MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – Sophomore Pat Leary's (Wakefield, Mass.) goal with 7:49 remaining held up as the game winner as the Salve Regina University men's lacrosse team held on to defeat Wentworth Institute of Technology, 13-12, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Tuesday night.
Leary's marker had given the hosts a 13-9 lead, however the Leopards battled back to within a goal, scoring three times in a span of 2:26. With the win the Seahawks improve to 6-5 overall and 3-3 in CCC play while the Leopards fall to 5-11 (2-5).
Scoring goals 10 seconds apart, Salve Regina took a quick, 2-0 lead. However, Wentworth used a man-up goal from senior Matt Larsen (Northborough, Mass.) and a goal from junior Kyle Doner (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) 22 seconds later to even the score at 2-all. The Seahawks responded with three straight markers, including two from Leary to give Salve Regina a 5-2 lead. Senior Jason Buck (Manlius, N.Y.) stopped the run with a goal with 1:29 left in the opening frame before sophomore Brendan Kelly (Long Beach, N.Y.) scored with 18 seconds left to make it 6-3 after the first quarter.
Just 12 seconds into the second quarter, Leary increased the Seahawks' lead to 7-3. Senior Jacob Eldred (Goffstown, N.H.) pulled the Black & Gold to within 7-4, however, freshman Niko Szelest (Bristol, R.I.) gave Salve Regina an 8-4 lead at the half when he scored with 34 seconds left.
Wentworth outscored the Seahawks by a 5-3 margin in the third quarter, with Buck scoring three times in the frame, including with 32 second remaining to make it 11-9. Eldred and freshman Erik Madden (Wolfeboro, N.H.) also scored for the Black & Gold. Kelly scored two of Salve Regina's three goals in the frame.
Salve Regina opened the fourth quarter with goals from freshman Rich Gneiding (Oradell, N.J.) and Leary to extend its lead to 13-9 with 7:59 remaining. A minute and 51 seconds after Leary's goal, Doner tallied a man-up marker which started the Leopards' string of three straight goals. At the 5:21 mark, sophomore Andrew DiPalma (West Orange, N.J.) made it 13-11 before Doner scored with 3:32 left, bringing the visitors to within one.
Wentworth won the ensuing faceoff and had four shot attempts, including one which was saved by freshman Ryan Chambers (Wakefield, Mass.). With just over a minute remaining and Wentworth continuing to apply pressure, sophomore Jake Paparozzi (Allendale, N.J.) caused a turnover and sophomore Chris Sheehan (Wading River, N.Y.) picked up the ground ball. The Seahawks were able to successfully clear the ball and run out the clock.
Leary and Kelly had four and three goals, respectively, while Szelest had two goals and two assists. Junior Joe Sousa (Cranston, R.I.) scooped up eight ground balls while senior Mike Mongelli (Roslyn, N.Y.) and Paparozzi caused three turnovers apiece.
Buck paced the Leopard offense with four goals while DOner added three and Eldred two. Freshman Radu Stancescu (Suffern, N.Y.) was 14-of-24 at the X and scooped up 11 ground balls. Buck also caused two turnovers.
Chambers made 13 saves for Salve Regina while sophomore Randy Ryan (Clinton, N.Y.) made 15 stops for Wentworth. Wentworth had a 46-44 edge on shots while ground balls were even at 24-all. The Leopards successfully cleared on 21-of-22 attempts.
Wentworth closes out the regular season next Wednesday (April 24) at home against Gordon.
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