(Photo by Marissa Malouf)
They go unbeaten for eighth time en route to eighth regular-season title
BOSTON - Senior attacks Jeremy Cogliano (Bedford, MA) and Michael Sullinger (Brookfield), sophomore attack Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH) and sophomore midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) combined for nine of the team's 11 third-quarter goals and six assists as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team expanded a three-goal halftime lead in a 20-5 victory at the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday which completed the team's eighth undefeated conference regular season (all in unbeaten fashion) in 12 seasons.
Already assured of the LEC playoff's No. 1 seed, Eastern (10-5, 7-0 Little East) won its eighth outright regular-season championship, finishing one game ahead of two-time defending champion Keene State College. The Owls nailed down the No. 2 seed with an 18-6 win over visiting Western Connecticut State University.
Eastern, along with Keene, gains a first-round LEC playoff bye and will host a semifinal game Thursday night (either 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.) against the winner of a Tuesday first-round game between fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth and fifth-seeded Southern Maine. Eastern, which downed UMass Dartmouth by a score of 11-6 April 18 at Mansfield, eliminated the Corsairs in the opening round of last year's playoffs, 14-8, at North Dartmouth, MA. The Warriors have never faced Southern Maine in the LEC playoffs.
Eastern scored a season-high six extra-man goals on seven tries, all in the second half and four in the third quarter.
Eastern defeated UMass Boston (3-13, 1-6 Little East) for the 19th straight time, holding the Beacons to two goals through three quarters. Sullinger finished with career-highs of seven assists and ten points, equaling the fifth-most ever in a match in program history. Morrissette and Devine both had four goals. In his first career start, freshman faceoff specialist Keith Sardo (Ellington) won 19 of 28 faceoffs and picked up seven ground balls. Sophomore defenseman Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA) added six ground balls and sophomore long stick Mike Fanning (Norwell, MA) five.
First-year sophomore transfer Eric Swanson (Bozrah) and freshman Kyle Waterbury (Clinton) each recorded their first career points in the match, Swanson scored the team's final goal on an assist from Waterbury with just under a minute left.
LITTLE EAST CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
#1 Eastern Connecticut
#2 Keene State
#3 Western Connecticut
#4 UMass Dartmouth
#5 Southern Maine
#6 Plymouth State
Tuesday, May 1
#5 Southern Maine at #4 UMass Dartmouth
#6 Plymouth State at #3 Western Connecticut
Thursday, May 3
#4/#5 Winner at #1 Eastern Connecticut, 6 or 7 p.m.
#3/#6 Winner at #2 Keene State
Saturday, May 5
Semifinal winners at the highest remaining seed