BANGOR, Maine — When it comes to lacrosse pedigrees, Husson University has a lot of ground to make up on Maine Maritime Academy.
While MMA’s Mariners have been playing for at least 14 seasons, Husson is currently embarking on its first as a varsity program.
The stark difference was evident Wednesday afternoon at Boucher Field as the Mariners dismantled the Eagles 14-3, but even clearly frustrated Husson head coach Jeremy Mattoon had to admit his program has come a long way in a short time.
“We’re 3-3 now, and someone said to me earlier ‘If I said in January you could have three wins, would you take it?” and I said ‘Oh yes,’” Mattoon said.
Mariners coach Mike Capotosto will take Wednesday’s win and run as it keeps his squad unbeaten at 4-0 and helps inject more confidence into a youthful squad featuring nine freshman players.
Two of MMA’s five seniors led the way with three goals apiece. Farmington’s Garrett Lake had three goals and two assists and Phillip McNerney of Eliot added three goals and one assist.
The Mariners got under full sail early with five goals in the first quarter.
“We move the ball really well and I think we’ve scored a lot of our goals on fast breaks,” said Lake, an attacker. “We have quick men who can attack from behind and dish the ball well.”
In fact, MMA’s quickness made Husson look almost sedentary by comparison.
“We don’t have that quick attack yet. MMA was averaging 20, 22 goals a game coming in,” Mattoon said. “We’d love to run and gun, but we can’t yet. That being said, their defense was a lot better than ours.”
The Mariners held Husson scoreless until 18 seconds into the second half, when freshman Jess Cullivan of Winslow got loose for a fast break and scored off a quick rush and a shot from about 15 feet out.
Freshman Brian Corain of Berwick also contributed to MMA’s offensive onslaught with three goals, but again it was the defense that got top billing from the coaches.
“They have three seniors on defense and it shows. They shut us down all day,” said Mattoon. “They played position real well and had good stick checks.”
Freshman goalie Matt Linnell of Albion was Husson’s defensive leader.
“The only reason we stayed in this game was Matty,” Mattoon said. “Out of all of us, individually, he had the best game.”
Linnell, who had never played lacrosse before this year, made 12 saves on 39 shots.
“He’s got a great goalie for never playing in goal before. We put a lot of shots on net and he got some great saves,” said Capotosto.
Meanwhile, freshman Dan Redmond of Wesbrook made 19 saves on 30 shots.
Freshman Anthony Diaz of Brunswick scored for Husson off a Nick Brown assist to make it 9-2 with 6:25 left in the third. After Lake scored to make it 10-2 MMA with 4:20 left, sophomore Ryan Lapham scored on an assist from freshman Ben Landry of Lewiston with 1:03 left in the quarter.
“Given how big a lead they had on us early on, I thought we came out and played well in the third quarter,” Mattoon said. “It wasn’t anything I said. I think it was more a pride factor.”
Andrew DiSalvo had two goals and two assists for the Mariners, Todd Murphy added two goals, and Chris Kelley made three assists.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY MICHAEL YORK
Matt Linnell (right) of Husson University makes a stick save on a shot by Maine Maritime Academy’s Brian Corain in the first half of Wednesday afternoon’s game in Bangor.