. He also became the first Beacon since Christopher Hanafin to break the 100 point mark. Hanafin ended his college career fourth all-time with 207 points.
The Panthers, 9-4, advance to an LEC semifinal game Friday at 5:00 p.m. at top-seeded Keene State College. UMB, which was making its first playoff appearance since 2008, closes out its season at 6-12.
Annunciata got the Panthers off to a strong start, scoring the first goal just six seconds after the opening whistle, before adding two scores in the second and third quarters to finish with a game-high five goals. Morello tallied four goals in the third quarter, including three in a row in a 47-second span that put PSU ahead15-7. Long added three goals for the Panthers and senior Shawn McEvoy contributed a goal and a team-high three assists.
Freshman Harrison Keithly and Annunciata pumped in the first two goals of the second quarter for PSU to give the Panthers the lead for good at 5-3. After Weiss cut the margin down to one goal, Annunicata, Long and Keithly notched consecutive strikes to make it an 8-4 Panther advantage. Petitti answered for UMB in the final minute of the half to make it 8-5 at the intermission.
Petitti's goal to open the third period brought the Beacons to within two goals again, but PSU scored the next four, one each from sophomore C.J. Frates, Annunciata, Morello and Stephen Patch. McGoff snuck one in for UMB but PSU opened up a comfortable lead (17-7) with the next five goals, three by Morello and one apiece from Annunciata and Long.
UMB closed out the scoring with the final four goals in the last 10 minutes, two from Ryan McGoff, one by junior Patrick McGoff (Charlestown, Mass.) and the last one by Weiss.
PSU dominated the face-off spot, winning 26 of the 32 draws. Junior Scott Giusti captured 16-of-17 face-offs while senior Devon Smith won 10-of-14.
The Panthers finished with a 58-24 advantage in shots and a 45-30 margin in ground balls. Junior Jesse Kutz made five saves to earn the win in the Panther goal. Senior Henry Bristol (South Hadley, Mass.) finished with 20 saves for UMB, the sixth time this season he has made at least 20 stops in a game in the final collegiate game of his career.
Information for this release provided by Plymouth State University Sports Information Department