Big First Quarter Powers MIT Past Lyndon State, 20-8

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the first meeting between both programs the MIT men's lacrosse team outscored Lyndon State College, 9-2, in the first quarter en route to a 20-8 victory on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) amassed a game-high nine points on two goals and seven assists for the Engineers (6-6), as his assist total equaled the Institute mark set by Ryan Ballentine '09 in 2008. Sophomore Adam Peeler (Worcester, Mass.) paced the Hornets (1-12) with two goals and two assists.

Traub was a factor in three of MIT's first four goals as he earned assists on strikes by sophomore Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) and freshman Henry Merrow (Hopkinton, N.H.) before finding the back of the net at the 10:45 mark. Freshman Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.), who set up Traub for the goal, also had an unassisted marker during the opening run. Sophomore Billy Bazyk (Manchester, Vt.) ended the shutout for Lyndon State but the Engineers responded with two goals from Stolzenberg and another by Traub, increasing the advantage to 7-1 with 5:51 left in the first quarter. Like their previous goal, the Hornets generated a transition marker courtesy of a blast by freshman Dominic DiTommaso (Ashby, Mass.). MIT then closed the frame with goals by senior Britt Cyr (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) to take a commanding 9-2 lead.

The Cardinal and Gray produced three goals during the first 2:23 that was later matched by Lyndon State. Traub set up sophomores Chris McPherson (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Joseph Sullivan (Atlanta, Ga.) while freshman Henry Aspegren (Ann Arbor, Mich.) redirected a feed from classmate Dominic Hansford (Darien, Conn.). In the Hornets' three-goal spurt, freshman Justin Mosher (Salem, N.H.) earned assists on strikes by junior Richard Aberle, Jr. (Essex, N.Y.) and Bazyk that sandwiched a marker by sophomore Robert Crupi (Scituate, Mass.). MIT ended its nine-minute scoring drought when Sullivan converted a feed from Aspegren, increasing the margin to 13-5, with 3:30 remaining before halftime.

The hosts generated three goals during the first half of the third quarter as two came from Stolzenberg, including a man-down blast, while sophomore Jonah Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.) connected on a feed from Traub. After being held scoreless for most of the period, Lyndon State broke through at the 3:40 mark courtesy of Aberle as Peeler followed with a solo effort just over two minutes later. With time winding down, Merrow found Verdi for the score with 22 ticks left, upping the lead to 17-7.

MIT carried the momentum in the final frame as senior William Dominas (Rochester, N.Y.) set up freshman Cody Jacobucci (Woodstown, N.J.) after 2:41 elapsed. A defensive battle ensued until the Stolzenberg-Traub connection returned at the 5:23 mark. Exactly a minute later, Merrow tacked on an unassisted marker to wrap up the scoring for the Engineers. The Hornets' lone goal of the quarter was a man-up strike by Peeler with 2:43 remaining in regulation.

Stolzenberg finished with six goals and two assists while Merrow posted two goals, two assists, eight groundballs, and two caused turnovers. Orrson and Aspegren both notched one goal and one assist as Traub and Dominas added five groundballs apiece. Cyr won 13 of his 14 faceoffs and collected 10 groundballs while Jacobucci was 9-of-11 in faceoffs and scooped up five groundballs. Sophomore Max Malinowski (Boise, Idaho) rounded out the face-off corps with a 4-of-6 performance and three groundballs. In net, sophomore Eric Bartell (San Diego, Calif.) made five saves in the first three quarters as senior Sidhanth Rao (New Delhi, India) turned away three shots during the final 15 minutes.

Bazyk recorded two goals, one assist, and three groundballs while DiTommaso had one goal and one assist for the visitors. Sophomore Jonathan Kimball (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) led the way with five groundballs, followed by four from Mosher and three from freshman Colin Young (South Royalton, Vt.). In the first half, freshman Marcus Bessette (Pembroke, N.H.) tallied nine saves while classmate Shane Morin (Salem, N.H.) closed out the game with 14 saves and three groundballs.

Both squads return to conference play on Wednesday, April 16. MIT will visit NEWMAC foe Emerson College while Lyndon State will host NAC rival Johnson State College.