Lasell Edged by Norwich in the GNAC Semifinals

Newton, Mass. – Lasell came up on the short end of a 5-4 score in their Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinal battle with Norwich. The Cadets' Ian Thomas (Barrington, R.I.) scored the go-ahead goal with 3:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Lasell was unable to capitalize on three scoring chances in the final minutes. Lasell dropped to 12-5 on the year, while Norwich improved to 10-6.

The two teams battled through a scoreless opening quarter as Lasell's Don Berube (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Norwich's Mark Paradiso (Westford, Mass.) each took away quality scoring chances from the opposing offenses.

Norwich's Ian Mendoza (Mount Airy, Md.) opened the scoring, scoring an unassisted goal 3:04 into the second quarter. Lasell junior Chris Livelli (Hillsborough, N.J.) evened the game at one each when he found space and fired a shot past Paradiso. Pat Bresnahan (Manchester, N.H.) notched the game's third goal with 5:02 remaining in the second quarter to give Lasell a 2-1 lead at the half.

Mendoza tallied again for Norwich with 7:34 left in the third quarter tying the game at 2-2 and setting the stage for a down to the wire finish.

Andrew Dustin (Canterbury, N.H.) took a Joey Ditommaso (Hubbard, Ohio) pass and found the back of the net to give Norwich their first lead of the game with 8:36 left in the fourth quarter. Two minutes later Livelli equalized on a pass from Dylan Gray (Bayport, N.Y.), making the score 3-3 with 6:04 remaining.

The Cadets came right back, creating a transition opportunity off the face-off and Zach MacMillan (Brunswick, Maine) took advantage beating Berube to put Norwich back in front, 4-3. Lasell answered with a goal by Dylan Gray, pulling the hosts level with 4:01 left in the game.

Norwich pushed into their attacking third of the field with less than 3:30 to play, and after losing possession of the ball, the Cadets Ian Thomas pulled the ball out of a scramble in front of the Lasell net and finished it for a 5-4 lead.

Paradiso made a pair of saves late to hold off the Lasell comeback bid, and earned the victory, finishing with 16 saves on the day. Lasell's Berube tallied ten saves on the day.

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NEWTON, MASS. – A stout goalkeeping effort from sophomore Mark Paradiso (Westford, Mass.) and three fourth period goals helped push fourth-seeded Norwich into the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference postseason tournament championship game April 27.

Sophomore attacker Ian Thomas (Barrington, R.I.) notched the eventual game-winner with 3:21 to go in the fourth period. Despite falling towards the ground, he managed to get a shot off that made it into Lasell's net for the 5-4 win.

“Giving credit to Ian, he had been looking for a chance like that the whole game,” Norwich coach Neal Anderson said. “We did miss some other opportunities on offense, but, in the end, we got the goals we needed.”

Paradiso, in the midst of 34 total shot attempts from Lasell, thwarted the host Lasers 16 times in front of the Maroon and Gold net. While he was keeping the host Lasers (12-5) at bay down the stretch, the Cadets' offense responded.

Sophomore middies Andrew Dustin (Canterbury, N.H.) and Zach MacMillan (Brunswick, Maine) rebuffed a pair of Lasell scores midway through the final frame to keep Coach Neal Anderson's squad tied at 4-4 into the closing moments. After Thomas' score, Norwich hung on to the 5-4 edge as the clock ticked down at Grellier Field with the Lasers getting more opportunities, but Paradiso and the defense kept the home team out.

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