NEWTON, Mass. (5/4/17) -- The Lasell College men's lacrosse team erased a three-goal deficit in the first half to down the Cadets of Norwich University, 14-11 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) semifinal on Thursday afternoon at Grellier Field.
The Lasers head to their second consecutive championship match, this time on their home turf, on Saturday, May 6, versus the winner of the alternative semifinal between Mount Ida and JWU. Lasell will host its first-ever championship game at 1:00 p.m. on Grellier Field.
Following its 9-8 overtime victory against reigning GNAC champion Emmanuel, Norwich closes its 2017 campaign at 10-9.
Three Lasers reached hat-trick figures in Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.), Austin Shindoll (Denver, Col.), and Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.), while Michael Susi (Gorman, Maine) added two, including the home team's opener. Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.) dominated a six-point attack on five assists and one goal, while Josh Gallant (Hampstead, N.H.) and Connor Johnson (Hampstead, N.H.) rounded out the victors' scoring.
Defensively, Darien Clay (Newton, Mass.) led all players with four caused turnovers, while Johnson picked up eight ground balls, two away from his season-high.
Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) paced the Cadets on a five-point performance with three goals and two assists. Nolan Aurelia (Stratford, Conn.) and Josh Jenkins (Centennial, Col.) scored three apiece in the effort.
The Cadets took control early in the game, owning a 3-0 lead before Susi got the hosts on the board with 19 seconds remaining in the first. Norwich kept the Lasers at bay in the early stages the second, maintaining a three-goal lead (5-2) with Aurelia's second tally of the game on a feed from Michael Cashman (East Kingston, N.H.), who concluded the contest with three assists.
Madden ignited a 4-1 charge for the Lasers with 4:02 left in the second quarter, and scored the 6-6 equalizer as both teams headed into the halftime break.
After Moore opened the second half for the 7-6 Cadet lead, the Lasers rattled off six straight goals, taking its first lead of the game at 11:47 from a behind the back money shot from Gallant. In just a 21-second span, Shindoll, Gallant, and Johnson pushed the Lasers' advantage to two, before Susi gave Lasell its largest lead of the game, 12-7, with 5:49 to go in the third.
The Cadets would outscore the home team in the final 15, via Jenkins and a man-up goal from Aidan Moulton (Danvers, Mass.), but the deficit proved to be too much, as Chase Swift (Branford, Conn.) ran the clock with his last faceoff victory.
Overall, Swift went 13-23 from the face-off X, while Pete Dolan (Pearl River, N.Y.) added a pair in the victory. Jack Dwyer (Shelburne, Vt.) took all but one faceoff for the Cadets, finishing with 13 total.
Senior goaltender Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) backstopped the Lasers with 11 saves in the victory, while Ian Kriger (Burlington, Mass.) contributed 12 saves in the loss.