BIDDEFORD, Maine – MIT knotted the score at five early in the fourth quarter but the University of New England scored twice during the last eight minutes to emerge with a 7-6 victory in a non-conference men's lacrosse game on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Chris Cook (Tully, N.Y.) paced the Engineers (0-2) with two goals as freshman Jonah Hessels (Poolesville, Md.) added one goal and an assist.
The Nor'easters opened the scoring after 4:30 elapsed but MIT answered with sophomore Jake Slonaker (West Windsor, N.J.) connecting on a feed from classmate John Kramer (Glastonbury, Conn.) with 3:27 on the clock. UNE went ahead early in the second stanza; however, a solo effort from freshman Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) evened the game at two. The hosts went in front 43 seconds later and then increased their advantage to 5-3 on a man-up goal right before the intermission.
Hessels cut the Engineers' deficit in half just 2:18 into the third quarter but the Nor'easters gained some breathing courtesy of an extra-man strike at the 8:43 mark. The game became a defensive battle until freshman Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) and Cook found the back of the net during the first 4:34 of the final frame to tie the score at five. UNE responded with strikes at the eight and two-minute marks to go ahead, 7-5. MIT continued to attack, eventually finding success when Cook redirected a pass from Hessels with 18 ticks left. The Engineers won the ensuing faceoff but freshman Graham Francis's (Palos Verdes Estate, Calif.) shot sailed wide as time expired.
Freshman Nick Uhlenhuth (Louisville, Ky.) paced MIT with six groundballs, followed by five from junior Elliot Sykora (Wilmette, Ill.) and Verdi. Orrson added four groundballs while senior Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) totaled 17 saves and four groundballs.
MIT continues its road trip on Tuesday, March 19 at local rival Wentworth Institute of Technology.