UNE Advances by Salve Regina in CCC Tourney

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- The trio of Pat Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine), Nick Gross (Kennebunk, Maine) and Mike Allan (Billerica, Mass.) accounted for 12 goals, as University of New England advanced to the semifinals of the CCC championship with an 18-12 win over Salve Regina Saturday (April 27) afternoon at the Big Blue Turf.

With the victory -- UNE's first in the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs since beginning league play in 2000 -- improves the fourth-seeded Nor'easters' record to 13-4, while the No. 5 Seahawks conclude their season with a 7-10 mark.

Wolfe notched his second five-goal game of the year versus Salve Regina to pace the UNE attack. He also added a pair of assists. Gross scored four times and Allan added three goals and two assists. Senior Tyler Thomas (Mount Pleasant, N.Y.) chipped in two goals and two helpers for the Nor'easters, who had their highest scoring day since March 29, 2011 when they shut out Regis College, 22-0.

For the Seahawks, senior Taylor Braun (Commack, N.Y.) led the way with three goals and two assists. Junior Chad Hollenshade (Lutherville, Md.) had a three-point afternoon with a pair of markers and an assist, while junior Curtis Mckeon (West Haven, Conn.) and first-year James Fee (Massapequa, N.Y.) each scored twice.

The game started out as a defensive battle, with both teams tallying just a goal apiece in the first quarter.

Things opened up in the second, however, as the Nor'easters outscored Salve Regina 6-3 to forge a cushion heading into intermission. Wolfe had half of UNE's six goals in the frame.

Leading 7-4 at the break, Big Blue would push the lead to 10-5 when Wolfe added one more and Allan struck twice after senior James Dillon (Jupiter, Fla.) found the cage for the Seahawks.

The visitors responded with three consecutive goals to halt UNE's momentum. Braun converted with 5:11 remaining in the third, then Fee went back-to-back to get Salve within two (10-8) at the 3:55 mark. Allan had an unassisted goal with just over two minutes remaining to make the score 11-8 in favor of UNE heading into the final quarter.

Mckeon started the scoring in the fourth to get the Seahawks back within two, but the Nor'easters reeled off four straight goals to take control. First-year Sam Cloutier (Lewiston, Maine) started the spurt and was followed by Wolfe's final goal of the afternoon. Sophomore Eddie Burke (Windsor, Conn.) and Gross had consecutive goals to give UNE a 15-9 advantage with 5:45 remaining.

The teams had three goals each the rest of the way.

UNE first-year goalkeeper John Dusel (Wilbraham, Mass.) recorded seven saves over the first 54:43 before giving way to senior Jay Letendre (Southington, Conn.).

Rookie Brian Farina (Jenkintown, Pa.) had 16 stops in just under 55 minutes of action for the Seahawks.

UNE sophomore Steven Hughes (Flemington, N.J.) had a team-high six grounds balls. Senior Nick McMahon (Westfield, Mass.), junior Dan O'Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) and sophomore Geoff Bruno (Durham, Conn.) added five apiece.

Mckeon collected a match-best 12 ground balls and won 20 of 31 draws for Salve. Sophomore Steven Russell (Bayport, N.Y.) added five ground balls.

Next up for UNE is top-seeded Endicott College. That semifinal-round match will be played Wednesday (May 1) at 7:00 p.m. The Nor'easters handed the Gulls their lone loss of the regular season (10-9) back on April 16. The other semifinal will feature No. 2 Western New England University hosting No. 3 Roger Williams University.


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