Big First Quarter Sets the Tone as Golden Bears Win CCC Opener at Wentworth, 15-8

Jared Ward produced a season-high eight points (four goals, four assists) in Western New England's 15-8 win over Wentworth on Sunday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Jared Ward produced a season-high eight points (four goals, four assists) in Western New England's 15-8 win over Wentworth on Sunday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Golden Bears outscore Leopards 7-0 over first 15 minutes of play

BOSTON, Mass. (March 24, 2019) – The Western New England University men's lacrosse team outscored Wentworth Institute of Technology 7-0 in the first quarter and went on to claim a 15-8 victory over the Leopards on Sunday afternoon in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opener for both teams at Sweeney Field.

Top Performers
Senior attackman Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) fueled the Western New England offense with a game-high eight points (four goals, four assists).

Sophomore midfielder Matt Greer (South Windsor, Conn.) chipped in with four points (one goal, three assists), while junior John Shahpazian (New Providence, N.J.) and sophomore Conor Tracy (Walpole, Mass.) contributed three points each.

Senior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.) was dominant at the X, winning 19-of-24 and scooping up a game-high nine ground balls, while junior goalie Sean McCusker (Northport, N.Y.) made ten saves.

For Wentworth, senior Jason Buck (Manlius, N.Y.), sophomore Andrew DiPalma (West Orange, N.J.) and freshman Sam Prunier (Hollis, N.H.) each scored two goals.

Game Review
Western New England set the tone for the contest with a dominant opening quarter, as the Golden Bears outshot Wentworth 18-2 and outscored the Leopards 7-0.

Shahpazian opened the scoring a minute and a half into the game off a feed from Ward, and the duo combined to make it 2-0 at the 11:05 mark as Shahpazian set up Ward.

Still leading 2-0 later in the frame, Western New England erupted for five goals over the final 4:21 of the quarter to open up a 7-0 cushion. Freshman Mike Bannon (Edmond, Okla.) got it started, before sophomore Jared Newall (Stratford, Conn.) (3:08), senior Tim Breau (Lima, N.Y.) (2:03) and junior Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.) (1:52) got in on the action. With 14 seconds left in the quarter, Ward buried an unassisted tally to cap the offensive surge.

Wentworth broke through early in the second quarter, and the Leopards were able to close the gap to four (7-3) before Newall scored with 2:03 left in the half to give the Golden Bears an 8-3 advantage at the break.

Western New England used a strong third quarter performance to extend its lead to 13-6. Ward and Tracy scored at 9:34 and 8:55, respectively, before DiPalma struck for the Leopards with 6:20 left in the frame. The Golden Bears then scored three straight goals with two from Tracy and one from Ward to make it 13-4, but Prunier and junior Kyle Doner (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) found the back of the net late in the frame to close the gap to seven.

The Leopards were unable to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, as both teams scored twice in the frame and Western New England posted a 15-8 triumph.

Notes
• Western New England outshot Wentworth 51-26 and held a 44-28 advantage in ground balls.
• Ward's 12 goals lead the team, while his 27 points are good for second (Greer - 28).

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday, as Western New England (4-3, 1-0 CCC) returns home to host Roger Williams and Wentworth (3-7, 0-1 CCC) travels to Curry.