MANCHESTER, N.H. – For the third time in the last four seasons, the Saint Anselm College men’s lacrosse team clinched a Northeast-10 Conference postseason berth following a 14-8 victory over Bentley University on Tuesday night at Grappone Stadium in Manchester, N.H.
The Hawks (8-4, 6-4 NE-10) celebrated their annual senior night and honored Alex Buxbaum (Medway, Mass.), Jake Stokes (Beverly, Mass.), Ben Warren (Georgetown, Mass.), Ryan Sullivan (Canton, Mass.), Jeff Boyle (Manchester, N.H.), James O’Neill (East Walpole, Mass.) and Jimmy McCurdy (Canton, Mass.) for their contributions to Saint Anselm College and its athletic department in a pregame ceremony.
Mark Vitello (Weymouth, Mass.) recorded a five point day with three goals and two assists to lead the Hawks. James Olsen (Westford, Vt.) also found the back of the net three times, with Todd Billeter (Derry, N.H.) and Xavier Quinn (Rye, N.H.) each scoring two goals apiece. Ryan Hesseltine (Westford, Mass.) added a goal and an assist.
Goalie Lucas DeAngelo (Byfield, Mass.) picked up his eighth win of the season by stopping 13 shots in the victory. Jake Stokes and Derrick LaBranche (Bow, N.H.) led the defense with four groundballs apiece, while Drew Bourdeau (Newburyport, Mass.) caused a game-high three turnovers.
Bentley was led by two goals each from Matt Sanford and John Wheeler. Max Adler won 20-of-25 face-offs in the game and scooped up a game-high eight groundballs. Daniel Shaughnessy suffered the setback while making eight saves.
Saint Anselm got out to a quick start, scoring the game’s first four goals over the opening 8:05 of play. Mark Vitello found James Olsen for the opener after just 46 seconds and added two of his own in the early stages. Bentley (6-6, 5-5 NE-10) got on the board with 5:40 to go in the first period but Olsen’s second of the game canceled it out to leave the Hawks up 5-1 after one.
Bentley scored the first two goals of the second period, holding Saint Anselm scoreless for the first 9:56 of the stanza to get within two at 5-3. Patrick Sweeney (North Andover, Mass.) broke the scoring drought by bullying a defender and firing home and Alex Pacitti (Foxboro, Mass.) capped the first half’s scoring at 3:36 to leave the Hawks with a 7-3 halftime advantage.
The Falcons opened the scoring in the second half to pull to within 7-4, but Olsen scored off a feed from Jimmy McCurdy and Todd Billetter entered the scoring column near the end of the third quarter to give Saint Anselm a 9-4 advantage. Bentley’s Matt Sanford scored the final goal of the period to make it a 9-5 game headed into the fourth.
Xavier Quinn, Dylan Ryan (Framingham, Mass.) and Vitello put the game out of reach as they scored three-straight goals to open the final quarter of play and give the Hawks their largest lead of the game at 12-5. Bentley scored back-to-back goals off the sticks of John Wheeler and George Cardillo, but Billetter and Quinn each answered with tallies to put the Hawks back on top at 14-7. Bentley’s Matt Sanford scored in the final second of the game to give the game its final score of 14-8.
Bentley held a 38-31 advantage in shots in the game while also grabbing 31 groundballs compared to 23 for the home team. The Hawks forced 23 Bentley turnovers while taking care of business on special teams, holding the Falcons to just a 1-for-8 showing on the man-advantage.
The Hawks wrap up the 2016 regular season on Saturday afternoon when they travel to #3 Merrimack College for a 1 p.m. meeting with the Warriors.
Bentley Falls to Saint Anselm 14-8 in Game with Playoff Implications
MANCHESTER, N.H. – In a matchup of two teams fighting for a playoff spot, Saint Anselm came away with a 14-8 victory over the Bentley men’s lacrosse team on Tuesday night.
After they trailed 7-3 at halftime, Bentley opened the 2nd half with a goal from senior Matt Brigham (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey). Saint Anselm responded with two goals in a row, before sophomore Matt Sanford (Stratham, N.H./Bow) scored with 1:03 left in the quarter to cut the deficit back to four goals at 9-5 headed into the 4th quarter.
Saint Anselm though opened the final quarter with a 3-0 run over the opening seven-plus minutes to open up a 12-5 lead. Though Bentley would score two goals in a row, from junior John Wheeler (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) and freshman George Cardillo (Andover, Mass./Andover), which got them to within 12-7 with just over five minutes remaining, they would not get any closer.
Bentley received goals in the first half from Sam Hurley (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) in the 1st quarter and Alex Astarita (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) and Wheeler in the 2nd quarter.
Bentley dropped to 6-6 overall on the season and 5-5 Northeast-10. They’ll close the regular season on Friday night at home against Le Moyne on Senior Night.