BEVERLY, Mass. – The #15 Endicott men's lacrosse recorded their largest margin of victory in a win over Western New England (+14) as their 20-6 victory over the Golden Bears helped the Gulls secure the top seed in the CCC Tournament which will take place between April 26th-May 3rd. Several players established career-highs including freshman attacker Colin Bannon (Westport, Conn.) with nine points and junior midfielder Harrison Cotter (Lordship, Conn.) who scored seven goals to lead Endicott's offensive outburst.
Endicott (11-3, 7-0) has two remaining games on their 2014 regular season schedule before the conference tournament starting with their Senior Day celebration on Saturday, April 19th against NESCAC opponent Bowdoin. The Gulls and Polar Bears face-off at 1:00 pm at the Stadium as the Blue and Green look to end the program's four-game losing skid to Bowdoin dating back to the 2010 season. Endicott is 3-6 all-time against Bowdoin.
Bannon scored six goals and assisted on three more to lead against the team they lost to in the 2013 CCC Championship. Bannon scored three of his tallies in a first half that saw the Gulls take a 10-1 lead into halftime. Harrison also scored a hat trick over the opening two quarters and followed up with four more strikes in the second half to help put the game away. Bannon added three unassisted goals in the second half and saw one of his assisted help junior midfielder Jonathan Morgan (Lake Panamoka, N.Y.) achieve a personal-best with three goals with 2:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Six different goal-scorers factored into the offense against Western New England who had allowed 9.75 goals per game through their 12 previous contests. Gulls junior attacker Kyle Weber (West Hartford, Conn.) scored twice and assisted on another goal while both junior Nick Pinciaro (Beverly, Mass.) and freshman Will Jennings (Danvers, Mass.) each found the back of the net.
Junior midfielder Jeremy Morgan (Lake Panamoka, N.Y.) also set a career-high in tonight's victory, registering five assists including one to his brother Jonathan, a combination which had never happened in their three seasons playing together.
Gulls sophomore goalie Cameron Bell (Falmouth, Maine) recorded his ninth game this season with double-digit saves and his third straight as he stuffed Western New England attackers 16 times with three ground balls. Defensively, Endicott was led by senior defenseman Breck Merritt (Weston, Mass.) who had a team-high three caused turnovers and junior defenseman Chris Cooney (Cranston, R.I.) who forced two additional miscues by the Golden Bears.
Face-off specialist Tommy Hughes (Coram, N.Y.) was 16-of-28 at the "x" with 11 ground balls while both Western New England face-off men Alex Meschutt (Oneonta, N.Y.) and Jesse DeLucca (East Lyme, Conn.) were 6-of-14 on the day. Cotter was effective in helping Endicott maintain possession as well with a career-high nine ground balls.
Western New England's offense was led by senior attacker Adam Knapton (Canandiagua, N.Y.) who registered four points in the loss with a goal and three assists. Knapton recorded his first point on an assist to a goal by senior attacker Colton Craig (Gales Ferry, Conn.) with 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 14-3 going into the fourth. He added an unassisted goal to start the fourth at 14:16 with man-up assists at 11:48 and 11:16 to trim Endicott's advantage down to 15-6.
The Golden Bears, who boast the CCC's best man-up offense at 38.2% efficiency, converted on 2-of-6 chances with the man-advantage compared to just 1-of-7 for the Gulls. Western New England's defense did their best to contain Endicott with senior defender Jack Liacos (Beverly, Mass.) causing two turnovers while senior defender Trevor Scott (South Weymouth, Mass.) caused one turnover and scooped a team-high four ground balls in the defeat.
Western New England will look to turn it around on Saturday, April 19th with a game at CCC opponent University of New England, their final tune up before the conference tournament begins.