Springfield, Mass.—The Western New England men's lacrosse team wrapped up the regular season with a 19-8 victory over Salve Regina on Wednesday night at Golden Bear Stadium.
Prior to the game, Western New England honored its five seniors: attackman Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass), faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.), midfielder Joe Holleran (Pittsburgh, Pa.), midfielder Nicholas Russo, and attackman Tim Breau (Ridgewood, NJ) for their contributions to the lacrosse program over the four years. The Class of 2019 collected a conference record of 30-1 and captured two Commenwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championships in their time on campus.
Ward led the way for the Golden Bears with five points (4 G, 1 A) while junior midfielder John Shahpazian (New Providence, N.J.) contributed three goals and two assists. Sophomore midfielder Matt Greer (South Windsor, Conn.) put together a four-point game with two goals and a pair of assists. Breau and freshman attack Mike Bannon (Edmond, Okla.) contributed two goals and a helper. Junior Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Jared Newall (Stratford, Conn.) added two goals apiece. Freshman midfielder Noah Rust (Windham, N.H) contributed another goal.
For Salve Regina, sophomore midfielder Brendan Kelly had a hat trick on the game while senior midfielder Dana Sundell also added three points. Three other Seahawks added one goal.
Western New England jumped out to a 5-0 lead through the first quarter. Four of the five goals came off unassisted attempts for the Golden Bears.
With only 20 ticks left in the period, Salve Regina finally found the back of the net when Brendan Kelly ripped a shot up the middle on a man down situation to cut the lead to 5-1.
In the second period, Western New England came out strong once again with four more unanswered goals ballooning the lead to 9-1.
At 2:34 remaining in the half, the Seahawks were able to score off the stick of Pat Leary to decrease the margin to 9-2.
At 14:03 in the third period, Newall registered his second goal of the game to expand the Golden Bear lead to eight at 10-2. From there, Salve would look to mount a comeback scoring three unanswered goals, two of which came in less than 30 seconds which cut the Golden Bear lead to just 10-5.
At 5:41, Western New England picked up a turnover and stormed down the field and Greer connected with Ward for the quick play in front of the net. Just a couple minutes later, Ward scored again off the feed from Shahpazian to give the Golden Bears a 12-5 lead. Before the quarter ended, Salve scored twice, but Western New England still had the 12-7 advantage.
In fourth quarter, the Golden Bears dominated the Seahawks outscoring them 7-1 and running away with a 19-8 victory.
- Western New England dominated the ground ball battle, 43-28.
- Western New England won 20 out of 27 faceoffs.
With the win, Western New England (12-5, 8-0 CCC) secured a first-round bye and will host the semifinal matchup on Tuesday, April 30. Opponent to be determined.