MANSFIELD, Conn. – The defense of the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team limited its opponent to its second-lowest scoring total of the year, but an offense void of last year's top three scorers continued to looks for answers in a 10-4 non-conference loss to Roger Williams University Wednesday afternoon in the 2019 home-opener at Rick McCarthy Field.
Roger Williams (4-3) was held to only six goals over the final 50 minutes but Eastern (2-3) -- which played its first four matches this year on the road -- was unable to recover after the Hawks struck for the first four goals of the match in the first ten minutes. Sophomore Connor Hillemeir, who played last year at Eastern, won the first three faceoffs and the Hawks converted their first three shots for a quick 3-0 lead, the first goal coming inside the first ten seconds.
While the Warriors were unable to string together as many as two unanswered goals against a stout Roger Williams defense, Eastern continued to play virtually penalty-free this year. Averaging under four penalties per match this year, Eastern was whistled for only three, although the visitors were able to take advantage twice with extra-man goals. The first came midway through the second half and made it 6-2 and the second pushed the RWU advantage to 9-3 three minutes into the fourth.
Roger Williams featured balance and depth, with nine players contributing a goal or assist and 20 seeing time off the bench.
Eastern opens its Little East Conference season Saturday at 3 p.m. when in hosts Plymouth State University. The teams were separated by one point in the LEC pre-season poll, Eastern rated third and Plymouth fourth. The Warriors hold a 28-5 advantage in the all-time series.