BANGOR, Maine – The No. 4 seeded Husson University Eagles remain undefeated on their home turf in NAC tournament play as they picked up their seventh straight home post season victory, 18-11, over No. 5 seeded Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) on Saturday afternoon at Boucher Field.
Husson (6-7) struck first and early with Zach Glazier's first assist of the day barely two minutes into the game to Brooks Gay. Not even a minute later, Maine Maritime (3-11) retaliated with one of their own by Alex Grant-Roy unassisted.
Going into the second quarter, the Mariners were on fire as Chase Whittemore tossed in their fourth unanswered goal at 13:10 to set MMA ahead 6-2. Gay broke the silence for the Eagles, with a perfect pass by Glazier in front of the net to regain momentum. With this assist, Glazier accrued his 100th career point in his second season of play, the sixth Eagle to achieve this milestone in program history. Three goals later and Husson was back in the game, tying the score up 6-6 with three of the four unanswered goals by Gay and three more assists dished out by Glazier. With the Eagles finding their second wind, the Mariners immediately called for a timeout to regroup and reentered play with determination as they put another two in the back of the Eagles' net to head into the intermisson with a 8-6 lead.
At the half, the Eagles outshot the Mariners 29-14 with a relentless offensive penetration while also grabbing 33 ground balls to the Mariners 21.
Husson refused to back down, putting immediate pressure on MMA's defense opening up the third quarter as Owen Richmond showed utter domination in the center circle winning 12-of-15 face offs in the first half. Snatching up another face off victory, Richmond started a quick attack passing to Gay who placed the ball perfectly in the back of the net. The Eagles continued the four-unanswered goal pattern of the game to regain the lead, 10-8, after scoring three more in a mere 30 second period. This lead didn't last long, as the Mariners set the score back to a tie for the fifth time on the day, after goals by Andrew Waltz and Dean Samuelson, 10-10. With an aggressive response, Husson racked up another three goals to finish out third quarter with a more cushion lead of 13-10.
The Mariners took full advantage starting with possession in the fourth quarter slipping a goal past the Eagles' netminder, Nick Zavorotny within the first couple seconds with a pass from Grant-Roy to Tyler County. Richmond then won the proceeding face off his 22nd win of the game, as he broke the previous single-game program record of 21 face offs wins, as he pushed Mariners' County off the ball. With 4:45 left in the final quarter, Husson's Jacob Boothby broke the school's record for goals scored by a freshman in a single season with his 39th, surpassing the previous record of 38 set by Mitch Heaps in 2010. Boothby's goal was assisted by Glazier who tied the Husson record of most assists in a single-game with his seventh on the day. The Eagles held off their opponent for the remainder of the game, finishing strong with five consecutive goals for an 18-11 victory sending them to their seventh straight NAC Men's Lacrosse Championship Semifinal game.
By the end of the game, Samuelson tallied up four goals for the Mariners with some help from his teammates, Whittemore tossed in three and Grant-Roy had two plus two helpers. Nikko Pappas was all over the ball, grabbing nine ground balls and causing five turnovers. Nathan Granholm also picked up eight ground balls to help out his team.
It was a record breaking day for the Eagles, as Gay threw in seven goals and Glazier accrued nine points throughout the game with his two goals and seven assists. Boothby contributed four goals and Chad Merrill tossed in three of his own while also scooping up 10 ground balls and causing five turnovers. Richmond not only broke the record for face offs in a game, but also snatched up an impressive game high of 20 ground balls by the end of the game, inserting himself as the third Eagle in program history to achieve this feat and the first to do so since 2015.
With this victory, the Husson men's lacrosse team will face the No. 1 seed New England College at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3rd in Henniker, N.H.