April 19, 2014

Big Fourth Quarter Leads Plymouth State Past Men's Lacrosse 12-6

BOSTON, Mass.—Plymouth State University (8-3, 3-2 Little East) blew the game open with five-straight goals to open the fourth quarter and cruised to a 12-6 victory over UMass Boston lacrosse (6-8, 1-4 Little East) Saturday afternoon at the UMass Boston Lacrosse Field. 

After giving up three-straight goals to close the third quarter, the Panthers responded with five of their own to spoil UMass Boston's Second Annual Boston State Game. The Beacons' coaching staff donned Green and Yellow Boston State gear and welcomed back alumni, along with Plymouth State head coach Gordie Webb-who served as the head coach at both Boston State and UMass Boston.

Senior attack Chris Annunciata led the Panthers with a game-high four goals, while Nick Morello added three points (one goal and two assists). Goaltender Jesse Kurtz moved to 6-3 on the season with 12 saves on 18 shots. Kurtz also tied with Ryan Garland for the team-lead with six ground balls.

UMass Boston's attack was frustrated for much of the afternoon, as the Beacons managed just six goals on 35 total shots. 

Nick Weiss (Westfield, Mass.), John Powers (Marshfield, Mass.), Dom Fichera (Scituate, Mass.) and Ryan McGoff (Charlestown, Mass.) all tied for the team-high with a goal and an assist in the loss.

Goaltender Craig Frehill (Norwell, Mass.) stopped 14 of the 24 shots he faced, before being replaced by AJ Collette (West Springfield, Mass.) for the final four minutes.

Freshman Derek Froio (Cohasset, Mass.) anchored the Beacons' defense with a career-high 10 ground balls, while also adding a team-high three caused-turnovers. Junior defenseman Tim Milch (Marshfield, Mass.) finished second on UMass Boston with four ground balls.

It only took the Beacons one minute and two seconds to claim their first and only lead of the day. Tommy Petitti (Quincy, Mass.) delivered the goal 62 seconds in on a pass from McGoff to give UMB an early 1-0 lead.

Morello helped the Panthers get right back into the game, as the junior registered a man-up goal at 10:43 of the quarter and added an assist on Mike Trocchi's strike with three seconds to go, to give Plymouth State a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Annunciata scored the first of his four goals at 8:14 of the second, but Fichera answered right back, off of a Weiss pass, to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Panthers would respond with the first of their two big runs in the game, as Nick Pino found the back of the net on back-to-back unassisted goals and Annunciata added two more to make it 7-2 Panthers just 1:44 into the second half. 

UMass Boston finally regained some traction three minutes later, when McGoff fired home a goal, with Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) picking up the assist.

Powers and Weiss followed with strikes over the final five minutes of the quarter to cut the Beacons' deficit to 7-5 with 15 minutes left to play.

That's when Plymouth State took over the game, as the Panthers scored five goals over the opening 13:07 of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Nicco Sorrentino registered a pair of goals during the stretch, while Aaron Boss, Scott Giusti and Annunciata each chipped in with one goal.

Noah Ellis (Hingham, Mass.) finally got the Beacons on the board in the fourth quarter, as the sophomore found the netting with 46 seconds to play. Sophomore Michael Durocher (Marion, Mass.) was credited with an assist on the play.

Both teams registered 35 shots and 10 face-off wins on the afternoon, while the Beacons held slight edges in ground balls (34-32) and turnovers (26-25).  Plymouth State (1-for-6) scored the lone man-up goal of the afternoon, as the Beacons finished 0-for-4 with the man-advantage. 

Sophomore Phil Truong (Quincy, Mass.) led the Beacons with 10 face-off wins in 19 tries.

UMass Boston will return to action Tuesday, as they travel to take on the University of Southern Maine at 4 p.m.