Eastern Connecticut Edges Montclair State in Overtime

In a battle of 2009 NCAA tournament teams and conference champions, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team snapped a three-game losing streak at the hands of Montclair State University with its second one-goal in three days, 11-10 in overtime Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Senior crease attackman Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) scored his second goal of the match 2:24 into sudden-death overtime with a shot from in front of the cage on an assist from freshman attack Matthew Janssen (Hillsborough, NJ) to end the match. The lead was only Eastern's second of the match and first since the Warriors led 5-4 with 3:20 left in the first half, and the shot was the Warriors' only one in overtime.

Montclair led 4-1 late in the first quarter and 9-7 with nine minutes left in the game after ophomore attack Tyler Meth (Basking Ridge, NJ) scored his team-leading 11 goal of the season. Trailing 10-9, Eastern tied the match for the fourth time in the match when senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich) scored on a pass from junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) with just 85 seconds left in regulation.

Montclair started the overtime period with possession and a man up after Eastern was whistled for a push with eight seconds left in regulation. The Red Hawks were unable to capitalize on three overtime possessions, with two of their shots blocked by Eastern defenders. Eastern cleared the ball successfully, then called time out to set up the winning goal.

Making his second career start, Eastern freshman netminder Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) recorded seven saves to earn his first career win in his first career decision. Eastern junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) won 22 of 24 faceoffs to improve his nation-leading percentage to .850 (68 for 80) and also picked up 13 ground balls. Vasil, the team-leader with 53 ground balls, led Division III last year in faceoff percentage and ground balls.

Eastern survived 31 turnovers to gain its second home win in as many home matches this year.

Montclair's special teams scored six goals in the match the man-up unit striking for five goals on nine chances and the man-down until scored once. The man-up unit scored twice in the first quarter to held the Red Hawks into a quck 3-0 lead halfway through the period and that group scored one man-up goal in each of the final three quarters. With Eastern leading 5-4 late in the first half, Montclair's man-down tied the match with 2:10 left, and the extra-man unit scored just over a minute later to give the visitors a 6-5 halftime lead.

Junior attack Mike Corsetto (Kinnelon, NJ) contributed four assists for Montclair,, setting up senior attack Patrick Nann (Livingston, NJ) for the team's go-ahead goal with five minutes left in regulation. Albertson, a 6-foot-7 inch first-year Division I transfer, netted six points for Eastern with four goals and two assists, while Janssen chipped in two goals and two assists and junior attack Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, NY) registered his first two goals of the year.

In three games, first-year players Albertson and Janssen have combined for 23 of the team's 48 points, 15 of its 31 goals and eight of its 17 assists.

Eastern hosts Amherst College Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.

2010-03-13



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