Ennis Takes Command, as Coast Guard Tops CCSU

New London, Conn - No one is really sure what the issue was last night - the new pre-game music mix no one liked, flight physicals for aviation candidates or a bad lunch, but it took the Coast Guard Academy men's lacrosse team 30 minutes on the field to "wake up" from a funk that hadn't plagued them all season. Luckily, they did wake up in time to salvage a gutty 15-7 victory over Central Connecticut State University on Tuesday night (April 6th) at Cadet Memorial Field. The win was the third straight for the Bears and brings them to 3-0 in conference play.

The game was tight for the first two quarters with Coast Guard leading just 7-6 at the half. However, a 5-0 third quarter run that included a 30 second three goal barrage at 7:33,7:20 and 7:03 spelled the end for the Blue Devils.

A 16-save effort, including six in the 4th quarter, from sophomore goalie Cory Pray (Medfield, MA/Medfield), a nice understudy showing from freshman defensemen James Fennessey (Milton, MA/Milton) following a starter injury and another "lights out" 19 for 24 performance at the faceoff x from sophomore midfielder Dan Symanski (Vienna, VA/Madison) were noteworthy for the evening. However, the offensive highlights were provided by junior midfielder Kyle Ennis (Annapolis, MD/Dematha) with four goals and an assist - Kyle was the only guy who seemed able to get it going early.

Sophomore Nicholas Zablotny (Annapolis, MD/Broadneck) got Coast Guard on the board first on a nice feed from senior attackman Roger Nayden (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly). Ennis then took the ensuing faceoff and scored on a great individual effort in transition to make it 2-0. CCSU came right back and got on the board after some nice ball movement and a catch and shoot finish.

The next navy and orange goal was another must for the season highlight reel; Ennis made a great dodge from the wing and fed freshman attackman Austin English (Kent Island, MD/Kent Island) who buried a behind the back shot in the back of the net to make it 3-1. The Bears got a little too aggressive towards the end of the quarter and CCSU got on the board with back-to-back Man-Up goals at 13:05 and 14:51 to end the quarter at 3-3.

Kyle Ennis opened the second quarter scoring coming off a great pick from Symansky and feed from freshman midfielder Steven Danseglio (Islip Terrace, NY/East Islip) and followed shortly after with another great dodging effort to make it 5-3. CCSU won the ensuing faceoff and took a quick shot. Pray made the initial save, but gave up a rebound that was scooped up by a CCSU attackmen and deposited in the Bears net.

Shortly after, English was on the receiving end of a great pass from Nayden to make it 6-4. CCSU came up with another faceoff, but didn't maintain possession long as freshman defensemen Conor Breckenridge (Novato, CA/Novato) stripped the ball and started a fast break up the field that resulted in English feeding a streaking Matt Chase (Baltimore, MD/Lochraven) to make it 7-4.

Following a Coast Guard turnover, CCSU used some nice ball movement and scored on a cannon shot from the outside. CCSU quickly took advantage of another Coast Guard penalty and cut the lead to one just before the half.

The 3rd quarter was scoreless for seven minutes and then the Bears struck. Bang, Bang, Bang. Matt Chase opened the sequence at 7:33 after falling to the ground in front of the crease, doing a great job protecting his stick and getting up to fire one past the CCSU goalie.

Ennis won the ensuing faceoff and scored a beautiful transition goal at 7:20. Just 17 seconds later, off another Symansky faceoff win, Chase fed English for a 10-6 lead. The Bears went ahead 11-6 as Nicholas Zablotny dodged past a CCSU defender, switched to his left hand and shot the ball into the back of the net. The Bears scored one more in the quarter on a great pass-and-shoot from Nayden to Symansky to make it 12-6.

Coast Guard banged home three more goals in the fourth, including tallies from Roger Nayden (off a great tic-tac-toe combo from Danseglio and English), Daniel Symansky and senior midfielder Craig Velencia (Columbia, MD/Atholton).

The Bears are home again at Cadet Memorial Field, taking on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers on April 9 at 7:00 p.m.


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