BANGOR, Maine - The Husson University men's lacrosse team made the move back to .500 on the season with a victory over the visiting Mariners of Mitchell College by a score of 11-6 on a chilly but clear day at Boucher Field.
With the win, the Eagles sit at 5-5 (1-0 NAC) on the season, while Mitchell falls to 2-6 with the loss. The Eagles were led by Ben Landry who scored a game-high five goals while Wayne Stubbs turned in a hat-trick performance. Chris Pelletier also pitched in four points on two goals and as many assists. Defensively, Matt Catalano led the charge with four caused turnovers to go with a pair of ground balls, while Vincent Visconti led all players with seven ground balls. Eric Lund earned the victory in goal, making 10 saves in front of the cage for the Eagles.
Husson out-shot its opponent by a 37-31 margin but had a much more substantial advantage in the ground ball category, winning 46 compared to 24 by the Mariners. The Eagles held the advantage at the face-off dot, going 13-for-20, thanks largely to the effort of Dillon Shaw (12-for-18). Husson was just 1-for-7 with the extra man while Mitchell went 2-for-8.
For Mitchell, first-year midfielder Nicholas Gresio led the team with three goals on just four shots on the day, while fellow rookie Jordan Cook chipped in with a pair of goals of his own. Defensively, sophomore long-stick midfielder Chris Joy had a solid day, tying for the team lead with three ground balls and two caused turnovers. Goalie Peter Eshenfelder was outstanding in the crease despite being tagged with the loss, making 17 saves in the game.
Mitchell jumped out to an early lead just 2:06 into the first quarter as Cook potted an unassisted tally for the first goal of the game. The Mariners held their only lead of the game for just over four minutes before Pelletier found Landry to even the score mid-way through the quarter. Husson would finish the quarter on a three-goal run as Landry added another around the five-minute mark, this time from Nick Brown, and Stubbs would finish the first quarter scoring with 3:51 remaining with an unassisted tally.
The Eagles began the second period on an extra-man opportunity, and it took just 13 seconds in the quarter for Landry to capitalize and give Husson a 4-1 lead. The Eagles committed two infractions after the goal, giving Mitchell a two-man advantage, and Gresio came up with the unassisted score to close the gap to two. That sparked the Mariner offense, who went on a little run of their own in the second. Gresio scored again with 5:28 remaining in the second, again unassisted, and with just under 30 seconds to play in the half, Cook scored on an assist from Adam Grillo below the cage that would tie the score at the intermission.
Husson was able to break the tie nearly four minutes into the third quarter when Landry netted his fourth of the game on an unassisted score to make it 5-4. Shortly after the ensuing face-off, the Eagles drew a penalty, and that opened the door for Gresio to tie it with the extra-man on an assist by Aaron Feinberg at 10:37 in the third.
With the score even at 5-5, Husson dug deep and came up with a 6-1 run to pull away at the end. Landry broke the deadlock with 7:15 to play in the quarter off an assist by Pelletier, and then later in the quarter, the midfielder transitioned from facilitator to goal-scorer, potting two in a row off assists by N. Brown (his second) and Mitch Heaps.
After Pelletier's second goal, Shaw won the face-off cleanly to himself, and ran straight at the net, dishing it to Heaps at the last second. The junior attackman finished the play, and Husson took a 9-5 lead into the fourth and final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles finished things off completing their run on a pair of unassisted scores from Stubbs, the first coming at 11:35, and the second with 3:34 to play in the game. The Mariners never gave in, and were rewarded for their efforts, scoring with just 11 seconds left to play as Ben Carr found Shane Sullivan, who ripped a corner from outside that found the back of the net. In the end, Husson walked away with an 11-6 victory.
Mitchell will next host Lyndon State College on Wednesday, April 4 at 4 p.m.