|Plymouth State University||University of Southern Maine|
PLYMOUTH, N.H. — The Plymouth State University men’s lacrosse team turned in a dominating first half Wednesday afternoon and went on to defeat the University of Southern Maine, 13-7, in a key Little East Conference men’s lacrosse game at Currier Field.
The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Panthers, and improved their record to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in the Little East. The Panthers are in a three-way tie for second place in the LEC with one game remaining. The Huskies dropped their second straight to slide to 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the conference, good for fifth place.
Plymouth State outscored Southern Maine 9-0 in the first 30 minutes, and took more shots by a 27-10 count, to take the commanding lead. For the game, PSU won the battle of faceoffs (21-3), ground balls (39-29), and shots (49-29).
Sophomore Paul Leonardo (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) led the USM attack scoring a career high five goals. Junior Nate DelGiudice (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) chipped in with a goal and two assists, and senior Keegan Smith (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner Area) dished out four assists. Junior goalie Zach Bessette (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) stopped 14 shots.
For the Panthers, senior Nicco Sorrentino (Chelmsford, Mass.) had three goals and two assists. Sorrentino tallied four (2g, 2a) of his team-high five points in the first half. Senior Mac Tetreault (New Durham, N.H.) and sophomore Casey Elkin (Stow, Mass.) chipped in with two goals each, and senior Pete Allen (Newbury, N.H.) and sophomore Chris Waterbury (Clinton, Conn.) added a goal and an assist apiece. Senior goalie Jayson LaRiviere (Chelmsford, Mass.) made 14 saves for the Panthers.
Allen put the home side on the board less than two minutes into the game. Elkin followed with back-to-back goals 66 second apart to make it 3-0. Sorrentino’s first marker, off an assist from Allen, and Waterbury’s goal made it 5-0 before the first period was 12 minutes old.
The Panthers added four goals, from four different players, to their lead in the second quarter while holding the Huskies scoreless to lead 9-0 at halftime.
Tetreault’s second goal early in the third quarter made it 10-0 before Leonardo got the Huskies on the board. A run of four consecutive goals spanning the third and fourth quarters got the Huskies back within six (11-5), but that would be as close they would get. USM outscored PSU in the second half 7-4.
Southern Maine wraps up the 2017 regular season with a road game on Friday night (7:00 p.m.) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Plymouth State travels to Western Connecticut State University on Friday (4:00 p.m.) to close the regular season. Both teams have clinch berths in the LEC postseason championship tournament that starts next Tuesday (May 2). Seedings and first-round match-ups will be announced this weekend.