Rose, Laurita Key #20 Stevens Victory over ECSU

MANSFIELD, Conn. Senior co-captain Chris Laurita (South Brunswick, N.J.) and junior attacker Kevin Rose (Garden City, N.J.) each turned in a hat-trick as the Stevens, #20 in the USILA Poll, cruised to a 13-6 victory over six-time Little East Conference champion Eastern Connecticut in Mansfield, Conn. With the win, the Ducks moved to 2-0, while the Warriors fell to 0-1.

Laurita opened up scoring less than four minutes into the period with a man-up goal off a Christian Saley (Montville, N.J.) assist. Ducks' junior midfielder Rich Dupras (Hillsborough, N.J.) then staked Stevens to a 2-0 margin with a goal at 7:41 before Warriors' junior Mike Sullinger (Brookfield, Conn.) put the home team on the board, cutting the ECSU deficit to one. With time winding down in the first, Saley once again put the Ducks up by two with an unassisted tally.

Looking to build their lead, Dupras again found the back of the Warriors' net, notching the game's fifth score at the 13:48 mark of the second before Laurita put away another Ducks goal to up the margin to 5-1. Hoping to keep pace, ECSU netted consecutive tallies, first with senior Grant Albertson's (New Canaan, Conn.) unassisted man-up goal at 9:20, then again six seconds later, when Albertson found senior Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk, Conn.), for the Warriors' third goal of the afternoon.

Trying to stave off a surging ECSU squad before the half, Saley took advantage of the Ducks' man-up situation, firing a Rose pass into the back of the Warriors' net to put Stevens back up 6-3 entering the intermission.

After a quick Albertson goal just 30 seconds into the third cut the lead down to two, Stevens sophomore Nicolas Philippi (Mullica Hill, N.J.) tallied his team-high sixth goal of the season before another Rose marker, this time off a Saley assist, extended the Ducks' advantage to four.

Hoping to keep ECSU within striking distance, Albertson immediately responded, pulling the Warriors within three, but Rose again quelled the home team's momentum, scoring his second goal of the day with just 1:33 left in the period. Tornatore netted a tally of his own with 38 seconds left in the third, but 4-0 Stevens run in the final quarter secured the Ducks' second win of the season.

Philippi started the Ducks' fourth period rally with an unassisted marker at 12:03, before senior co-captain Brandon Faubert (Virgina Beach, Va.) recorded his fifth goal of the year off a Laurita feed. Rose and Laurita would close out scoring with a pair of markers at 3:44 and 0:40, respectively.

Junior goalkeeper Eric Yando (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) recorded 17 saves in the win, while ECSU's Donald Berube (Tewksbury, Mass.) finished with 13 stops. Saley, Dupras, and Philippi each finished with a pair of goals for Stevens, with Saley and Rose also tallying two assists. Albertson paced the Warriors' attack with three goals and two assists, while Tornatore and Sullinger combined for three scores.

Yando and senior co-captain Zach McHugh (Delray Beach, Fla.) led the Ducks with six ground balls apiece, while Laurita picked up five. Senior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington, Conn.) finished with a game-high 16 ground balls for ECSU.

Stevens outshot Eastern Connecticut St. 54-49, including a 23-5 margin in the fourth period. The Ducks, who also grabbed 13 fourth-quarter ground balls to the Warriors' five, held a 34-33 advantage in that category. Stevens went 18 for 22 on clears, while converting four of six extra-man opportunities into scores.

The Ducks return to action on Sunday, March 6 against USILA No. 18 Springfield College.


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