Engineers Fall to Tampa, 9-5

Sophomore Ben Hessels

TAMPA, Fla. – In the first meeting between both programs, the University of Tampa registered a 9-5 victory over the MIT men's lacrosse team on Sunday night. Junior Gabe Blanchet (Hadley, Mass.) posted two goals for the Engineers whose ledger lowered to 2-2 on the year.

The Spartans opened the game with back-to-back goals while freshman Bill Kelleher (Pittsburgh, Pa.) buried a man-up marker to put MIT on the board late in the first quarter. Both sides traded goals throughout most of the second quarter until Tampa scored twice during the final 2:19 to enter the intermission with a 6-4 edge. Sophomore Ben Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.), Blanchet, and sophomore Elliot Sykora (Wilmette, Ill.) each found the back of the net and created a trio of ties during the frame.

The early stages of the third quarter were a defensive battle before Blanchet cut the Engineers' deficit in half (6-5) at the 7:39 mark. Just over a minute later, the Spartans began a three-goal spurt which continued into the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach for the visitors.

In addition to his team-high scoring performance, Blanchet added four groundballs. Senior Bryan Beller (Dix Hills, N.Y.) chipped in three groundballs while sophomore Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.) totaled three groundballs and two caused turnovers. In net, junior Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) tallied 13 saves and nine groundballs.

MIT concludes its spring training trip on Wednesday, March 28 at Saint Leo University.