27 April, 2008

Salem State Lacrosse has a steller return to Division III; Finishes regular season 8-4

Salem State Lacrosse stumbled out of the gate, as it began its first season as a Division 3 varsity program since 2003. The Vikings lost their first game 10-4 against the Seahawks of Salve Regina University on a cold and windy Monday, March 10. The Vikings, who captured top honors in the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League B-Division in 2006 and 2007, received goals from sophomore attackman Justin Jones (Danvers), sophomore attackman Logan Godrey (Haverhill), senior midfielder Scott Aronian (Chelmsford) and junior midfielder Alex Verity (Hyde Park).

Next, the Vikings made quick work of the Monks from St. Joseph's (ME) College on Wednesday, March 12, 22-1. State saw 14 different players put the ball in the net that day, headed by Senior Torey Nicholson's (Andover, MA) four-goal performance; as well as hat tricks from sophomore attackman Justin Jones, sophomore attackman Logan Godrey.

Next, Salem State traveled to Boston on March 18, facing off against the Lions of Emerson College at their home field at Rotch Playground, under I-93. The Vikings only lead 5-4 at the half way mark, mainly due to sloppy play in transition, but rebounded nicely in the second half to cruise into a 13-6 victory; the teams first win streak in "forever," as coach Trevor Eaton remembers it. Jones recorded his second consecutive hat trick; increasing his team leading points total to 11.

Salem State took the momentum from the Emerson win with them to Biddeford, ME on Saturday March 22, where they met the Nor’easters of the University of New England. The fans who came out that day saw an excellent game of lacrosse, and the visitors came away with the close 10-9 victory. UNE led SSC for the vast majority of the game until sophomore attackman Justin Jones tied the contest at 8-8 on an assist from freshman attackman Jonathan Falls (Seekonk). Falls would then put the Vikings ahead to stay when he scored just 14 seconds after setting up Jones 1:05 into the final quarter. Sophomore Nate Snow, who also scored the Vikings first goal, recorded the game winner for Salem State with only 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, after UNE tied the game just a play prior; the Viking offense showed excellent poise, controlling the ball efficiently to drain the final three minutes off of the clock. Freshman Goalie Greg Gaudet (Lynn, MA) made six saves, earning his first NCAA D3 victory in his first career start at State.

Gaudet played another great game between the pipes on Tuesday March 25, when the Vikings defeated the Huskies from the University of Southern Maine, 9-4. Senior middie Scott Aronian tallied two scores for the winners, while sophomore long-pole middie Mike Carpenito recorded a goal on excellent transition play and a great feed from senior captain Ross Arnold.

The Vikings improved to 5-1 on March 25th, in New London Connecticut, when they faced off against the Pequots of Mitchell College. SSC won handily, defeating Mitchell 17-2. Sophomore attackman Justin Jones once again led the Vikings, recording eight points on five goals and three assists. Freshman goalie Greg Gaudet had another strong game in the net for Salem State, even earning himself an assist in the match.

Salem State's momentum was brought to a screeching halt, as the Corsairs of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth jumped out to a 7-1 lead at the half en route to a 13-6 win over the Vikings in a match played at North Dartmouth, MA on Saturday April 5. SSC (5-2), who was outshot, 39-20 by the hosts, had its five-match winning streak end. The Vikings received three goals and a pair of assists from freshman attackman Jonathan Falls and two goals from sophomore attackman Justin Jones. Junior middie Padriac Boscoe (Dartmouth) also scored for the Vikings. Senior middie Mike Carpenito (Leominster) also picked up an assist for SSC. Junior goalkeeper Keith Hardy (Walpole) made 10 saves between the pipes for SSC.

The bad luck continued for the Vikings as they faced off against the Buccaneers of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The home team outscored the Vikings, 3-2, in the final quarter en route to a 9-7 victory in a match played Tuesday April 8 at Buzzards Bay. SSC (5-3) received a pair of goals from junior middie Alex Verity and single tallies from freshman Justin Jones, senior Ross Arnold (Salem), sophomore Luke Metraw (Chelmsford) and freshman James Cross (Beverly).

Salem State turned things around on a beautiful Saturday April 12, against the Colonels of Curry College. SSC (6-3) received four goals from sophomore attackman Justin Jones, three goals from freshman attackman Jonathan Falls and single scoring strikes from senior attackman Ross Arnold, junior middie Alex Verity, sophomore middie Luke Metraw, junior middie Tim Bartlett (Danvers) and sophomore middie Robert Mulroy (Swampscott). Falls and Arnold set up three scores each while Jones, Verity, Metraw, and senior middie Scott Aronian picked up single assists. SSC junior goaltender Keith Hardy recorded the win between the pipes, making 19 stops.

Using a fast-paced, skilled offense and transition, the Western Connecticut State University Colonials scored eight first half goals en route to an 18-3 victory over the Vikings in Danbury, CT on Tuesday April 15. The Vikings (6-4) received a pair of goals from sophomore middie Luke Metraw and a scoring strike from freshman attackman Jonathan Falls. Sophomore Mark Duran (Lynn) registered SSC's one assist. The hosts outshot the Vikings, 46-26, for the match. SSC junior goalkeeper Keith Hardy finished with eight saves.

The Vikings got back on the winning side when they received a final minute tie-breaking goal from senior attackman Ross Arnold of Salem en route to a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the University of Massachusetts/Boston in a match played at Dorchester on Tuesday April 22. Arnold's goal with just 45 seconds to play capped off a rally for the Vikings that saw the visitors net four goals over the final 8:16. Junior midfielder Alex Verity finished with three scoring strikes for the Vikings (7-4). In addition to Arnold's game-winner, SSC received single tallies from sophomore attackman Justin Jones, sophomore middie Robert Mulroy, freshman middie James Cross, junior middie Tim Bartlett and sophomore middie Nate Snow (Salem). Jones also registered three assists while senior middie Scott Aronian set up a pair of goals. Arnold, Mulroy, freshman attackman Jonathan Falls and sophomore defender Marshall Jutras (Beverly) each picked up a helper. Junior Keith Hardy stopped a dozen shots between the pipes for the Vikings.

The Vikings (8-4) jumped out to a 15-3 lead at the half and then coasted to a 20-4 win over Becker College (7-6) in their final regular season match played Thursday April 24 at Alumni Field. SSC sophomore attackman Justin Jones led the offense with five goals while sophomore Nate Snow (Salem) added a pair. Single scoring strikes were tallied by sophomore Mark Duran, sophomore Mike Carpenito, sophomore Marshall Jutras, senior Jeff Rolke (Millis), sophomore Luke Metraw, sophomore Robert Mulroy, junior Robert Basile (Bedford), sophomore Derek Buckley (Chelsea), junior Tim Bartlett, sophomore Logan Godfrey and junior Scott Aronian. Jones, Mulroy and senior Torey Nicholson each added a pair of assists. Junior Keith Hardy and freshman Greg Gaudet shared the goalkeeping duties for the Vikings with each playing a half. Hardy made four stops and Gaudet one.

The Salem State College Vikings are currently awaiting the selection process for the post-season tournaments to begin. They are practicing hard, and hope to continue their post-season success.

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