PERRY, Ohio – The Lake Erie men's lacrosse team outscored visiting Chestnut Hill, 6-2, in a game-deciding third quarter on its way to an 11-9 win at Alumni Stadium on Thursday (April 1) night.
It was the program's first home win and the first East Coast Conference victory.
The Storm (2-4, 1-3 ECC) and Griffins (3-6, 0-5 ECC) were tied, 4-4, going into halftime before Lake Erie scored six times in the third quarter to build a four-goal lead.
Lake Erie scored the first three goals of the third quarter – all in the first five minutes – to take a 7-4 lead. But after a Chestnut Hill timeout, the Griffins trimmed the lead to 7-6. That was as close the game would get down the stretch.
Freshman midfielder Andrew Donatelli (Galena, Ohio/Olentangy) scored his second goal of the game and season to snap the Griffins' brief run and start a three-goal rally for the Storm, which led 10-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
But the Storm fought off an early slashing penalty in the fourth quarter to freshman attackman Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary) to maintain the lead.
The Griffins did cut the lead to 10-8 with six minutes left, but the Storm kept possession for the next several minutes to stave off a rally. Freshman attackman Joeyjohn French (Tully, N.Y./Tully) all but sealed the win with a goal at the 3:22 mark to give the Storm a three-goal lead.
Chestnut Hill scored with two minutes to play, but the Storm held on in the final minutes for the win.
The Storm was outstanding in the penalty kill, surrendering just one goal in 11 power-play opportunities for the Griffins.
Freshman keeper Alex Wisner (Sylvania, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) stopped 12 shots to earn his second victory of the season.
On the other side of the power-play, the Storm scored three times in eight man-up chances, including two goals in the first quarter to bounce back from a quick 1-0 deficit. Freshman midfielder Matthew Curcio (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) opened the Storm's scoring with a his first goal of the season and freshman midfielder Kyle Larsen (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) scored on a power-play with 3:16 left in the first period off an assist from junior midfielder Tom Dempsey (Stow, Ohio/Western Reserve Academy).
Bal, Larsen, Donatelli and French all had four goals for Lake Erie, while Bal paced the Storm with two assists.
Bal now has 13 goals and six assists on the season – both figures lead the team.
Lake Erie came away with the two-goal victory despite losing the battles in shots (35-29), ground balls (27-16) and faceoffs won (15-9).
Shane Morlock had three goals for the Griffins and Dan Bohon and DJ Klusaritz had two assists.
The Storm will have eight days off before returning to the pitch on April 9 in a home match against Walsh University beginning at 7 p.m. at Perry High School's Alumni Stadium.