Man-down unit kills seven penalties in Warriors' win over Mount Ida
NEWTON, Mass. -- Senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) turned a Mount Ida College fourth-quarter turnover into the team's first goal after 18 scoreless minutes and the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team went on to an 11-6 non-conference victory Thursday afternoon at the Mount Ida Athletic Complex.
Above: Maxim Fantl
Mount Ida (2-4) kept Eastern (5-2) off the board in the third quarter and scored twice to cut the Warriors' five-goal halftime lead to 7-5 before Fantl ignited a quick four-goal Eastern spurt as the Warriors re-gained the momentum to post their third win over the Mustangs in as many years.
Ranked No. 11 in New England, Eastern remains unbeaten in three matches this year against New England opponents and evens its road record at 2-2. The Mustangs are six-time defending North Atlantic Conference champions.
With Eastern's offense stalled throughout the third quarter, Fantl kick-started it in the early minutes of the fourth. Two minutes into the period, Mount Ida turned the ball over in Eastern's defensive end and Fantl picked it up and raced the length of the field before beating Mount Holyoke sophomore goalie Jimmy McAllister with a low shot from the right wing inside the left pipe to end the team's extended scoring drought.
Following Fantt's lead, senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich), sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) struck for goals over the next three minutes to push the Warriors' lead to 11-5 with 8:30 left.
Mount Ida's hopes for a comeback were dashed in the final five minutes when it was unable to capitalize on a two-man advantage. First, the Mustangs commited an unforced turnover that gave Eastern a critical possession, then were flagged with their only penalty of the match with 3:38 remaining and Eastern leading by six.
Freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) was credited with 13 saves, six coming with Eastern's offense sputtering in the third quarter and kept the hosts from pulling any closer than two goals.
At left: Donald Berube
Eastern's man-down unit played a key role in the victory, as it killed off all seven of Mount Ida's extra-man opportunities to improve its season percentage to .362.
Junior defenseman Daniel Dowling (Hamden) and freshman midfielder Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) combined to win ten of 18 faceoffs after junior faceoff ace Eric Vasil (Southiington) left the field for the remainder with a hip injury after winning the games initial faceoff. Last year's national leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls, Vasil brought a .721 success rate into the game.
Malouf and Bolivar each had three goals for Eastern, Malouf adding an assist. Albertston contributed two goals and a helper.to improve his team-leading point total to 25.
Eastern begins Little East Conference play Saturday at 2 p.m. against the University of Southern Maine at Deerfield High School in South Portland, ME at 2 p.m.
Eastern Conn. 11, Mount Ida College 6
Eastern Conn. (5-2) 4 3 0 4 -- 11
Mount Ida College (2-4) 1 2 2 1 -- 6
Goals: E-Zach Malouf 3, Salieu Bolivar 3, Grant Albertson 2, Maxim Fantl, Brian Fechtmann, Vinny Tornatore; M-Nick yacuzzi, Dan Harrington, Brandon Keith, Christopher Prophete, Matthew Savage, Kevin Mulvey.
Assists: E-Albertson, Fantl, Malouf, Dan O'Reilly; M-Harrington, Yacuzzi.
Shots: E-39, M-40; Saves: E-Donald Berube 13 (6 goals allowed, 56:48 min.), Jamie Tommins 1 (0, 3:12); M-Jimmy McAllister 15.