Western Connecticut Shuts Down Salem State, 10-5
DANBURY, Conn. — The Western Connecticut
State University men’s lacrosse team allowed only two goals
in the first three quarters of play and moved into the semifinals
of the Little East Conference tournament with a 10-5 win over Salem
State College Tuesday evening at the Westside Athletic complex.
Seniors Adam Lanehart (Redding, Conn.) and A.J. Barbieri (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) each scored three goals to lead WestConn, and sophomore Sean Macey (New Fairfield, Conn.) added two goals.
For Salem State, Brandon Cali (Leominster, Mass.) scored two goals, while Jonathan Falls (Seekonk, Mass.) added a goal and an assist.
Defense and goal tending dominated play early as both teams struggled to score. At the 7:50 mark of the first quarter, WestConn’s Greg Zifchak (Kingston, N.Y.) got the Colonials on the board and Lanehart followed a minute later with his first goal to give WestConn a 2-0 lead. With four minutes remaining in the first quarter, WestConn’s starting goalkeeper Tyler Martone (Cheshire, Conn.) was injured and replaced by sophomore Vinny Danseglio (Sayville, N.Y.), but the Colonial defense continued to deny every Salem State attack.
The WestConn margin remained two goals for the remainder of the first quarter and for the first 10 minutes of the second, until Barbieri scored an unassisted goal to push the WestConn lead to 3-0. The Colonials seemed poised to keep Salem State off the scoreboard for the first half, but with 21 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Cali scored the Vikings’ first goal for a 3-1 WestConn lead at halftime.
Salem State trimmed the WestConn lead to 3-2 early in the third quarter, but goals by Macey and Lanehart pushed the momentum back in favor of the Colonials and WestConn led 5-2 entering the fourth quarter of play.
Twice during the fourth quarter Salem State scored goals that could have cast doubts on the game’s outcome, and both times WestConn answered with back-to-back goals less than a minute apart. Lanehart and Barbieri scored goals at 10:52 and 10:42 respectively to turn a 5-3 WestConn lead into a 7-3 advantage, and sophomore Mike Schoen (Tolland, Conn.) and Barbieri quickly followed another Salem State goal for a 9-4 lead with seven minutes remaining. The Colonials and Vikings traded goals down the stretch to make WestConn’s final margin of victory 10-5, setting up a semifinal matchup for the
Colonials against instate rival Eastern Connecticut on Thursday.
For the game, WestConn held a 41-33 advantage in shots, and a 24-17 edge in shots on goal. Danseglio finished with 10 saves in goal to earn his first victory of the season for the Colonials, while Brendan Gill (Chelmsford, MA) recorded 14 saves in a losing effort for Salem State.
WestConn, now 7-9 overall on the season, advances to the semifinal round of the Little East Conference tournament and will travel to play Eastern Connecticut on Thursday. The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the LEC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.