Wheaton breaks its own hex, keeps Warriors reeling with 12-11 win
NORTON, Mass. -- Until Saturday, it had been a case of close, but no cigar, for the Wheaton College (MA) men's lacrosse team in 2013.
Following Saturday's 12-11 decision, that remains the case for Eastern Connecticut State University this season.
At right: Trevor Morrissette
After losing its first four matches of the year by a total of 12 goals, Wheaton (1-4) never trailed after the opening ten minutes and held off Eastern's (1-5) late second-half comeback at Mirrione Stadium.
Idle since March 13 heading into Saturday's non-conference tilt, the Warriors have lost four straight matches, those setbacks coming by a total of 12 goals. It was only Eastern's (1-5) second loss to Wheaton (1-4) in this 12-game series - first since a 13-12 decision which came in the Warriors' fifth intercollegiate game ever played 17 years ago at Norton.
Making his debut after being sidelined by a pre-season shoulder injury, freshman attack Michael Dellanno (Wakefield, MA) scored the first goal of the match in the first five minutes, and later ignited Eastern's second-half comeback with his second strike with five minutes left in the third quarter
After scoring his second goal, Dellanno gained his first career assist 25 seconds later on a feed to junior attack Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH) as Eastern outscored the hosts 5-1 in a stretch of less than six minutes that pulled the Warriors even, 9-9, 62 seconds into the fourth quarter.
At that point, however, Eastern went quiet for nearly nine minutes. After killing off seven of nine penalties to that point, the Warriors couldn't prevent an extra-man goal after they were penalized on the faceoff following junior attack Mike Jordan's (Cheshire) goal that made it 9-9. In the nine minutes that followed its tying goal, Eastern turned the ball over four times and couldn't connect on three shot, two of which were saved by Wheaton junior goalie Harrison Bramhall.
Eastern senior goalie Drew Deane (Vernon) stopped ten shots - his second-most in a match (by one) this year. In only one period (the third), did the Lyons manage more than three goals (five).
Sophomore attack Matthew Hillman contributed to all but three of Wheaton's goals by scoring five himself and dishing off for four more. Twice in the last seven minutes, he tacked on insurance goals after Eastern had pulled to within one score of knotting the game.
Morrissette finished with four goals for Eastern as the only player with more than two, with junior All-America midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) recording four assists for the second time in three match. Three of the helpers came on the Warriors' first four strikes of the match. Devine came up empty on four shots, marking the first time in 17 matches dating back to last year that he has not contributed at least one goal.
Eastern plays its fifth straight road match - looking for its first victory away from home this year -- Monday at Fairleigh Dickinson U.-Florham at 4 p.m.