Seahawks clinch playoff berth, defeat Curry 14-11

Junior Dan Parks scored his second hat trick of the season, including the eventual game winning goal in Salve Regina's 14-11 win over Curry.
Junior Dan Parks scored his second hat trick of the season, including the eventual game winning goal in Salve Regina's 14-11 win over Curry.

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – With its hard fought 14-11 victory over Curry, the Salve Regina men's lacrosse team solidified its spot in the 2013 Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament. The Seahawks won their third-straight conference game to improve to 6-8 on the year while evening their CCC record to 3-3 while Curry slipped to 7-7 overall and 0-6 in the conference.

The Seahawks opened the second half with five unanswered goals to take a 10-6 lead with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, but Curry seemed to have the answer and scored a pair of goals to end the third and another to kick off the fourth.

With the score knotted at 10-10 and 5:48 remaining on the clock, the Seahawks kicked their attack into high gear and rattled off three-straight goals in less than 20 seconds to retake the lead, 13-10. At the 5:48 mark, junior Curtis McKeon (West Haven, Conn.) gave a quick flip to classmate Dan Parks (Nesconset, N.Y.) for his ninth goal of the year. McKeon won the ensuing faceoff for Salve Regina, and Parks picked up a ground ball in traffic in front of the net and buried his 10th goal of the year to give Salve Regina a two goal lead, 12-10 at 5:37. Once again, McKeon won the faceoff but this time he took the ball to the cage himself and launched his 15th goal of the year over the shoulder of the Curry netminder to cap the three goal run.

Curry got a goal back with 4:01 to play after sophomore Connor McKeon (Larchmont, N.Y.) fed the ball to his classmate John Castellano (Scarsdale, N.Y.). Castellano gave the ball to junior Connor Arnold (Clifton Park, N.Y.) for his only goal of the game to cut the Salve Regina lead to 13-11.

McKeon got the Seahawks back up by three, 14-11, with 1:52 to play with his 16th of the season off an assist from freshman Cam Brazill (Ridgewood, N.J.). The Colonels had possession with 33 seconds left, but after a turnover caused by freshman Jake Schlapp (Garden City, N.Y.), Salve Regina held on to the ball as time expired for the victory.

Curry quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game as seniors Joseph Natale (Haverhill, Mass.) and Andrew Navoni (Natick, Mass.) buried the first two goals of the game for a 2-0 lead. McKeon and freshman James Fee (Massapequa, N.Y.) answered, however, with a pair of goals to end the first quarter with the score tied, 2-2.

Curry's McKeon and Salve Regina's McKeon scored back-to-back goals to keep the score tied in the opening minutes of the second half before Curry rattled off two goals to take its second lead of the game, 5-3. McKeon and Hollenshade sandwiched a pair of goals around Curry's McKeon's man-up goal to send the teams into half time with Curry up, 6-5.

In the Seahawks 5-0 run to open the third quarter, Hollenshade buried three unassisted goals around a goal from senior Taylor Braun (Commack, N.Y.) and Parks.

McKeon led the Seahawks with six points (5g. 1a) while picking up a game-high 13 ground balls and going 19-27 at the face off. McKeon's 13 ground balls push his season total to 132, setting a new single-season record for Salve Regina, breaking his own record of 127.

Natale and McKeon each had a hat trick for the Colonels while senior Tim McGonagle (Concord, Mass.) made 20 stops in the loss for Curry.

Salve Regina returns to action when the Seahawks travel to the University of New England for a CCC matchup on Saturday, April 20. The opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m. The Colonels get back on the field on Saturday when they square off against Western New England at 7 p.m.