UNE Comes From Behind to Defeat MIT, 13-11

Freshman Cody Jacobucci
Freshman Cody Jacobucci

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of New England generated five unanswered goals during the final 5:15 of regulation to record a 13-11 victory over MIT in a non-conference men's lacrosse game on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) paced the Engineers (2-1) with two goals and three assists while senior Patrick Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine) led the way for the Nor'easters (3-3) with four goals and two assists.

Sophomore Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) put MIT on the board after 1:01 expired and then redirected a feed from Traub at the 6:17 mark. UNE ended the shutout with 3:33 on the clock when senior Mike Allan (Billerica, Mass.) connected on a pass by Wolfe. Following the ensuing faceoff, the rookie tandem of Dan Auger (Nashua, N.H.) and Connor Leggett (Sunderland, Vt.) collaborated for the equalizer. The Engineers replied with strikes by junior Chris Cook (Tully, N.Y.) and sophomore Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) to go up 4-2 with 1:07 left in the quarter. The visitors countered with junior Geoff Bruno (Durham, Conn.) finding sophomore Sam Cloutier (Lewiston, Maine) with three ticks to go.

The Cardinal and Gray resumed the back-to-back scoring in the second stanza as freshman Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.) and Cook increased the lead to 6-3 midway through the quarter. Senior Dan O'Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) produced a man-up goal for UNE with 5:44 to play while Auger added another strike with 26 seconds to go, narrowing the gap to 6-5 at the intermission.

MIT rattled off three straight goals during the first six minutes of the third quarter, resulting in its largest advantage of the day. Traub found Orrson for the first marker and then connected on a pass from Cook before Verdi capped the spurt with a solo effort. Exactly 41 seconds after the faceoff, Wolfe found the back of the next to make the score, 9-6, at the 8:08 mark. The remainder of the period was a defensive battle as both sides battled for possession. The Nor'easters produced five shots as three were turned away by MIT sophomore Eric Bartell (San Diego), one hit the post while another was blocked by a defender. The Engineers, meanwhile, put one shot on net while two attempts were wide.

Senior Nick Gross (Kennebunk, Maine) found Wolfe to end the stalemate following four minutes of action in the fourth quarter and then he cut UNE's deficit in half (9-8) at the 9:45 mark. The Engineers gained some breathing room courtesy of blasts from Traub and Cook as what proved to be their final goal came with 5:57 left to play.

Exactly 42 seconds later, a man-up strike by Wolfe ignited the game-ending rally for the Nor'easters. An over-the-shoulder goal by junior long-stick midfielder Pat Reid (Southington, Conn.) came right after the faceoff while Cloutier generated the equalizer (11-11) with 3:22 to go. Wolfe gave UNE its first lead in a span of 11 seconds while Allan secured the victory courtesy of an unassisted marker with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.

Cook finished with three goals and an assist while Verdi registered a hat-trick for MIT. Orrson posted two goals and an assist as Stolzenberg tacked on four groundballs and two caused turnovers. Sophomore Chris McPherson (Gaithersburg, Md.) notched four groundballs followed by three from freshman Zak Psaras (Monroe, Conn.). Fellow classmate Cody Jacobucci (Woodstown, N.J.) went 10-of-16 in faceoffs and collected seven groundballs while Bartell totaled 12 saves and four groundballs.

O'Gorman compiled a 9-for-13 performance in faceoffs, nine groundballs, one goal, and one assist for the Nor'easters. Gross registered one goal and two assists as Auger, Allan, and Cloutier each had two-goal outings. Sophomore Sam Coburn (West Simsbury, Conn.) gathered four groundballs while Reid chipped in three groundballs and a caused turnover. Junior Steven Hughes (Flemington, N.J.) bolstered the defense with two caused turnovers as sophomore goalie John Dusel (Wilbraham, Mass.) racked up nine saves and six groundballs.

Both squads return to action on Tuesday, March 18. MIT will visit local rival Wentworth Institute of Technology while UNE will square off with Western Connecticut State University in Lutherville-Timonium, Md.