CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a game that saw five ties and three lead changes, a late goal by freshman Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) was the difference for the MIT men's lacrosse team as the Engineers defeated Salem State University, 6-5, this afternoon. Neither team held more than a one-goal advantage in a contest that saw freshman Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.) led MIT with three goals. Junior Max Gensenberg (Beverly, Mass.) led the Vikings with a pair of tallies.
It was Gensenberg that put the first goal of the game on the board, scoring unassisted four minutes in to put Salem State (3-7) on top. A save in goal by sophomore Eric Bartell (San Diego, Calif.) for MIT (5-6) led to a good clear by the Engineers that led to a quick shot by sophomore Jonah Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.) that found the back of the goal to tie the game less than two minutes after the first score.
A minute later Stolzenberg gave MIT its first lead of the contest when he picked up a loose ball on a man-up opportunity and put it home for his 20th score of the season. It stayed 2-1 into the second quarter when Salem State again scored early on, getting a goal from sophomore Jacob Scordato (Milford, Mass.) a minute and a half in after an MIT turnover. The Vikings then went back on top just a minute and a half later when sophomore Alex Pearsons notched his 20th of the year to make it 3-2.
Midway through the quarter sophomore Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) picked up a ground ball after a failed clear by Salem State and immediately found Stolzenberg for the game-tying score. The Vikings held the ball for most of the rest of the half and generated five more shots, but only one of those was on goal and Bartell made the save on that to keep the tied 3-3 at the half.
Gensenberg notched his second at 12:33 in the third quarter to put the Vikings back on top. For most of the rest of the quarter, however, neither team could generate much offense, with the two teams combining for just eight shots in the quarter. In the final minute sophomore Chris McPherson (Gaithersburg, Md.) caused a turnover in his defensive zone that started an offensive rush down the field for the Engineers. With 17 seconds left Stolzenberg came up with a ball in a crowd in front of the Salem State goal and put it in to tie the score at 4-4.
In the fourth quarter it was MIT's turn to score first, with the Engineers taking advantage of a turnover in the offensive zone that led to a score by Hessels off an assist from sophomore Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.), putting the Engineers up for the first time since midway through the first quarter. A minute and a half later the Vikings tallied the equalizer as junior Andy Rice (Weymouth, Mass.) found sophomore Bobby Bourgeois (Billerica, Mass.) for the score.
Again, for a long stretch neither team could get the scoreboard to change, with Bartell and junior Dylan Svenson (Billerica, Mass.) each making a pair of saves to keep the game tied. With three and a half minutes to go Traub had the ball behind the Salem State goal and moved around and cut in front where he had enough room to get the shot off and score what proved to be the game winner.
MIT will be back in action on Saturday when the Engineers will host Lyndon State at 1:00 p.m. Salem State will also be in action again on Saturday when the Vikings will host Plymouth State at 1:00 p.m.