April 7, 2012

Eagles Badger Johnson State in Early Morning Action

Bangor, ME - The Husson university men's lacrosse team proved they were able to handle the quick turnaround, defeating the visiting Badgers of Johnson State college in the Eagles' second game in 15 hours by a score of 21-7 in North Atlantic Conference action at Boucher Field on Saturday morning. The Eagles improve to 7-5 on the year while winning their second NAC contest of the season. Johnson State falls to 1-5 in 2012 and remain winless in the conference (0-4).

The Eagles were led by junior attackman Mitch Heaps (York, PA) who came off scoring his 100th point the night before and scored a game-high six goals with an assist for seven points in the game. Not to be out-done, his fellow attackman Ben Landry (Lewiston, ME) had an impressive day as well, adding five goals and an assist to the offensive effort. Wayne Stubbs (Keene, NH) and Nick Brown (Ft. Worth, TX) each had four points on the day as wll, with Stubbs scoring a hat-trick with a helper, while Brown turned in a well-rounded two goal, two assist outing. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Lund (Mansfield, MA) made 13 saves to earn the win and improve to 3-0 in front of the cage on the year.

Husson once again led in nearly every statistical category, with the most notable advantage coming in the shot column as the Eagles out-shot their opponents 60-29. Husson also won the battle on the ground, picking up 59 ground balls compared to 33 by their opponents. The Eagles won an impressive 25 of 32 faceoffs in the game, thanks in large part to the effort of faceoff midfielder Dillon Shaw (Augusta, ME) who won 16-18 draws and picked up a game-leading 13 ground balls.

For the Badgers, senior attackman Alex Petti (East Greenwich, RI) led the Johnson State attack with three goals and an assists while putting a team-high eight shots on the cage. Fellow attackmen Justin Nelson (Lakeville, MA) and Nash Garceau (North Haven, CT) each chipped in a goal and two assists, while Garceau led the Badgers with seven ground balls. Junior goalie Zach Jerome (Waterford, CT) turned in an impressive outing despite the loss, making 17 saves in the game.

It took just 35 seconds for Husson to get on the board as Landry scored the first goal of the game on a feed from Stubbs. The Eagles followed that up thirty seconds later when Nick Brown found the back of the net with just under 14:00 to play in the first quarter and it was quickly 2-0 in favor of Husson. Johnson State got one back with 11:35 left in the first when Garceau paddled a loose ball into the back of the net to cut the Eagle lead down to one. A few minutes later, Heaps put his first of the game past the Badger goalie and Husson was ahead 3-1 with just under eight minutes in the quarter. Johnson State went on the man-advantage at 7:35 and took just thirteen seconds to convert as Nelson found Petti for the extra man opportunity goal. The Badgers leveled the score just inside the six minute mark in the first as the roles were reversed with Petti feeding Nelson and the score was 3-3. 

That goal forced Husson head coach Tim Murphy to call a timeout and bring the troops together. Whatever was said in the huddle seemed to be effective as the Eagles went on an 18-4 run throughout the rest of the game. 

The run got started when the Eagles had the extra-man and Nick Brown dished to Landry in his favorite spot just north of goal-line-extended and the senior sniped a corner to give Husson a lead they'd never squander. Heaps scored two in a row to extend the lead, the first coming on an assist from Chris Pelletier (Rome, ME) - his first of two points in the game - and the second unassisted with just 48 seconds left in the quarter. The Eagles would finish the first quarter scoring less than 30 seconds later when a Shaw faceoff win led to transition offense, and after some quick ball movement, Nick Brown scored on a feed from Heaps, and Husson held a 7-3 advantage after one quarter. 

The Badgers scored the first tally of the second quarter as Johnson State was on the extra man once more, and they took advantage as Nelson assisted Matt Dekens (Johnsonville, VT) for the extra-man tally to cut the defecit to three. Stubbs answered with his second score of the morning, and a minute later, the Eagles took advantage of another man-up opportunity as Ben Potter (Chula Vista, CA) fed Pelletier with 8:36 left to go in the half. Six seconds later, Shaw won another faceoff to himself and dished to Heaps who was cutting across the front of the crease. Heaps caught the ball with his stick in his right hand and put the ball in the cage on a crafty behind-the-back score.

With 3:40 left in the second quarter, Heaps netted another to give Husson 11 goals on the day, and for the second time in the game, Shaw won the faceoff and led the Eagles in transition, dishing the ball at the last second to Heaps who obliged and tallied his third goal in a row. Stubbs made it 13-4 with an unassisted score almost a minute later, his second of the day. The Eagles continued their successes in the faceoff dot, as another win on the draw led to a quick offensicve chance and Landry finished the play to give Husson a ten goal lead. Husson continued to excell on late-quarter posessions as Stubbs found landry with just 43 seconds left to go in the half and the Eagles went into the break leading 15-4.

Husson jumped out and scored the first goal of the second half, taking only eight seconds to do so as Shaw continued to dominate at the dot, and his wins bore fruit as it led to a Landry goal in transition. A minute later, Dustin Brett (Loudon, NH) got on the board with an unassisted marker just under the 14 minute mark. Brett got an assist less than two minutes later when he dished it to Nolan Brown (Waterford, CT) on the doorstep and the first year attackman quick-sticked it home to go ahead 17-4. The Eagles took advantage of another extra-man chance with around ten minutes left in the third, and on a familiar play, Brown passed it off to Landry for the score. A minute and a half later, with Husson down a man, long-stick-midfielder Mike Craig (Kennebunk, ME) found himself with the ball in his stick in the offensive third, and he cranked a shot that found the cage for his third goal of the season. 

Johnson State would get back on the scoreboard after a 13-0 run by the Eagles as Garceau picked up his first helper of the day, taking the ball behind the net and passing off to a streaking Chandler Halbur (Wilmington, VT) who came through with the finish. About a minute later, the Badgers ran a similar play with Carceau finding Petti this time with 21 seconds to go in the third, and the score was 20-7 after three. 

Petti scored his third of the day with 10:24 to play in the game and get to within 13 at 20-7, but the Eagles answered quickly when Aaron Weinstein (Concord, NH) won the draw - one of his eight in the game to go along with eight ground balls - and dished it to Brett who netted his second of the game in transition to close out the scoring at 21-7. 

Husson has a week off before they return to action on Saturday when they travel to Castleton, Vermont to take on the Spartans of Castleton State at 4:00 in a rematch of last year's NAC championship game. The Badgers will take on in-state rival Lyndon State in Lyndonville at 3:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon.