Seniors account for 15 points as No. 10 Purple Knights defeat AIC for third straight win
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Four seniors combined for 15 points to propel the nationally-ranked Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team to its third straight victory with a 14-4 triumph over American International College (AIC) on Saturday at Abdow Field.
The Purple Knights, who are ranked 10th according to the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, improve to 9-4 overall and 5-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 0-12 and 0-9.
Senior Paul Tortora Jr. (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) tied a career high with six points, as he tallied one marker and dished off five assists to lead the Purple Knights, while classmate Kevin Hunt (Johnstown, N.Y./Johnstown) notched a career-high-tying four goals and one assist. Seniors Andrew Buccellato (Glen Rock, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) and Max Zuccarini (Medfield, Mass./Medfield/Quinnipiac) combined for four points, as Buccellato tallied once, while Zuccarini scored twice and added one assist.
Junior Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) netted a hat trick, while classmate Asa Sargent (East Middlebury, Vt./Middlebury Union) and freshmen Matt Casella (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) and Johnny Wadlinger (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) each scored their first college goals. Senior Peter Hanson (Andover, Mass./Andover) scooped up eight ground balls, sophomore Chris Casserly (Kensington, N.H./Exeter) was 9-of-11 on face-offs, and classmate Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) made seven saves in 31:16 as the first of four goalies. Sophomore Andrew Landers (Manchester, Mass./Proctor Academy) stopped three shots in 16:38, freshman Dylan Florian (West Hartford, Conn./Kingswood Oxford/Sacred Heart) was untested in 6:07, and sophomore Theo Ferguson (Delmar, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) made one save in 5:59.
Four different players scored for the Yellow Jackets, while senior Eric Whettell (La Salle, Manitoba/Sanford College) stopped 11 shots in 45:41.
The Purple Knights scored the game's first four goals by 11:11 of the second quarter, with Hunt netting a pair, before AIC got on the board at 3:53, having been blanked by the Purple Knights during the first 26:06 of the contest. The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to 4-2 with 26 seconds left, but Hunt completed the hat trick with one second left to spark a 10-1 run, with Tortora playing a role in each of the first four, assisting the initial three.
During the fourth quarter, Sargent, Wadlinger and Casella potted their first goals in succession during the opening 10:20 before Casella dished off to Buccellato with 3:49 remaining. AIC scored the final goal 38 ticks later.
The Purple Knights finish the regular season next Saturday when they host Southern New Hampshire University for Senior Day at 1 p.m.