SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – For the seventh year in a row Western New England and Endicott will compete for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Lacrosse Tournament Championship. Both teams won their CCC Semifinal matchups on Tuesday (April 30) night to advance to the title game on Friday, May 3 at 4 p.m.
No. 1 seed Western New England surrendered the first goal against No. 4 seed Curry, but then rattled of six unanswered goals in the first quarter and never looked back, eventually winning 25-14. The second seeded Gulls win against No. 3 seed Roger Williams was a fierce battle throughout. EC was eventually able to pull out the victory in the third overtime, 12-11.
The Golden Bears come into Friday's championship game as the reigning tournament champions and have won four of the past six meetings with the Gulls for the title.
During their regular season meeting, WNE handed Endicott its only conference loss with a 10-7 result. The teams were deadlocked after the first quarter in that contest with the Gulls earning the edge in the second to take a 4-3 lead into halftime. The defending champions tied the game up in the third before rattling off four unanswered goals to start the final period. They would not trail again, as they went on to win the back the conference crown.
The winner of Friday's Championship game will be named the CCC Tournament Champion will receive the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.
#1 Western New England 25, #4 Curry 14
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Western New England men's lacrosse team advanced to its ninth-straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship game after defeating fourth-seeded Curry College 25-14 on Tuesday afternoon in a semifinal round at Golden Bear Stadium.
Senior attackman Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) was outstanding for the Golden Bears leading the way with a 10-point performance (5 G, 5 A). Junior midfielder John Shahpazian (New Providence, N.J.) added seven points (5 G, 2 A) and freshman attackman Mike Bannon (Edmond, Okla.) put in four goals and a helper. Senior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.) finished 20-28 on faceoffs, had 15 groundballs, two goals, and two assists. Three other players had three points for the Golden Bears.
Junior goalkeeper Sean McCusker (Northport, N.Y.) finished with nine saves in the cage.
Curry was led by the trio of Kyle Ton (Norwich, Conn.) (4 G), Harrison Fallon (Wrentham, Mass.) (2 G, 3 A), and Devin Newell (Medford, Mass.) (3 G). Junior midfielder Andrew DeLeary (Wakefield, Mass.) also chipped in four points (1 G, 3 A).
Curry opened up the game with Fallon finding Newell cutting down the middle for the goal, taking the first lead at 1-0.
On the ensuing faceoff, Cocks secured the ball and took it to the cage himself, tying the game at 1 apiece. From there, Western New England rattled off five unanswered goals to push their lead to 6-1. At 4:42, the visitors would convert off a turnover as Ton scored off a MJ Urbano (Wakefield, Mass.) assist to make the score 6-2. Before the period ended, Bannon would dance his way to the cage and score to add to the Golden Bear lead, 7-2.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Ward facilitated back-to-back goals to Bannon and junior midfielder Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.) to push the lead to 9-2. After a Ton goal, the Golden Bears received goals from Ward, Bannon, and Shahpazian pushing the lead up to 12-3.
Just under the 3-minute mark, Fallon would convert on a pair of man-up opportunities making it 12-5. A possession later, Cocks found Djusberg for his second goal of the game giving the Golden Bears a 13-5 lead. Curry would end the half with goals from sophomore attackman Matthew Scahill (Gales Ferry, Conn.) and DeLeary to cut the difference to 13-7.
In the third quarter, Shahpazian and Ward would help separate the Golden Bears from the Colonels as they scored or assisted on every goal in the period. Curry would score three times, but the lead would balloon to 20-10 for the No. 1 seeded Golden Bears.
In the final frame, Western New England was able to extend their lead up to 24-11 after another set of unanswered goals. Curry would pump in three goals in the last seven minutes, but the game was out of reach. At 6:01, sophomore midfielder Conor Tracy (Walpole, Mass.) capped off the scoring for the Golden Bears solidifying a berth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship game.
• 25 goals scored was a season-high for the Golden Bears' offense.
• Ward's 10-point performance is his second of the season.
Game recap courtesy of the Western New England Sports Information Department.
#2 Endicott 12, #3 Roger Williams 11 - 3OT
BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott junior attack Mike Sudora (Monroe, Conn.) buried the game-winning goal with 40-seconds remaining in triple overtime to lift the second-seeded Gulls past third-seeded Roger Williams, 12-11, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament semifinals on Tuesday evening at Hempstead Stadium.
With roughly 1:10 remaining in the third overtime session, Jack Sutherland (Sudbury, Mass.) picked off a Roger Williams' pass in transition to help set the stage for Sudora's game-winner.
Moments later, Andrew Soucy (Andover, Mass.) initiated the game-winning score when he attacked the cage from the right wing, which created a double on the ball, and, more importantly, left Sudora wide open for the tally that went top-shelf and sent Endicott's entire roster into a frenzy on the field.
Sudora finished the game with five goals and Sutherland came away with a hat-trick in the win.
The Gulls also saw Soucy and Nick Arcadipane (Groveland, Mass.) produce four-point nights via one goal and three assists, while Will Clark (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and A.J. MacDonald (New Fairfield, Conn.) round out the scoring with one tally apiece.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott improved to 26-5 all-time against Roger Williams.
- That record includes a 17-2 mark at home versus the Hawks.
- Tonight's game was the first triple overtime matchup in the history of the series.
- Only one other game in the all-time series has gone to overtime. That contest was a 9-8 victory for the Gulls on 4/23/16.
- Roger Williams raced out to a 3-0 lead to begin the contest (12:00-9:16).
- The largest lead of the matchup came at halftime with Endicott ahead 7-3, at the time.
- The Hawks tied up the game with 7.5-seconds remaining in regulation after trailing from the 10:30 mark of the second quarter on in the contest.
Game recap courtesy of the Endicott Sports Information Department.
(Games hosted by the higher seed)
Quarterfinals – Saturday, April 27
Semifinals – Tuesday, April 30
Finals – Friday, May 3
#2 Endicott at #1 Western New England, 4 p.m.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.