Behind Tommins and Dubinsky, they end Owls' 19-game LEC streak
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Junior Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) won 21 of 28 faceoffs and the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team never trailed after scoring the final three goals of the first half in a 14-11 victory over Keene State College Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At right: Jamie Tommins
Eastern (5-4, 2-0 Little East) defeated Keene State (3-5, 1-1 Little East) for the first time in the last five meetings and snapped the two-time defending regular-season and playoff champion Owls' 19-game conference winning streak, which began after Eastern defeated Keene, 12-8 in the 2009 LEC title game at home. The Warriors improved to 11-1 against the Owls at home in this 23-game series, having dropped a 17-11 home loss to Keene in 2010.
There were five ties and three lead changes in this game between the two-ranked teams in the LEC pre-season poll. Eastern never trailed by more than two goals and was never behind after scoring the final three goals of the first half that gave it its first lead (8-7) since late in the first quarter.
Beginning with sophomore Mike Devine's (Cheshire) second goal of the match, Eastern outscored Keene 7-2 over 21 minutes to turn a two-goal deficit into a 12-9 lead six seconds into the fourth quarter.
Dubinsky, who scored that goal six seconds into the fourth quarter after winning the faceoff and picking up the ground ball, won 21 of 28 faceoffs to push his season percentage over .600 to .602.
Senior goalie Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) came up with 16 saves for Eastern - his sixth game this season of last least ten. Seven of Tommins' saves came in the decisive third quarter when the only goals he allowed in the period came three minutes apart and allowed the Owls to tie the game at 9-9.
Senior attack Michael Sullinger (Brookfield) scored a season-high five goals and added two assists to lead Eastern, while Devine added three and first-year junior attack Christian Leone (West Norwalk) had two goals and an assist.
Dubinsky picked up 17 ground balls, with senior defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) credited with six and Sullinger five.
Junior attack Taylor Jette gave the Owls a quick lead on their first possession of the match and Keene led by two goals on three occasions, the final time at 7-5 when junior midfielder J.T. Galloway scored the second of his two goals on the day on an assist from senior midfielder Ian Hart (Richmond, NH) with seven minutes left in the first half.
Jette led Keene with three goals, senior Matt Schairer and Ian Hart adding two goals and two assists each. Junior goalie Jason Leser made nine saves for the Owls, evening his record at 3-3.
In Keene's 19-17 regular-season victory over Eastern at Keene, NH, Jette and Schairer combined for ten goals and three assists.
Eastern visits No. 15 nationally-ranked Wesleyan University Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.