March 1, 2014

Seahawks roll in home opener

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The Salve Regina men's lacrosse team rolled to its second-straight win of the year as the Seahawks defeated Lasell for the first time in program history, 15-5, on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Salve Regina improves to 2-0 on the year while the Lasers open the 2014 season 0-1.

Senior Dan Parks (Nesconset, N.Y.) and sophomore James Fee (Massapequa, N.Y.) combined for eight points for the Seahawks as both notched their first hat tricks of the season. Parks led the team with four goals while Fee added three and handed out an assist.

Senior Curtis McKeon (West Haven, Conn.) was once again strong at the faceoff for Salve Regina, winning 18 of 22 on the day. McKeon's first faceoff win came in the opening draw as he flipped the ball back to himself and drove into the restraining box for Salve Regina's first offensive possession. After a wide shot from sophomore Alex King (Anover, Mass.), freshman Eric Backus (Mansfield, Mass.) gained possession of the ball and fed it to McKeon to the left of the net who ripped it into the goal from about 15 yards out to give SRU a 1-0 lead just 41 seconds into the game.

Lasell managed to get one back in the opening quarter, the Lasers only tally of the first half. Sophomore Casey Sullivan (Waterford, Conn.) went coast-to-coast with the ball after a save from junior goalie David Walen (Longmeadow, Mass.) and put the ball past freshman goalie Andrew Watkins (Natick, Mass.) right in front of the net to tie the game, 1-1, 13:20 into the first quarter.

After a good clear attempt from Salve Regina with 4:54 left in the opening frame, Backus picked up his second assist of the game as he fed the ball to sophomore Alex Flynn (Nashua, N.H.)  for his first goal of the season for Salve Regina. The Seahawks carried the 2-1 lead into the second quarter.

After a tightly contested first quarter, the Seahawks outscored the Lasers 7-0 in the second to take a commanding 9-1 lead.

After another faceoff win for McKeon to open the second quarter, Parks picked up the ground ball at took it into the Seahawks' offensive zone. Parks regained possession of the ball behind the Seahawk net during the possession and wrapped around the goal and shot it past Walen for his second of the season and first of the game to push the Seahawk lead to 3-1 at the 14:04 mark.  After Fee and Parks went back-to-back for a pair of goals to extend SRU's lead to 5-1, sophomore Sharp Jones (Scituate, Mass.) got in on the scoring action with a man up goal off an assist from King to give Salve Regina a 6-1 lead with 6:39 left in the first half.  Less than a minute late, Fee followed up with a man up goal of his own off a long pass from freshman Nick LoCicero (Lynbrook, N.Y.)  to extend the lead to 7-1.

Backus and Parks went back-to-back for Backus' first of the game and Parks' third to give Salve Regina a 9-1 lead to take into halftime. The Seahawks were able to kill off an extra man opportunity for the last minute of the first half to keep the Lasers off the board in the second quarter.

Lasell opened the third quarter with a pair of goals to cut the Salve Regina lead to 9-4. With the Lasers on a two-man advantage on their first extra man chance of the quarter, freshman Josh Gallant (Hampstead, N.H.) took the ball to the net himself for his first of the game with 12:17 to play in the quarter. Back at even strength, Gallant fed the ball to junior Dylan Fernandes (Billerica, Mass.) for his first of the game to cut the Seahawk lead to 9-3 with 9:33 left in the quarter.

Parks completed his career-day with his fourth goal of the game with 5:18 to play in the third off King's second assist of the contest to give Salve Regina a 10-4 lead. Once again, the Seahawks killed off an extra man opportunity that spanned the final minute of the quarter to keep Lasell at bay and carried the 10-3 lead into the final quarter.

Just 11 seconds into the final quarter, Fee picked up a rebound off a shot from Jones that hit the post and sent the ball into a wide open net behind the Laser goalie to extend the lead to 11-3. 14 seconds later, Russell took the ball to the cage himself for his first goal of the season before King took a feed from LoCicero on an extra man opportunity and netted his first of the game to give Salve Regina 13-3 lead, its first double-digit lead of the game.

Off a turnover in the Lasers' offensive end, Backus picked up a groundball and took a shot that went wide be LoCicero notched his first of the game with 11:25 to play in the final quarter and gave Salve Regina a 14-3 lead. With 6:42 left on the clock, Jones scored the Seahawks final goal of the game off a pass from Fee to give Salve Regina a 15-3 lead.


The Lasers got two back as freshman Connor Johnson (Hampstead, N.H.) got the ball from sophomore Pat Egan (Glen Rock, N.J.) on the next faceoff and sent home his first of the season to cut the Seahawk lead to 15-4 with 6:25 to play. Egan scored the final goal of the game off a pass from Gallant after the Lasers cleared the ball off a save from sophomore Chris Thomas-Inkier (Burlington, Mass.). The score held 15-5 in favor of the Seahawks for the final 4:46.

Parks (4g) and Fee (3g, 1a) led the Seahawks prolific attack while Gallant paced the Lasers with three points (1g, 2a). Salve Regina won the groundball battle, 41-33 while McKeon led all players with 16, just three shy of his career best 19.

Watkins earned his second win in net for Salve Regina, needing just 10 saves over the 56:58 in net. Sophomore Brian Farina (Jenkintown, Pa.) finished the game in goal for Salve Regina, stopping the only shot he faced in 3:02 of action.

Thomas-Inkier took the loss for the Lasers, coming into the game for Walen and allowing 12 goals while making 15 saves in 38:10. Walen started the game and made five saves and allowed three goals in 21:50.

Defensively, the Seahawks were led by freshman David Mavilia (Scituate, Mass.) who caused three turnovers for Salve Regina. The Lasers were led by freshman Sean Fitzgerald (Billerica, Mass.) with four caused turnovers.

Salve Regina returns to action when the Seahawks travel to in-state rival Johnson & Wales on Wednesday, March 5 for a 4 p.m. game. The Lasers travel to Roger Williams on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start as well.