BEVERLY, Mass. – The #11 ranked Endicott men's lacrosse team garnered a 14-5 win over University of New England in their Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opener on Tuesday afternoon due in large part to a nine-goal second half outburst by the Gulls. The Gulls erased a 5-3 deficit in the second quarter by scoring 11 unanswered goals to end the game.
Endicott (4-0, 1-0 CCC) got a pair of four-point games from junior midfielder Jeremy Morgan (Lake Panamoka, N.Y.) and junior attackman Kyle Weber (West Hartford, Conn.) as well as a hat trick from junior midfielder Harrison Cotter (Lordship, Conn.) to help turn away the Nor'easters in their league opener.
The Gulls continue their 2014 schedule with a non-conference showdown at home against NESCAC opponent Amherst on Friday, March 14th at 6:00 pm. The Lord Jeffs are 2-1 (1-1 NESCAC) on the season with wins over Bates and Eastern Connecticut and a loss to #18 Bowdoin. UNE (2-3, 0-1 CCC) plays MIT on Saturday, March 15th on the road starting at 1:00 pm.
UNE controlled the opening 20 minutes of the game, outscoring the Gulls 3-2 in the first quarter and 2-1 into the second quarter following an unassisted goal by Nor'easters senior midfielder Nick Gross (Kennebunk, Maine) to make it 5-3. Endicott battled back over the final 10:03 of the second quarter to tie the game at five heading into halftime behind goals by junior attackman Nick Pinciaro (Beverly, Mass.), from Joshua Tordik (Sayville, N.Y.) and Morgan, from Weber.
Momentum shifted in the second half as Gulls freshman face-off man Tommy Hughes (Coram, N.Y.) rebounded to win 6-of-7 third quarter draws which led to a six-goal period. Cotter scored two of his three goals at the 11:05 and 9:10 marks of the third quarter to put Endicott ahead 7-5. Morgan and sophomore attackman Mitchell Tapley (Falmouth, Maine) also scored two goals apiece in the third quarter to push the lead up to 11-5 heading into the fourth quarter. Assists by Tordik, captain Peter Erickson (Yarmouth, Maine), junior Jonathan Morgan (Lake Panamoka, N.Y.), and freshman Colin Bannon (Westport, Conn.) all contributed to Endicott's third quarter offensive output.
In the fourth quarter, Endicott sealed their win with goals by Weber off a bounce pass from freshman Will Jennings (Danvers, Mass.), senior midfielder Chris Murphy (Holden, Mass.), and Cotter's final goal. Two first half goals by Weber and Bannon's team-leading 13th goal with nine seconds left in the first quarter were integral in keeping Endicott on-pace with UNE's hot start.
The Gulls defense forced seven of UNE's 11 turnovers in the second half with junior Will Farfalla (Glen Rock, N.J.) registering three caused turnovers and junior defensemen Ian Knechtle (New Canaan, Conn.) and Chris Cooney (Cranston, R.I.) causing two each. Hughes led the team with 10 ground balls thanks to a 13-for-22 performance on the "x" with both Tapley and Jennings adding four GBs.
The Nor'easters were led by junior Andrew Kelly's (Sudbury, Mass.) three caused turnovers and three ground balls. Goalie John Dusel (Wilbraham, Mass.) had a team-high five GBs while making nine saves in the cage.
Endicott sophomore goalie Cameron Bell (Falmouth, Maine) improved to 4-0 on the season as he shook off an early deficit to make five saves on 10 shots on goal. He faced 20 shots overall from UNE who were outshot 43-20.
Endicott also held a 39-30 ground ball advantage and converted 15-of-18 clear attempts. The Gulls were unable to take advantage of their lone man-up opportunity while UNE scored at 3:12 of the first quarter, a Patrick Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine) tally from Geoff Bruno (Durham, Conn.), to make it 2-1 Nor'easters.