BOSTON, MA – Despite a team-high four goals from rookie attackman Eric Caldwell (East Moriches, NY), the Western Connecticut men's lacrosse team was downed at UMass-Boston, 11-8, in the LEC Opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at James Cotter Field. With the loss, the Colonials fell to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in league play, while the Beacons improved to 4-4 and 0-1.
WestConn freshman midfielder Ryan Reuling (Groton, CT) finished with a goal and a game-high three assists, while classmate John Ward (Mahopac, NY), sophomore Robert Swensen (Danbury, CT), and senior John Foristall (Danbury, CT) each finished with a goal and an assist. The hosts outshot the Colonials by a 37-27 margin, while also winning the groundball battle, 40-23.
"It was a sloppy game both ways. We had a tough time clearing the ball in the weather conditions and weren't able to adjust. I thought we played well 6-on-6 on both ends, but lost the battle in the middle of the field. There is a lot of learning going on with our young team," said WestConn head coach Ryan Cavanagh after the game.
UMass-Boston raced out to a 2-0 lead to wrap up the first quarter. WestConn countered with goals from Swensen and Foristall to knot the count at 2-2 before Sam Matton put the Beacons back on top, 3-2, heading into halftime.
The pace picked up in the third stanza as both teams combined to rack up eight goals. Caldwell notched all of his goals in a four-goal flurry to give the Colonials a 6-4 lead midway thru the period. The Beacons answered with a three-goal spurt of their own to regain a 7-6 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Ward took a feed from classmate Christian Sparacino (Manorville, NY) and found the back of the net, deadlocking the score at 7-7 less than a minute in. However, the Beacons struck back, working the ball around the perimeter quickly before Matton fired a sharp-angled righty shot in from about eight yards out. Moments later, Clay Arnold roll dodged from behind the net and scored just above goal-line extended, stretching the gap to 9-7. After Calvin Lee scored on a bounce shot to make it 10-7, Reuling raced towards the crease, taking a pass from Foristall and tickled the twine, cutting the deficit to 10-8 with 5:55 remaining. However, with the Colonials applying heavy pressure Josh Holmes split a pair of defenders and tallied an empty netter, rounding the count out at 11-8.
Senior netminder Patrick Tynan (Somers, CT) finished with 12 saves and dropped to 3-4 overall for WestConn, while Alex Surette turned aside eight shots and improved to 3-3 for UMass-Boston. The Colonials return to action for a non-conference matchup at New England College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.