Attleboro, Mass. - Second seeded Daniel Webster College won easily over third seeded Becker College, as the Eagles secured an 6-0 victory. In the second semifinal Regis College earned a spot to defend thier title after defeating fourth seeded Mitchell College 16-8.
The NECC Championship will be held at Regis Stadium on Saturday, April 29th, at 1:00 p.m.
#1 Regis 16, #4 Mitchell 8
WESTON, Mass. - Junior Calvin Brault scored two goals and added six assists on Wednesday night to lift the top-seeded Regis (Mass.) men's lacrosse team over #4 Mitchell College 16-8 in the New England Collegiate Conference semifinals.
With the win, the Pride (6-9) advances to face #2 Daniel Webster, who defeated Becker 6-0 in the other semifinal, in Saturday's NECC Championship to be held at Regis Stadium at 1:00 p.m. Mitchell's season comes to a close at 2-10.
The Pride jumped out to a big early lead, scoring the game's first seven goals before the Mariners got on the board just under five minutes into the second quarter. Senior Nick Romig helped lead the Pride on the early surge, scoring a natural hat trick over a span of 3:48. Brian Jorda broke the ice for Mitchell at the 10:18 mark of the second quarter, the first of three straight goals from the Mariners to make it a four-goal game.
Just nine seconds after the third Mariner goal, which came with 1:10 left in the second quarter, senior Brandon Mehler scored the first of three goals in a span of :27 for the Pride, which included the first collegiate goal for sophomore defender George Nicolopoulos. Mitchell added one more goal late in the half to go to the locker room trailing the Pride 10-4.
A pair of man-up goals, one from junior Danny Rancano and one from Mehler, in the third quarter highlighted a period in which the home Pride outscored the visitors 4-1 and put the game all but out of reach. Mitchell outscored Regis 3-2 in the fourth quarter, but it proved much too little too late, as the Pride sealed the victory. In the game's final minute, Mitchell freshmanReilly Steele recorded his first collegiate goal.
The Pride's Mehler and the Mariners' Jordan led their respective teams by each scoring four goals. Romig and A.J. Karofsky each scored hat tricks for the Pride as well.
Brault's six assists in a game is a new career high, and matches a Regis program record. Peter Leighton, a 2015 graduate, recorded six assists on two occasions, the first on April 11, 2013 and the second on April 8, 2015.
Mitchell goaltender JD LeMay had a strong performance in his final collegiate game despite the loss, recording 15 saves. The Pride's D.J. Barrile (Medford, Mass.) turned away seven Mariner shots in the win.
Courtesy of Regis Athletics Communications.
#2 Daniel Webster 6, #3 Becker 0
Nashua, N.H. – The 218th and final all-time men's lacrosse contest at Daniel Webster College will be played for all the marbles come Saturday afternoon.
Backed by another unconscious goalkeeping effort from senior James Bushey, who stopped nine shots for his first career shutout, the second-seeded Eagles whitewashed third-seeded Becker, 6-0 in the semifinal round of the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference championship tournament Wednesday before 75 patrons at misty Eagle Field.
The win – the first postseason victory for the program all-time in six tries - sends the Eagles (8-5) into Saturday's championship at top-seeded and defending tourney champion Regis (6-9). The Pride were 16-8 winners over fourth-seeded Mitchell.
The Eagles also got over a long-standing hump with the victory as the eighth win finally broke the season record for victories. Five previous teams had finished with seven including last year's rendition.
DWC as an athletics program now has a chance to go out as NECC champions for the second time in its final academic year after men's soccer won the title back in early November. Lacrosse would also take its place with the likes of baseball, men's cross country, field hockey, women's volleyball and women's basketball, which all hung NECC banners over the past 10 years.
The Eagles also have an all-time score to settle with the Pride. Regis has owned DWC since 2011, winning seven straight and are 7-2 all-time in the series. Daniel Webster was never closer to breaking the streak than it was back on April 4th, rallying from a 7-2 halftime deficit to pull within 8-7 in the fourth quarter, before falling, 9-8.
It was again DWC's scoring distribution, Bushey's net play, and a lock-down circle-the-wagons defense in front of the goal that were the keys to victory. Six different Eagles found the back of the net. Tre Mason, Gavin Abbott and Brandon Beard all added an assist to finish with two points apiece. Tanner Todd, Brian Visco and Sean Donahue also found the twine.
Moreover, the game was played with significantly more composure on both sides. Four days after the teams combined for 24 penalties including 16 in an ugly fourth quarter, DWC was whistled for just one infraction while Becker went to the box just three times.
Willard (Trey) McMillen finished with nine saves for Becker (4-12), which was denied a trip back to conference title game. Both Bryan Parsons and Corey Bebeau pulled in five grounders.
Bushey, who owns a miniscule 2.50 GAA over his last four starts, lowered his already league-best GAA to 7.38 (13th in the nation) and improved his save percentage to .632 (2nd nationally), stopped two shots in the first, one in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth including another couple of dandies in the first half as the Eagles needed time to build their lead.
Despite Becker's 19 shots overall, the Eagle D, keyed down low by Todd and Anthony D'Urso succeeded time and time again in not letting Becker penetrate. Of the Hawks nine shots on Bushey, only two were from inside 10 yards.
Becker hung tight for a while. The Hawks, who use a slow, patient and sometimes pace-deadening outside attack that uses ball control around the perimeter that can eat up minutes at a time before looking for an opportune shot, also used an ultimate 35-30 edge in groundballs (19-14 at the half) to actually finish ahead of the Eagles in clock control, especially in the opening half.
The early result was a scoreless first quarter in which DWC got off only two shots while Becker got off five (two on goal).
But DWC, which was bolstered as usual by strong faceoff production from Matt Capozzi who was 4 for 4 in the second period (7-9 on the day), got off eight shots in that frame and finally broke through when Mason found Beard 10 yards out in front after a Hawks defensive breakdown for the lead.
With 5:36 to go before the half, Mason grabbed the reigns, intercepting an errant pass behind the Becker goal and promptly deked out front and buried the unassisted tally for his team-leading 39th of the year. It was 2-0 Eagles.
DWC then got a key break late when Mason caused a turnover on a failed Hawk clear attempt and set up Abbott from five yards out with 27 seconds before the buzzer for a 3-0 advantage at intermission.
The Eagles ground game began to wear Becker down in the third. DWC racked up a 10-4 shots advantage and finished nearly even in grounders (6-7) with the only goal coming at the 3:10 mark when Donahue connected from 15 yards off an Abbott feed.
The Eagles kept the defensive pressure up in the fourth, despite turning the ball over eight times and made the most of their four shots scoring twice in the final three-plus to ice it.
Todd picked up his 17th of the year on his own with 3:15 left and Visco knocked in his eighth with 70 seconds remaining.
Becker won the all-time series, 9-5.
Courtesy of Daniel Webster Athletics Communications.
Semifinals – Wednesday, April 26th
Game 1: @ #1 Regis 16, #4 Mitchell 8
Game 2: #2 Daniel Webster 6, #3 Becker 0
Championship – Saturday, April 29th
Game 3: #2 Daniel Webster @ #1 Regis - 1:00 p.m.