Spartans Down Mariners to Earns No. 1 Seed

CASTLETON, Vt. -- Castleton earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming North Atlantic Conference playoffs with a 21-7 win over Maine Maritime Saturday. The Spartans improved to 7-0 NAC, 10-5 overall, while the Mariners, who locked in the No. 3 seed, fell to 6-2, 6-6.

Nicholas Betti led the Mariners' offense, scoring three goals and dishing off an assist. A.J. Larrabee grabbed a game-high 10 ground balls while Jack Tragert, who won 18 of 28 face-offs, scooped seven for Maine Maritime. James Wilgus took the loss in net, allowing 16 goals in three quarters. The sophomore made eight saves.

Zach Davidson finished with five goals and four assists. Alex Green finished with five goals and an assist, while Sean Paradis scored twice and dished off four assists for the Spartans.

Castleton started the game by jumping out to an 8-1 lead through the first quarter. The Spartans put up three goals in the first five minutes of play, with Davidson leading off the scoring just 2:29 into the contest. Less than a minute later, Taylor Swarter scored his first goal of the game, followed by Paradis fiinding the net at the 10:00 mark, putting Castleton ahead 3-0.

Betti put the Mariners on the board at the 9:29 mark of the first quarter with an unassisted goal, his 30th of the year, but the Spartans responded immediately with a flurry of goals to end the quarter. Davidson buried one and Swarter and Green each notched two goals in a 5-0 Spartan run to end the first frame, putting Castleton ahead 8-1 at the break.

In the second quarter, the Mariners attempted to mount a comeback before half, but the Spartans answered every call to action, finishing with a 3-3 push through the quarter. Betti scored his second of the game just 46 seconds into the period, but Davidson answered with a goal midway through the quarter.

The Mariners' Bronson Guimond buried a goal to cut into the Spartans' lead again, but the home team responded with a pair of goals. Davidson scored, followed by a goal from Louis Alhage to make it 11-3. A.J. Larrabee notched a tally for the Mariners with 39 seconds left to make it 11-4 at the half.

Castleton dominated the second half, outscoring the Mariners 10-3 after halftime. Alex Green opened the second half scoring with a goal 20 seconds into the third, but MMA's Peter Moore answered just 36 seconds later with a goal to make it 12-5. Zach Devoid spurred a 4-1 to finish the quarter with a goal at the 12:59 mark. Sean Paradis followed suit a minute later, and Green scored a pair of goals to finish the quarter. With 19 seconds left in the frame, Moore scored his second of the game for the Mariners to make it 16-6 entering the fourth.

In the final frame, the Spartans dominated play, outscoring the Mariners 5-1. Five different Spartans scored down the stretch as Castleton ran away with a 21-7 victory.


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