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Nichols LAX Builds Early Lead, Holds Off Mitchell
NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Mitchell College men's lacrosse team dropped an 11-7 final to Nichols College in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Mariners outscored the Bison 7-4 in the second half but couldn't overcome a 7-0 halftime deficit. Michael Bane and Tyler Sikich each netted hat tricks for Nichols, which held a 51-22 advantage in shots and a 36-26 edge in ground balls. Corey Davis also added two goals and two assists as the Bison snapped a 12-game losing streak.
Sophomore Aaron Sladyk led Mitchell with a career-high four goals while senior Shane Sullivan chipped in with a goal and two assists. Senior David Klapp and sophomore Dan DiGioia also added markers on the day for the Mariners, who saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.
The first half was all Nichols as five different players found the back of the cage. The Bison led 2-0 after the first quarter and 4-0 early in the second, and a two-minute penalty on the Mariners allowed both Matt Feigenblat and Brian Girard to score man-up goals to increase the margin to 6-0 with 6:05 to go in the half. Davis later added his second of the game as Nichols scored its third goal of the stanza with a man advantage.
The Mariners fought back with five goals in the third quarter to make it a game. Sladyk finally got Mitchell on the board with a man-up goal at the 10:25 mark, though Bane answered off a feed from Davis just over a minute later to make it 8-1.
Another two-minute penalty led to Mitchell playing shorthanded midway through the period, but both Sladyk and Klapp each scored during the stretch to fire up their squad. Sladyk then tallied again—his third of the quarter—to trim the deficit to 8-4 with the final period looming.
Nichols began the fourth quarter on the power play and promptly took advantage, as Sikich netted his second of the contest to pump the lead back to five. The Mariners still kept up the fight, however, as Sullivan stole a pass from a Nichols defender and buried a shot for a goal. DiGioia then made it a three-goal game with 12:47 remaining off an assist from Sullivan.
That would be as close as Mitchell would get, as Bane completed the hat trick with 8:59 to go and Sikich finished off his in the final seconds. Goalie Peter Zygadlo made nine stops in the cage for the Bison while Mitchell freshman JD LeMay recorded 15 saves.
The Mariners honored seven members of the senior class before the game. The group—which consists of Sullivan, Klapp, Demetre Lyras, Wayne Brookbanks, Aaron Feinberg, Robert Caccavale and Nick Pillsbury—helped build the Mitchell program over last four years. Prior to their arrival, the Mariners had won just five games in the previous six seasons. Since their arrival, however, Mitchell has won a combined 31 games over the past four seasons while winning a pair of New England Collegiate Conference titles and earning two ECAC Championship berths.
Mitchell (8-5 overall) will next host the United States Merchant Marine Academy on Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m. Nichols (3-12 overall) will wrap up regular season play with a home game against Roger Williams University on Wednesday, April 23 at 4 p.m.