Men's Lacrosse Registers 14-8 win over Eastern Connecticut State
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse team got back on track Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium as they rolled past Eastern Connecticut State 14-8.
It was a nostalgic victory for the Purple & Gold as they improve to 3-0 over the Warriors dating back to 2002. Whittier and Eastern Connecticut State matched up twice in 2002, once during the regular season and again in the NCAA Division III National Championships. Then, the Warriors were a Nationally Ranked Top 10 program and the Purple & Gold upset them in the National Championships.
They matched up against each other the very next year in 2003 and again Whittier was able to pull off the win keeping the winning streak intact.
Following the win Sunday Whittier moves to 3-3 on the season, while Eastern Connecticut State drops to 2-2.
The Purple & Gold held three-goal advantages on two different occasions early in the contest but both times the Warriors would rally to tie things up. Billy Shaffer (Tuscon, AZ) connected on the Poets first goal capitalizing on a man-up opportunity. Cooper Champagne (La Mesa, Calif.) then came up big winning the ensuing faceoff and going down and finding the back of the goal for his first of the game. Then Nate Heritage (Bellingham, WA) brought the Poet faithful to their feet two minutes later connecting off a feed from Conner Sexton (San Jose, Calif.) that put ECS in an early hole.
But soon after the Warriors would battle with three of their own all within three minutes that tied things up after the first quarter of play. In the second, Jackson Draper (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Heritage got WC back on track with back-to-back connections, which included another man-up tally. Ryland Clay (Aurora, CO) got into the mix three minutes later pushing the score to 6-4 but again ECS would rally with back to back strikes that tied things up.
This would be the closest the Warriors would get as Whittier would roll from there adding three unanswered over the final 3:34 of the half from William Bassett (Mercer Island, WA), Sigi Ocker (San Francisco, Calif.) and another man-up goal from Heritage that pushed the deficit to three.
Ocker tacked on another to start the third quarter that moved the score to 10-6. Eastern Connecticut tried to come back with back to back man-up goals soon after to get within two but over the final 16:00 of the game, the Purple & Gold would outscore their opponent 4-0 en route to the six-goal victory.
Champagne added a goal with under a minute to play in the third quarter, which skipped high over the goalie and Connor Dee (Collegeville, PA), Shaffer, and Heritage would tack on the insurance in the fourth.
Alex Cramer (Rocky Hill, CT) played 35:00 in goal and collected nine saves against 16 shots. Dakota Turgeon (Bellingham, WA) had a game in reserve picking up 10 saves and allowing just one goal in 24:00 minutes of action. Ocker finished with two goals and an assist. Sexton added three assists, two groundballs and two caused turnovers. Champagne added two goals with a team high five groundballs and Shaffer registered two goals and two caused turnovers. On defense, Max Lepley (San Clemente, Calif.) caused four turnovers and Max Thiele (San Diego, Calif.) added three.
Whittier was outshot 43-33 on the game, was 3-for-7 on man-up opportunities, picked up 35 groundballs, and was a mere 6-for-26 on faceoff opportunities. Where they shined was on defense where they forced 30 ECS turnovers and was 22-for-23 on clear attempts.
Whittier remains at home this Thursday, March 15 when they host Southwestern University beginning at 1:00pm.