Men's Lacrosse: Warriors Rally in Second Half, Control Overtime in LEC Thriller

Men's Lacrosse: Warriors Rally in Second Half, Control Overtime in LEC Thriller

 

MANSFIELD, Conn. – In overtime, the University of Massachusetts Boston had only one possession. It was brief, and costly.

UMass (2-11, 1-4 LEC) scored twice in the final 1:41 to force overtime, but Eastern (4-7, 2-3 LEC) possessed for most all of the extra session, then capitalized by forcing a turnover on the Beacon's only possession of sudden death.

Junior Anthony Choronzy (Clinton) stripped the ball from a Beacon defenseman deep in UMass' zone -- after the visitors had picked up a blocked Eastern shot -- and found senior Matthew Rougeot (Cheshire) alone just outside the crease with 26.8 seconds left  in the four-minute sudden-death session to lift the Warriors to their 26th consecutive win over UMass Saturday afternoon in Little East Conference play at Rick McCarthy Field.

Now 0-10 away from home this year, UMass led by three goals three minutes into the fourth quarter before Eastern struck for five goals in less than nine minutes to surge to a 13-11 lead with three minutes left. However, sophomore Tom Redmond won the ensuing faceoff for UMass and sophomore Conor Lenfest got one back for UMB. Eastern was flagged for a slash on Lenfest's goal, and UMass  needed less than a minute to tie the game on freshman Michael Claflin's (Newton, MA) extra-man goal with 51 seconds left.

UMass senior goalie Cameron Dixson and Eastern' junior Jack Farrell (Stratford) each made saves inside the final minute to preserve the tie and force overtime.

Sophomore  Tyler Stein (Milford) won the overtime faceoff for Eastern when sophomore Jake Liebowitz (Trumbull) corralled the ground ball. Coming out of an Eastern timeout late in overtime, Dixson saved junior Brett Chin's (Framingham, MA) left-handed game-winning bid by deflecting it out of bounds. UMass called time with 66 seconds left.

Moments later, junior Jacob Testa's (Southington) shot was blocked and UMass gained possession briefly. Choronzy then stripped the defender -- who lost sight of the defensive player when he turned his head while attempting to circle back in his zone -- won the ground ball, and found Rougeot alone to the right of the crease.

The goal was the eighth of the game for Rougeot, tying the match record which he shared with Eddie Sheehan (1999) and Tommy Laverty (2007).

Sophomore Kyle Cardoza (Waterford) added three goals for Eastern and Choronzy, junior Wes Thompson (Watertown) and Liebowitz contributed three assists. Facing four different UMB faceoff men, Stein won 11 of 16 and sophomore Michael Parker (Colchester) six of 12. Stein won seven ground balls, Parker and freshman pole Jack Lombardo (Berlin) five to help Eastern win that battle, 38-30.

Farrell stopped 11 shots – six in the fourth quarter, while Dixson turned away 13, five coming in the third quarter when UMB limited Eastern to one goal.

Lenfest and junior Ned Parker  -- UMass's top two scorers this year --  combined for seven of their team's goal total, Lenfest leading the way with four. Each had an assist.'

Eastern has won the last four games in the series by only 12 goals.

Eastern hosts Anna Maria College Tuesday at 5 p.m. in a non-conference match.