Eastern Connecticut Shuts Down Wheaton

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut shut out Wheaton (MA) for the final 11 minutes of the first quarter and held the Lyons off the board for the entire third quarter in posting a 12-7 non-conference victory Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Eastern (3-2) scored the final five goals of the first half and later connected on four straight goals in a 13 minute stretch spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second ini downing Wheaton (2-3) for the tenth straight time after losing the first match between the teams in this series.

The Warriors controlled play by winning 20 of 23 faceoffs, collecting twice as many ground balls and unloading nearly twice as many shots.

Five different players found the back of the net in a five-goal run which gave the hosts a 6-1 lead after one quarter. Senior attackman Michael Sulliniger (Brookfield) assisted the first three goals when the Warriors grabbed the early momentum, then scored the first of his four goals to cap the run with 26 seconds left in the quarter.

Wheaton scored as many as two consecutive goals only once in the match until the final ten minutes. With Wheaton trailing 8-3 five minutes into the second quarter, junior midfielder Sean Doherty (East Lyme) set upsenior attack Mike Harrington's (Sturbridge, MA) goal and followed with his own four minutes later to pull the Lyons to within three, 8-5, with just under three minutes left in the first half. After an Eastern timeout, Sullinger beat Wheaton sophomore goalie Harrison Bramhall (Barrington, RI) from close range on a pass from sophomore Tyler Fresen (Newington), however, to restore a four-goal advantage, and senior goalie Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) made a difficult save on a long-range shot as time expired in the first half.

Leading 9-5 at the break, the Warriors kept the Lyons from scoring in the third quarter giving up only two shots and carried a 12-5 lead into the final 15 minutes.

Eastern junior faceoff midfielder Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) won 19 of 22 faceoffs and picked up 16 ground balls for Eastern, and Fresen and seniors Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) and Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) combined for 13 ground balls.

Harrington had three goals and Doherty three assists for Wheaton.

Tommins turned back six shots over the first 54 minutes to receive credit for the win in net. Bramhall made 12 saves for Wheaton.

Eastern visits Widener University Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.


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