Mitchell Tops Daniel Webster to Win First-Ever NECC Title

NEW LONDON, Conn. Mitchell captured the New England Collegiate Conference title on Saturday night with a 15-2 victory over Daniel Webster at New London High School.

Junior David Klapp (Greenfield, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) scored a game-high five goals while classmates Demetre Lyras (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) and Shane Sullivan (Quaker Hill, Conn./Waterford) and sophomore Jordan Cook (Groton, Conn./Fitch) each netted hat tricks to lead the Mariners (8-2 overall). Junior Peter Eshenfelder (Quaker Hill, Conn./Waterford) made seven saves in goal to record the win.

It marked the first time in conference history that the NECC crowned a men's lacrosse champion. The NECC added men's lacrosse as a varsity conference sport for this season, with a champion to be determined by regular season results. Mitchell finished 3-0 against conference opponents, followed by Becker College (2-1), Regis College (1-2) and Daniel Webster (0-3).

Cook opened the scoring less than three minutes into the contest, and Sullivan quickly added a pair of goals to put the Mariners up 3-0. His second goal came on an unassisted effort that saw him twist and spin through the DWC defense before flicking a shot into the back of the net. Klapp closed the quarter with a goal with 2:20 left on the clock to put Mitchell on top 4-0.

Lyras notched his first goal in the opening minutes of the second quarter, sniping the top-left corner of the cage from 10 yards out. Sullivan added his third goal of the night with 3:16 to go, and Klapp followed with a man-up score with just over a minute to play in the half.

Mitchell led 7-0 at the half and owned a 29-6 advantage in shots at the break. The Mitchell defense kept the Eagles in check for most of the half, as Eshenfelder faced only one shot on goal.

The Mariners poured it on in the second half, scoring four times in the third quarter to increase the lead to 11-0. Lyras and Klapp each scored once in the stanza while Cook added a pair of markers.

Klapp scored another man-up goal to open the fourth quarter and later added his fifth and final goal with 5:32 remaining in the contest. Lyras made it 14-0 just seconds later, and junior Chris Joy (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) closed out Mitchell's scoring with a goal with 3:58 to play. The Mariners mobbed Joy after the goal, as the team had dedicated the game to the memory of Joy's mother, who passed away earlier this year after a battle with breast cancer.

Sean Hamilton (Brookline, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) and Anthony Cotoni (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) recorded goals late in the fourth quarter for the Eagles (1-7 overall). Tommy Driscoll (South Boston, Mass./Catholic Memorial) made 17 saves in the cage and scooped up a team-high six ground balls.

Mitchell won 16 of 21 face-offs on the night and held a 52-24 advantage in ground balls. Joy finished with a game-high nine ground balls while freshman Maxx Crowley picked up six. The Mariners' man-down unit also killed off 9:00 in penalties without allowing a goal, including two instances where they were short two players.

Mitchell will next play at Nichols College on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. Daniel Webster returns to action at home against Rivier College on Wednesday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m.


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