Men's Lacrosse Edged in Regular-Season Finale

Men's Lacrosse Edged in Regular-Season Finale

DUDLEY, Mass. - Sophomore Mackenzie Martin (Merrimack, N.H.) tallied the game-winning marker with 1:51 left in overtime to lift the Nichols College men's lacrosse team to a 12-11 Commonwealth Coast Conference triumph over the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team on Tuesday night.

With the win, the Bison end their season at 5-11 overall and 1-7 in league play while the Leopards fall to 4-12 (2-6) and will be the number six seed in the upcoming CCC Tournament. Wentworth will travel to third-seeded Roger Williams on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. for an opening round contest.

At the 14:17 mark of the first quarter, senior Anthony Verville (Portland, Maine) put the Bison on the board to take the 1-0 lead, however, 17 seconds later Wentworth answered with a goal of its own. Junior Sean Farmer (Billerica, Mass.) squared the game at 1-all before junior Paul Tessier (Mirror Lake, N.H.) scored the go-ahead goal to put Nichols ahead 2-1 at 12:42. Markers from senior Nick Parent (Windham, N.H.) and senior Alec Paradis (Pelham, N.H.) helped Wentworth close out the quarter with a 3-2 lead.

A goal from freshman Brad Howell (Walden, N.Y.) and two goals from Tyler Sikich (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) through the first 10 minutes of the first allowed the Bison to take the 5-3 lead. After Nichols gained a two goal lead over Wentworth, senior Tim Parlato (Needham, Mass.) scored with 3:50 left in the half to put the Leopards within one at 5-4.

Throughout the third quarter, the lead flip flopped back and forth through the first four minutes before back-to-back goals from junior Mike Coakley (Flemington, N.J.) and Parlato put Wentworth up 8-7 at 8:04 of the third. The Bison, however, continued to pressure the Leopards as Verville and senior Reece O'Connor (North Grafton, Mass.) put Nichols back on top 9-8. Parent closed out the third stanza with the equalizer at 2:26 to square the game at 9-9.

Martin put the Bison back on top, 10-9, at 13:53 of the fourth before two consecutive goals from freshman Jason Buck (Manlius, N.Y.) and Coakley propelled the Leopards to regain the 11-10 edge. That lead was short-lived as Martin's third marker of the game evened the score yet again at 11-11 with 10:34 left on the clock. Wentworth had a chance to seal the win on a shot from Parent with 52 ticks left, but the shot hit the post as the game entered overtime.

Wentworth's second consecutive and program-record fourth overtime contest of the season began with Nichols winning the faceoff and calling time out with 3:42 left. Out of the time out, the Bison had a chance to win the game, however a Sikich shot deflected off of the post and Nichols maintained possession after the ricochet went out of bounds. The Bison worked the clock down while looking for a shot and Martin fired a shot to the top right corner with 1:51 left to end the game.

Martin paced the Bison with four goals, while Howell, Sikich and Verville each tallied two goals. Sikich also had two assists and scooped up six ground balls and junior Kevin D'Angelo (Pelham, N.H.) went 13-for-26 at the X. Sophomore James Keane (Franklin, Mass.) had 13 saves in the win for Nichols.

Parlato tallied three goals and scooped up seven ground balls for the Black & Gold, while Parent, Buck and Coakley had two goals apiece. Freshman Sean Brennan (Stony Point, N.Y.) scooped up five ground balls as senior James Caldwell (New Milford, Conn.) followed with three and freshman Peter Andersson (Madison, N.J.) went 13-for-26 at the X. Sophomore Adam Dufault (Lexington, Mass.) had six saves.

Wentworth held a 44-31 shot advantage, as well as ground balls (30-29) and clears (18-17), while Nichols held a 14-13 face-off edge.

Saturday night will mark the second straight season – and third time in the last four seasons – the Leopards and Hawks have met in the playoffs. Overall it is the 10th time the two programs have met in the conference tournament since 1999. Roger Williams has won eight of nine playoff meetings and, including this season's 11-6 win on Mar. 29, holds a 26-3 advantage in the all-time series. Wentworth is 0-15 lifetime in Bristol.