Emmanuel Takes GNAC, Punches NCAA Ticket
from press release
BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College men's lacrosse team erased an early deficit to defeat Becker College, 9-3, claiming the program's first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship. In just their third season of varsity competition, the Saints improve to 15-3 on the year including a 15-game winning streak to earn the automatic qualifier into the 2014 NCAA DIII Men's Lacrosse Championship. The Hawks fall to 13-5 on the year.
Both squads were quiet early on before Becker opened the game's scoring with 5:38 to play in the first. Freshman attack Daniel Johnson (Plymouth, Mass.) finished a feed from junior attack David Deschenes (Gales Ferry, Conn.) to put the visitors on top, 1-0. Emmanuel answered with 1:06 remaining in the quarter as sophomore middie Chris Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) buried a man-up goal to even the score at 1-1.
Johnson lifted the Hawks to a 2-1 lead with an early second quarter goal, hooking up with Deschenes again at the 11:18 marker in the second quarter. Emmanuel wasted little time to even the score as sophomore middie Michael Rogers (New Haven, Conn.) made it 2-2 with the Saints second man-up goal of the action with 10:32 left in the half.
The Saints, who earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament after going 10-0 in conference play during the regular season, took the lead for good with just under a minute remaining before the halftime intermission on a transition goal by sophomore attack Kaile MacLean-Daley (Moretown, Vt.). With the help of a feed from freshman attack Donnie Litzelman (Exeter, N.H.), MacLean-Daley put Emmanuel on top, 3-2, with 59 seconds left in the half. The Saints would build even more momentum going into the break as sophomore middie Justin Kelly (Collegeville, Pa.) beat the halftime buzzer to make it 4-2 with one second remaining in the half.
Emmanuel came out of the gates in the third quarter riding the emotional high from the first half and dominated the action, outscoring the Hawks 4-0 in the quarter to take an 8-2 lead into the final quarter. MacLean-Daley opened the second half scoring with his second goal of the action before freshman attack Tony Cibelli (Westboro, Mass.) scored two goals in 30 seconds to give the Saints a 7-2 lead. Litzelman got into the scoring mix with his 11th goal of the year to account for the 8-2 score heading into the final quarter.
Curtis made it 9-2 with a man-up tally, assisted by junior attack Ryan Sabuda (Indianapolis, Ind.) with 11:41 left in the game. The assist was Sabuda's fourth of the game, the second highest single-game total in program history.
Becker would close the game's scoring as Deschenes registered his GNAC-leading 48th goal of the year, assisted by senior middie John DeAngelis (Swampscott, Mass.) with under three minutes remaining to make it 9-3.
The Saints defensive unit would make the score hold up en route to the program's first GNAC crown and just the second GNAC Championship won by an Emmanuel College men's program (Cross Country – 2013).
EC junior goalie Austin Lauzier (Bedford, N.H.) continued his stellar play in net, making 10 saves to earn his 15th win of the year. Lauzier was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, allowing just seven goals over the three games, posting a 27 saves and a .794 save percentage.
Becker freshman goalie Jeffrey Dandee (Madison, Conn.) made seven saves in net for the Hawks.
The Saints will find out their NCAA tournament opponent on May 4 when the field in announced on the NCAA.com selection show. Becker returns to action on Tuesday, April 29 for their regular season finale against Regis College at 7:00 PM.
2014 GNAC MEN'S LACROSSE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Andrew Suh Lasell
David Walen Lasell
Ian Mendoza Norwich
Mark Paradiso Norwich
Daniel Johnson Becker
David Deschenes Becker
Ryan Kearney Becker
Tony Cibelli Emmanuel
Pat Heffernan Emmanuel
Chris Curtis Emmanuel
2014 GNAC MEN'S LACROSSE TOURNAMENT MVP
Austin Lauzier Emmanuel
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