SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Endicott men's lacrosse team fell to No. 14 nationally ranked Western New England University (WNEU), 14-12, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament championship game on Saturday afternoon at Golden Bear Stadium.
Will Jennings (Danvers, Mass.) registered a game-high five goals, while Mitchell Tapley (Falmouth, Maine) found the back of the net four times to lead the Gulls offensively. Thomas Harvey (Huntington, N.Y.) also added two goals and Matthew Faucher (Western Springs, Ill.) netted a solo tally in the fourth quarter (6:50, 13-11 deficit) to round out the scoring for Endicott.
With his five goals in today's CCC Championship game, Jennings broke the program record for most goals in a single-season (80), which was previously held by Tom Maher (78 goals, 1998). Jennings' 96 points (80 goals, 16 assists) this year also ranks tied for second in a single-season with Maher (78 goals, 18 assists, 1998).
WNEU received hat-tricks from Keegan Dudeck (Longmeadow, Mass.), Patrick Dillon (Baldwin, N.Y.), and Justin Bard (Westfield, Mass.), to go along with a pair of goals from Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) and Jon Bota (Mahopac, N.Y.) and a solo marker from Taylor Dubose (Altamon, N.Y.). Dudeck also assisted on five goals to give him a game-high 10 points on the day, while Ward chipped in with four helpers for a total of six points.
Trailing 6-5 in the third, Tapley tied up the contest for Endicott with a slick unassisted tally 2:12 into the quarter to bring the game even for the third time in the matchup. The Golden Bears responded with a 5-2 run over the remainder of the third, however, and quick goal in the fourth (14:05) to make it 12-8 (largest lead) before holding off a late rally by Endicott to secure their sixth CCC title in program history.
WNEU sophomore goalie Steven Kerr (Hopkinton, Mass.) stopped a game-high 14 shots in the win (14-3). Cameron Bell (Falmouth, Maine) made six saves in the loss (9-9).
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- WNEU holds an 11-8 advantage in the all-time series against Endicott.
- The Golden Bears and the Gulls have played each other in the CCC title game in four straight seasons, and five out of the last six (WNEU 3-2 overall).
- Today's loss snaps Endicott's five-game winning streak.
- Tommy Hughes (Coram, N.Y.) went 17-for-30 at the face-off X (game-high 11 ground balls).
- Endicott went 16-for-17 in transition.
- Colin Bannon (Westport, Conn.) dished out one assist in today's game to move up to No. 5 on the single-season points and assists lists, respectively (37 goals, 54 assists, 91 points).
- Senior Ben Katzen (Blauvelt, N.Y.) led all student-athletes with a game-high four caused turnovers.
FOR THE FOES
- WNEU improved its winning streak to 11 games today.
- The Golden Bears also bumped up their home record to 7-1.
- WNEU has not lost since March 29 when the Golden Bears fell to the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion and the then No. 3 nationally ranked Tufts University Jumbos by a 15-12 score at home.
WNEU (15-3) has earned the conference's automatic berth into the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament, and will await word of its seeding tomorrow night. Endicott sees its 2016 season come to a close at 9-9 overall.