CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Nichols College built a 4-0 lead and never looked back as it went on to record a 7-2 victory over host MIT in the season-opening game for both men's lacrosse teams on Wednesday night. Ryan Pacific paced the Bison with four points on a goal and three assists while John Kucharczyk was credited with both of the Engineers' goals.
Tim Ahern opened the scoring almost four minutes into the contest when he connected on a feed from Macaulay Gillis. Pacific quickly followed with a solo effort of his own, establishing an edge that would hold for the remainder of the quarter.
Brian Gattie was a factor in both of Nichols' goals in the second stanza. He redirected a pass from Pacific before setting up Steve Delahanty midway through the period. MIT got on the board courtesy of Kucharczyk's unassisted goal with 1:11 remaining in the half.
The Cardinal and Gray carried the momentum into the third frame as Dan Piemont set up Kucharczyk for a man-up goal, narrowing the gap to 4-2 at the 11:35 mark. The game became a defensive battle despite four extra-man opportunities for MIT and two for Nichols.
The two-goal differential was as close as it would get for the Engineers as the Bison ended its 24-minute scoring drought with three unanswered goals in the final frame. Austin Healy started the spurt by scoring on a pass from Pacific while Marc Miller earned an assist on Gattie's strike with seven minutes left to play. Exactly 58 seconds later, the Healy-Pacific tandem registered the final marker of the night.
Elliot Sykora, Justin Myers, and John Walton each picked up three groundballs for MIT while Sykora won all four of his face-offs. Eric Zuk bolstered the defense with two caused turnovers as Christopher Rullan collected eight saves.
Gattie finished with two goals and an assist as Patrick Mayo posted five groundballs and two caused turnovers. Tim Dooley added three groundballs while Scott Gray turned away 15 shots in net.
Both squads will be on the road for their next contests. MIT will travel to Salve Regina University on Saturday, March 12 while Nichols will visit Salem State University on Thursday, March 17.