GORHAM, Maine -- Junior Keegan Smith (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner Area) scored the game-winning goal with 8.6 seconds remaining in regulation to give the University of Southern Maine Huskies a hard-fought, 9-8 victory over the visiting Lasell College Lasers in non-conference men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field. The Lasers, who were riding a three-game winning streak entering the game, slide to 3-2 on the season, while the win keeps the Huskies undefeated at 4-0.
With seconds ticking down, Smith worked one-on-one against a Lasell defender deep on the left side, gaining the advantage when the defender stumbled. Smith cut to the front of the goal and beat junior goalie Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) up high to give the Huskies a 9-8 lead. USM won the ensuing faceoff and was able to run out the clock down to preserve its fourth straight win.
Smith's heroics came in response to a valiant comeback bid by the Lasers in the fourth quarter. Trailing 8-5 to start the quarter, the Lasers got an unassisted goal from freshman Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.) three minutes into the quarter to swing the momentum. Just over three minutes later, junior Josh Gallant (Hampstead, N.H.) converted a pass from senior Pat Egan (Glen Rock, N.J.) into his second goal of the game to put the Lasers within one.
With just 4:19 remaining, Gallant scored his third goal of the game taking a pass from sophomore Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.) and beating USM sophomore goalie John Bossi (Billerica, Mass.) to tie the game at 8-8, and setting the stage for Smith.
The game started fast accounting for nearly half the total goals in the first quarter. Lasell jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two markers from junior Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.), and Gallant's first goal of the game. Southern Maine rallied to tie the score on goals by seniors Jaymz McStowe (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North), Jeff Urmston (Bellingham, Mass.) and Austin Watts (Westbrook, Maine).
Tomasetti restored the lead to the Lasers with a man-up goal at 6:02. Watts tied the game with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter. Watts gave the Huskies the lead for good with a man-up goal five minutes into the second quarter. USM freshman Paul Leonardo (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) and Lasell junior Connor Johnson (Hampstead, N.H.) traded goals over the final four minutes to leave USM up 6-5 at halftime. Johnson's goal came with 8.3 seconds to play.
Sophomore Nate DelGiudice (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) and Urmston added to the Huskies lead with the only goals in the third quarter.
Gallant led the Lasers' offense with three goals, while Saitta had two goals. Egan and rookie Michael Susi (Gorham, Maine) had two assists apiece, and Salazar stopped eight shots on frame in the effort..
Lasell will host Wentworth Institute of Technology on Wednesday (4:00 p.m.), while Southern Maine is on the road on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) traveling to Mount Ida College.
Recap Courtesy of USM Sports Information