No. 10 Purple Knights pull away from Southern New Hampshire, tie wins record
COLCHESTER, Vt. - The nationally-ranked Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team broke open a one-goal game with the final six tallies to win their program-record-tying 10th game of the season on Saturday over Southern New Hampshire University, 14-7, during Senior Day at Duffy Field. The Purple and Gold also reached double figures in victories in 2002 and 2011.
The Purple Knights, who are ranked 10th according to the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, improved to 10-4 while extending their winning streak to four games and finishing 6-4 in the Northeast-10 Conference. They claimed the fourth seed in next week's NE-10 Tournament and will host No. 5 Saint Anselm College on Tuesday at 2 p.m. for a quarterfinal. The Hawks were one of only four squads to defeat the Purple Knights this year. The Penmen completed their season at 3-11 and 3-7.
Sophomore Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) made seven stops for the Purple Knights, setting a program record with his 10th victory of the season. Junior Pete Donnally (Madison N.J./Morristown-Beard School) matched a career high with six goals and added an assist, while classmate Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) had two markers and two assists. Senior Paul Tortora Jr. (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) notched a hat trick and had six ground balls, while classmate Kevin Hunt (Johnstown, N.Y./Johnstown) had three helpers. Sophomore Chris Casserly (Kensington, N.H./Exeter) scooped up a game-high seven ground balls and was 16-of-22 on face-offs, and senior Peter Hanson (Andover, Mass./Andover) caused five turnovers.
Sophomore Rob Murray (Marblehead, Mass./Boston College HS/Gould Academy) had a hat trick for the Penmen, and senior Brendan O'Brien (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) stopped 18 shots.
Southern New Hampshire twice led early by one goal before the Purple Knights tallied five straight markers, with Donnally scoring twice and sophomore Evan Antolino (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) capping the run by extending the lead to 6-2 at 8:05 of the second quarter. Saint Michael's led 6-3 at the half.
The Penmen finished a run of three consecutive goals to make it 6-5 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter before Donnally responded 22 seconds later to extend the lead back to two. Junior John Cuozzo (Norfolk, Mass./King Philip Regional) struck for the visitors at 1:14 to make it 7-6, but Vanzo countered with a goal just seven seconds later. Murray completed the hat trick 43 seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Purple Knights responded by tallying the final six goals of the contest, with Donnally and Tortora combining to score five.
Donnally sparked the outburst with tallies at 13:40 and 7:18 before Tortora found the back of the net at 6:12. Donnally netted his sixth goal of the afternoon on a man-up opportunity at 5:41 before senior Max Zuccarini (Medfield, Mass./Medfield/Quinnipiac) converted classmate Andrew Buccellato's (Glen Rock, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) feed at 3:20. Tortora scored again at 2:27.
In addition to Buccellato, Hanson, Hunt, Tortora and Zuccarini, six more seniors were honored prior to the contest: Garrett Clark (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), Christian Cook (South Burlington, Vt./New Hampton School), Paul Sapia (Rexford, N.Y./Niskayuna), Andrew Sherman (West Hartford, Conn./Taft School), Tyler Violette (Amherst, N.H./Proctor Academy) and Evan White (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional).