Vasil FOs/GBs Lead Eastern Connecticut by Babson

BABSON PARK, Mass. Senior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington, Conn.) recorded one goal, three assists, 26 groundballs, and 22 face-off wins to propel visiting Eastern Connecticut to a 16-11 victory over host Babson in non-conference action at MacDowell Field on Wednesday afternoon. With the win, the Warriors improved to 2-1 on the season, while the Beavers fell to 1-2.

Vasil was magnificent in the victory for ECSU, winning 22 of 27 face-offs while single-handedly matching Babson's team total of 26 groundballs. Junior Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk, Conn.) chipped in with three goals and two assists for the Warriors, while seniors Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk, Conn.) and Grant Albertson (New Canaan, Conn.) each added three goals. Sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, Mass.) went the distance in net for ECSU, making 14 saves in the win.

Babson was led by sophomore Alex Patinkin (Providence, R.I.), who amassed two goals, three assists, and four groundballs, and junior Cam Caruso (St. Charles, Ill.), who added two goals and four groundballs. Senior Armand Wilson (Fairfield, Conn.) contributed one goal and three assists for the Beavers, and sophomore goalkeeper James Whalen (Westwood, Mass.) recorded 13 saves and a team-high six groundballs.

Babson jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening eight minutes of the first quarter, as first-year Mike McStravock (Windham, N.H.) scored off a pass from senior captain Andrew Packer (Hudson, Ohio) at 13:35 and Caruso followed with a goal off Patinkin's first assist at 7:00. Eastern Connecticut then battled back to tie the contest just before the end of the quarter, as Vasil scored a goal at 6:28 and Tornatore added another with 11 seconds left to even the contest at 2-2.

The Beavers again built a two-goal cushion early in the second, as Patinkin assisted Wilson and sophomore Mike Griffin (Duxbury, Mass.) on back-to-back tallies to make it 4-2. However, ECSU responded with four straight goals in a four-minute, 39-second stretch later in the quarter to take the lead for good.

Tornatore struck at 10:50, junior Mike Sullinger (Brookfield, Conn.) tied the game at 7:10, sophomore Eric Kluge (North East, Md.) netted the go-ahead goal at 6:54, and Bolivar netted his first of the game at 6:11 to give the Warriors a 6-4 advantage. Babson Junior Jeff MacCune (Braintree, Mass.) finally ended the run with 5:16 left in the second, as he scored an unassisted goal to cut his team's deficit to one, 6-5, heading into the break.

That set the stage for a wild third quarter that saw the two teams combine for 13 goals. Eastern Connecticut netted five of the first six tallies in the period, including two more by Albertson and a key short-handed goal by junior Jeremy Cogliano (Bedford, Mass.), to increase its lead to 11-6 with 7:13 to go. Babson then rallied with a 4-1 run over the next five and a half minutes, with Caruso netting his second, first-year Aaron Rocha (Rye, N.H.) scoring his first collegiate goal, and Patinkin added two more to cut ECSU's lead to 12-10.

That would prove to be as close as the Beavers would get, as Bolivar scored back-to-back unassisted tallies in the final 88 seconds of the third to push the Warriors' lead back to four, 14-10. Albertson then converted a Sullinger feed with 11:42 left in the fourth to make it 15-10, and the ECSU defense would allow just one final Babson goal by sophomore Jamie Schmidt (Shelburne, Vt.) with 4:25 left in the game as the visitors held on for the eventual 16-11 victory.

* * * *

BABSON PARK, Mass. Senior All-America midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won 22 of 27 faceoffs and broke the Eastern Connecticut State record with 26 ground balls in the Warriors' 16-11 non-conference victory over Babson Wednesday afternoon at MacDowell Field.

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