NEC Claims Third-Straight NAC Men's Lacrosse Championship Title with 12-7 Win over Castleton
For the Interactive Tournament Bracket - click HERE.
The New England College men's lacrosse team won its third-straight North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship Title on Saturday with a 12-7 win over Castleton.
With the win, the Pilgrims qualify for the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in head coach Jedd Brown's five seasons. NEC has won 15-straight games to improve to 15-4.
Castleton sees its season come to a close with a 10-8 record.
Senior Matt Richard (Weare, N.H.) paced the Pilgrims' offense with a goal and eight assists for nine points. Richard, who has 80 assists this season, is now just two assists shy of tying the NCAA Division III record for assists in a season.
Sophomore Jacob Blanchette (Weare, N.H.) and freshman Charles Hacking (Canterbury, N.H.) both had three goals and an assist, while Patrick Storie (Williamstown, Mass.) also scored three times.
Connor Fries (Barnstable, Mass.) and Maxime Danis (Waterloo, Quebec) both caused three turnovers each, while Zach Cotoni (Groton, Mass.) had a team-best seven ground balls.
Austin Frankel (Peabody, Mass.) won seven face-offs for the Pilgrims.
Jason Sedell led the Spartans with three goals and an assist, while Kyle Lutinski had two goals and two assists. Kevin McCarthy also scored for Castleton.
Face-off specialist Josh Gosselin finished 15-for-23 and scooped up six ground balls.
NEC's William Platt (San Francisco, Calif.) had eight saves in the win and recorded his 500th career save midway through the third quarter. Brandon Myron had five saves for Castleton.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NEC won the opening face-off and scored their first goal in the first 56 seconds before the Castleton defense was able to settle down. The Spartans held the Pilgrims scoreless for the next eight minutes until Blanchette found Tom Zervos (Montreal, Quebec) to put NEC up 2-0. A Castleton goal three minutes later halved the Pilgrims' lead, but they tacked on one more first-quarter goal on an unassisted goal by Storie to lead 3-1 at the end of the first.
The Pilgrims did a bulk of their damage in the second quarter, scoring four-straight goals in a seven-minute span to take a 7-2 lead. Richard assisted on all four goals in the stretch. Sedell broke up the stretch with a Castleton goal with 1:27 remaining in the half.
NEC opened the third quarter with a three-goal run for a 10-3 lead – after another goal apiece, NEC led 11-4 at the end of the third.
The Spartans changed their strategy and shifted the momentum in the fourth quarter, but the hole was already too big to climb out of. Castleton scored three-straight goals in a span of six minutes to cut their deficit to four, 11-7, but a Castleton penalty took the wind out of their sails and Hacking added one final score with a just over a minute-and-a-half left to seal the NEC win.
Marcus Bessette, Lyndon
Brandon Hunter, Lyndon
Brooks Gay, Husson
Chad Merrill, Husson
Josh Gosselin, Castleton
Ryan Crowningshield, Castleton
Jason Sedell, Castleton
Connor Fries, New England College
Charles Hacking, New England College
Jacob Blanchette, New England College
MVP – Matt Richard, New England College
The Pilgrims will learn their opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night during the selection show, which is set to begin at 9:00 p.m.
2018 NAC MEN'S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Championship • Saturday, May 5
No. 1 New England College 12, No. 2 Castleton 7 - Boxscore