Big First Half Leads Engineers Past Clark, 11-5

Senior Christopher Rullan
Senior Christopher Rullan

WORCESTER, Mass. – Seven unanswered goals along with 14 saves from senior goalie Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) in the first half helped power the MIT men's lacrosse team to an 11-5 victory over Clark University in a Pilgrim Lacrosse League game on Saturday afternoon. For the second straight outing, sophomore Chris Cook (Tully, N.Y.) led the way for the Engineers (4-9, 2-3 Pilgrim) as he generated a game-high four goals.

Rullan finished with 20 saves and eight groundballs while sophomore Jake Slonaker (West Windsor, N.J.) posted two goals and four groundballs. Freshman Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) totaled two goals and three groundballs as classmate Jonah Hessels (Poolesville, Md.) notched one goal and one assist. Sophomores John Kramer (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Bill Kelleher (Pittsburgh, Pa.) both tacked on a goal while Kramer added four groundballs. Freshman Nick Uhlenhuth (Louisville, Ky.) collected four groundballs, followed by three from fellow rookie Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.). Senior Mike Gibson (Natick, Mass.) won six of his 12 faceoff attempts as Verdi and freshman Chris McPherson (Gaithersburg, Md.) both earned an assist.

Cook recorded a hat-trick in the opening frame as he got things going by burying MIT's only man-up strike of the afternoon at the 7:38 mark. Almost four minutes later, Slonaker connected on a feed from Hessels which was quickly followed by Cook redirecting a pass from Verdi. The Engineers increased their lead to 4-0 courtesy of Cook's solo effort with 1:04 left in the quarter.

The visitors carried the momentum into the second stanza as Hessels found the back of the net after 1:08 expired. Cook kept the run going with an unassisted marker while Orrson provided MIT's final goal with 7:39 on the clock, resulting in a 7-0 advantage at the intermission.

Clark ended the shutout nearly two minutes into the third quarter, but the defensive battle resumed until midway through the frame when McPherson scooped up a groundball and found Kelleher for a transition strike. On the ensuing faceoff, Kramer came up with the groundball and went directly to net to give MIT a 9-1 margin. The scoreboard remained unchanged until the Cougars found the back of the net twice during the final 39 seconds.

In the fourth quarter, the hosts continued the rally courtesy of a man-down marker with 10:27 to go. The Engineers countered with a blast from Slonaker less than a minute later that made the score 10-4. Clark scored shortly after the ensuing faceoff but this was as close as it would get as Orrson netted the last goal with 6:47 remaining.

MIT concludes the regular season at league foe Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Monday, April 29.