Eastern Connecticut Edges Connecticut College

MANSFIELD, Conn. – In a game where neither team scored more than two unanswered goals, Eastern Connecticut State University scored four of the final six to post a 12-11 men's lacrosse victory over Connecticut College Tuesday night in a non-conference match at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Eastern (5-2) was assessed the first eight penalties of the match and ten of 13 in the gamed but emerged with the win when junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) set up junior attack Mike Sullingger (Brookfield) for the deciding goal with 34 seconds left.

Sullinger's game-winning goal was the final one in a contest which featured eight ties and five lead changes. The Warriors never led by more than one goal but trailed by three midway through the second quarter. The Warriors never trailed, however, after senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) tied the match at 9-all with his second goal on a pass from Sullinger with 2:31 left in the third quarter.

Eastern, which evens the all-time series at 2-2 (none of the matches have been decided by more than four goals), successfully killed off the first seven penalties of the match before Connecticut College (2-5) converted its only extra-man opportunity in ten tries to take a two-goal lead with 3:25 left in the first half. The goal is the only one allowed by Eastern's man-down team on 18 chances in the last two matches.

Leading 4-2 late in the first quarter, Conn couldn't pad its margin despite having a three-man advantage beginning in the final seconds of the quarter. Behind the effort of senior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington), Eastern was able to clear the ball out of its own end of the field while playing three men down and held the Camels without a shot in that time.

Bolivar's second goal of the match with six minutes left pushed Eastern into an 11-10 lead before Conn senior midfielder Mark Mangano (Basking Ridge, NJ) tied the match for the final time by scoring his sixth goal (four came in the first half when he scored all of his team's goals) with 4:14 left. Eastern sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) initially caught the shot in his stick but couldn't control it as it bounced in.

Sullinger's team-leading 23rd point (tenth goal) on a feed from Bolivar shot the Warriors back into the lead with 34 seconds left. Conn sophomore midfielder Brendan Schrader (Annapolis, MD) won the ensuing faceoff when junior defenseman Nick Rodricks (Baltimore) was credited with the ground bal. Conn called a timeout with 24.5 seconds left, and after Eastern's defense neutralized senior attack Ryan Hayes (Darien), senior midfielder Eric Duran (Pennington, NJ) took a shot that sailed wide. The Camels re-gained possession with 0.4 seconds left but could not get off a shot before the final horn.

Vasil, the national leader in ground balls and faceoff percentage, won 17 of 26 faceoffs and controlled 12 ground balls. Bolivar had four ground balls and matched Albertson, Eric Kluge (North East, MD), a sophomore midfielder, and freshmen midfielders Mike Devine (Cheshire) and Tyler Fresen (Newington) with two goals each. Fresen had scored only one goal through the first six matches but struck twice in the final 2:21 of the first half to help the Warriors re-gain momentum and pull into a 6-6 tie at halftime.

Mangano scored on his first four shots and on six of 12 in the match. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Eicher (Northport, NY) followed Mangano with three goals.

Berube made ten saves – all coming after the first quarter –to gain his fifth win in seven decisions. Conn junior Rob Moccia (Malvern, PA) sustained his his third loss in as many decisions – all coming off the bench in five matches. Moccia made five saves after being inserted in place of sophomore starter John Lenehan (Hingham, MA) to start the second half in a 6-6 tie.

Eastern opens its Little East Conference schedule Saturday at 1:00 p.m. by hosting the University of Southern Maine.


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