Bangor, Maine - The Husson University men's lacrosse team finished the regular season with a 17-1 victory over the visiting Terriers of Thomas College under the lights at Boucher Field on Wednesday night. The Eagles improve to 10-7, setting the best regular season mark in the program's short history, and with a 6-2 record in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) will enter the league playoffs as the #3 seed. Thomas conclude the regular season with marks of 4-10, and a NAC record of 3-5, and will also await to hear their fate in post-season play.
The Eagles were led by junior attackman Mitch Heaps (York, PA) who potted five of the team's 17 scores putting six of his eight shots on the cage. Ben Landry (Lewiston, ME) scored a hat trick in his final regular season home game at Boucher Field, and added an assist to make it 50 career helpers on a four point night. Fellow senior Nick Brown (Fort Worth, TX) added three points with a pair of assists and a goal for the good to go along with five ground balls, while first year short-stick defensive midfielder Vincent Visconti (North Andover, MA) netted a pair of goals in transition while scooping up four ground balls.
Defensively, four Eagles caused a pair of turnovers as Husson caused 14 in total, Matt Catalano (North Attleboro, MA) led the group with three ground ball pick-ups. Goalie John Hooper III (Wakefield, RI) made four stops on five chances to earn the win while getting the start and playing the first half, giving way to Eric Lund (Mansfield, MA) who stood strong for a scoreless second behind an Eagle defense that did not allow a shot to reach the crease.
Husson held the edge in nearly every statistical category, out-shooting the Terriers 48-13. Husson won the battle on the ground by an outstanding 50-11 margin and also won 19-22 face-offs, both of which were largely due to the efforts of Dillon Shaw (Augusta, ME) who won 14 of the 15 draws he took and picked up a game high 11 ground balls. The Eagles were unable to take advantage of their lone opportunity with the extra man, but the man-down special team held Thomas scoreless in their four chances.
For Thomas, midfielder Gunnar Shelton (Eugene, OR) netted the lone goal, an unassisted mark in the first period. Shelton took five of the team's 13 shots putting three of them on the cage. He was also the team's leader with three ground balls as the sophomore turned in a solid performance in all three zones. Midfielder Matt Davis (Farmington, ME) took four shots, and was one of three Terriers with two ground ball pick ups. Thomas goalie Jesse Morkeski (Damariscotta, ME) played a solid game despite earning the loss, making 10 saves on a busy day in the crease.
The Eagles were patient, working the offense early in the first period, and Landry eventually found the back of the net on the game's first shot just over a minute into the game. The next Husson tally came four minutes later when Visconti put the ball into the net on another unassisted score to increase the Eagle lead to two. Shaw won the ensuing face-off, and pushed the transition, finding Heaps for his first just seven seconds later and it was quickly 3-0.
After a Terrier timeout to settle the team down, Thomas came out and scored four and a half minutes later to cut the deficit to two. The Eagles rattled off three more goals to end the period, and take a 6-1 margin into the first break. Husson added four more, all from different goal-scorers in the second period, leading to a 10-1 edge at halftime. In the Second, Heaps put in three in a row in the first four minutes, en route to a seven-goal second half that led the Eagles to a 17-1 victory.
The Eagles will host a quarterfinal match-up this weekend against the Hornets of Lyndon State at a time to be determined, while Thomas will be on the road against Castleton State on Friday.