Men's Lacrosse Fights Off Salem State, 8-6

Freshman Jake Slonaker
Freshman Jake Slonaker

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Late in the third quarter sophomore Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.) broke a tie while freshman Jake Slonaker (West Windsor, N.J.) added an insurance goal to lift MIT to an 8-6 win over Salem State University in a non-conference men's lacrosse tilt on Wednesday. Slonaker, sophomore Ben Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.), and junior Gabe Blanchet (Hadley, Mass.) each registered two goals for the Engineers. Senior Nate Arminio (Reston, Va.) and freshman Corey Davis (Wakefield, Mass.) both scored twice for the Vikings.

Slonaker opened the scoring after 1:02 expired in the game but Davis redirected a feed from freshman Max Gansenberg (Beverly, Mass.) to even the score. A solo effort by junior Mike Gibson (Natick, Mass.) was matched by Davis resulting in a deadlock at two at the end of the quarter.

The early stages of the second stanza were a defensive battle until Hessels put MIT in front at the 9:29 mark. He increased the margin just over a minute later and then Blanchet buried back-to-back goals seven seconds apart creating a 6-2 advantage with 6:28 on the clock. An unassisted tally by senior Daniel Murray (Salem, Mass.) ended the Vikings scoring drought which was followed by a strike by Arminio with 12 ticks left that narrowed the gap to 6-4.

Sophomore A.J. Robertson (Ipswich, Mass.), who earned the assist on Salem State's previous goal, found the back of the net at 13:33 in the third quarter. The game became a scoreless affair during the next 10 minutes, snapped by Arminio's blast which knotted the score at six. The Engineers regained the lead for good when Santisteban went coast-to-coast with 15 seconds remaining in the period.

The Vikings nearly netted the equalizer on bids by Robertson and Davis however MIT junior goalie Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) turned away both shots. The game was a back-and-forth affair until senior Ernie Park (Plainsboro, N.J.) set up Slonaker for an insurance goal with 4:44 remaining in regulation. Gansenberg and Robertson both generated shots on net down the stretch but Rullan thwarted both attempts.

Rullan finished with 12 saves and seven groundballs while freshman Quantum Wei (Springfield, Va.) added seven groundballs as well. Senior Bryan Beller (Dix Hills, N.Y.) collected six groundballs, followed by five from Santisteban and four from Gibson and sophomore Tim Wilczynski (Old Lyme, Conn.). In face-offs, Gibson went 8-for-14 while Hessels won three of his four attempts.

Senior Kyle Tuneburg (Beverly, Mass.) collected nine saves and five groundballs for the Vikings. Freshman Ian Abrahamson (Billerica, Mass.) posted four groundballs while senior Mike Yurko (Salem, Mass.) added three of his own.

Both squads resume conference play on Saturday, April 14. MIT (4-5) will visit Pilgrim League rival Babson College while Salem State (3-8) will make the trip to Keene State College for a Little East Conference battle.