NEWTON, Mass. (5/6/17) – For the first time in program history, the Lasell College men's lacrosse team is NCAA Tournament bound, after a 13-12 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship victory against Mount Ida College.
The selection show is set to air live Sunday, May 7 at 9:00 p.m. on NCAA.com.
The Lasers' first GNAC championship emerges in the midst of a five-game winning streak, as Lasell extends its overall record and lives to see one more at 13-3. Mount Ida closes its historic run at 14-5.
Michael Susi (Gorham, Maine) continued his solid post-season success, scoring four goals, while classmate and tournament MVP Ryan Madden (Hingham, Mass.) followed with a hat trick. David Sheehan (Tewksbury, Mass.) was a force on defense with four caused turnovers, while Darien Clay (Newton, Mass.) and Connor Johnson (Hampstead, N.H.) combined for 12 ground balls for the home team. Susi, Madden, Sheehan, and Josh Gallant (Hampstead, N.H.) were named to the All-Tournament squad as field players, joined by senior goalkeeper Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.).
The Mustangs were paced by a six-point attack from John Berry (Chichester, N.H.), who notched four goals and two assists in the effort. Peter Hardy (Tyngsboro, Mass.) and Kyle Ton (Norwich, Conn.) rounded out the Mustangs' multi-goal performances, scoring three and two, respectively.
The Lasers staged yet another comeback win, suffering an early 5-2 deficit after the first quarter. A powerful second frame deadlocked the contest at 7-apiece, in part to a 5-2 run via Madden (2), Gallant, Susi, and Alex McCormack-Kuhman (Wells, Maine). The game would stay tied up until the final 15 minutes of play, as both teams headed into the frame with nine goals apiece. Susi and a man-up goal from senior Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.) gave Lasell a 12-9 advantage for its largest lead of the game thus far, but Berry and Wyatt Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) chipped away at the deficit to put the Mustangs down by just one, 12-11, with 7:18 to go in regulation.
With 4:27 to go, Clay capitalized on sloppy ball handling from the Mustangs, and set Gallant and Austin Tomasetti (Elmsford, N.Y.) up for Lasell's final goal of the afternoon, leading 13-11. Penalty trouble plagued the Lasers two minutes later, as Ton finished a feed from Chad Coehlo (Salem, Mass.) on the man-up opportunity to again pull the visitors within one. Alex Zito (Andover, Conn.) won the ensuring faceoff, as responsibility shifted to Lasell's defense. Daniel Gorman (Wilbraham, Mass.) stripped the ball from Coehlo in the Mustangs' initial attempt to tie the game once more, before Ida took a timeout with just under a minute left to play. Mount Ida then converted on the clear attempt, and fired off two shots to frame as the seconds trickled down. Salazar came in clutch for the Lasers, saving both final shots on net, as the 2017 GNAC championship keeper.
Gorman played a vital role in the faceoff X, going 4-for-7 overall, joined by Chase Swift (Branford, Conn.), who won nine in the effort. Zito took all 29 faceoffs for the Mustangs, and came out with 16.
Salazar earned his 13th win in the cage for Lasell, stopping 12 of 24 shots faced for a 50% save percentage. Cam Hayward suffered the loss in net for the Mustangs, and drops to 13-5 overall with 10 saves.
2017 Men's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Ryan Madden – MVP – Lasell
Jorge Salazar – Lasell
Josh Gallant - Lasell
Michael Susi – Lasell
David Sheehan - Lasell
Alex Zito – Mount Ida
Alex Veloukas – Mount Ida
Cam Hayward – Mount Ida
Eric Russo – JWU
Hunter Kaplan - JWU
James Connors – Norwich
Cody Moore - Norwich