NEWTON, Mass. (5/3/17) -- After capturing its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular-season title since 2012 with a perfect 8-0 league record, the Lasell College men's lacrosse team hosts the fourth-seeded Cadets of Norwich University in one of two semifinal games Thursday on Grellier Field.
Faceoff is set for 3:30 p.m., and the contest can be viewed live at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/lasell/.
Lasell leads the GNAC with 13.07 goals scored per game and its 8.82 goals-against average ranks third. On the other side, Norwich enters the game at 10-8 overall and 5-3 in GNAC play. The Cadets average 9.89 goals per game, but boast the league's stingiest defense with a goals-against average of 8.39.
The Lasers lost just one non-conference game after March 1, finishing the regular season with an 11-3 overall mark and wins in their last three contests. Lasell's last outing was a 16-9 Saturday win over Anna Maria in which junior Alex McCormack-Kuhman (Wells, Maine) led the team with five goals, while classmate Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.) scored twice and added seven assists.
Tomasetti's 36 assists are tied for second-most in the GNAC and his 54 points lead the team and rank as the fourth-most in the GNAC. Sophomore Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.) is the team's leading goal scorer with 31 in 14 games, while four other players ― McCormack-Kuhman, seniors Josh Gallant (Hampstead, N.H.) and Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.), and sophomore Austin Shindoll (Denver, Colo.) ― have scored at least 20 apiece.
The Lasers held a 12-0 first-quarter advantage against Anna Maria, with six different players scoring goals. McCormack-Kuhman netted his second straight hat trick in the opening period alone.
Senior Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) has started all 14 games in goal for Lasell and has an 8.55 goals-against and .608 save percentage, marks that respectively rank second and third in the GNAC. Salazar was named GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week three times this season.
Additionally, sophomore Andrew Modugno (Medford, Mass.) and freshman Ryan Janovic (East Lyme, Conn.) both saw goalkeeping action against the AMCATS as well, with Modugno making five saves in his longest appearance of the season.
Lasell is looking to make its second consecutive GNAC championship appearance and avenge last year's 14-13 loss to Emmanuel. The fifth-seeded Saints were ousted from title contention with a 9-8 overtime loss to Norwich Tuesday night, while third-seeded Johnson & Wales notched a 17-14 win over Rivier in the other first-round contest.
In the Cadets' playoff opener with Emmanuel, freshman Connor Bourque (Goffstown, N.H.) scored the game-winning goal 1:59 into overtime, while sophomore Aidan Moulton (Danvers, Mass.) scored a team-high three goals. Junior Josh Jenkins (Centennial, Colo.) ranks fifth in the GNAC with 35 goals. Sophomore Ian Kriger (Burlington, Mass.) has allowed the fewest goals (89) of any GNAC keeper this season.
The winner of Lasell's contest will advance to face either No. 3 JWU or No. 2 Mount Ida in the GNAC title game on Saturday, May 6. The Lasers would host the game should they win Thursday.