Engineers Fall to Merchant Marine, 16-13

James Santoro
Photo by DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 16, MIT 13

- Records: MIT (3-3); Merchant Marine (4-1)

- Location: Kings Point, N.Y. (Brooks Stadium)

- The Lead: The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy rattled off seven unanswered goals during the first seven minutes of the third quarter en route to a 16-13 victory over the MIT men's lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon. First-year James Santoro (Tewksbury, N.J.) tallied three goals, three assists, and six groundballs for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- A man-up goal by sophomore Mark Heatzig (Boca Raton, Fla.) opened the scoring after 2:11 elapsed. Merchant Marine responded with four goals in a row, taking a 4-1 lead with 5:46 on the clock. MIT ended its scoring drought when Heatzig found junior Aidan Westley (Palos Verdes, Calif.) and then cut its deficit in half courtesy of first-year Liam Miller's (Pasadena, Calif.) unassisted marker with 1:20 left in the quarter.

- The Mariners created some breathing room at the 12:27 mark of the second stanza, however, the Engineers rattled off four straight goals to reclaim the lead. Miller started the run with 7:53 on the clock and then Santoro recorded the first of back-to-back assists as he set up Heatzig for the equalizer 37 seconds later and Westley for the go-ahead goal. Miller capped things off with another solo strike, resulting in a 7-5 edge heading into halftime.

- After being held scoreless for 14:21, Merchant Marine registered the first of its seven unanswered goals, going up 12-7 at the 8:02 mark of the third quarter. The score remained unchanged until Westley found the back of the net with under five minutes to go. The Mariners reestablished their five-goal cushion two minutes later, but the Heatzig-Santoro connection returned, making the score 13-9 at the end of the frame.

- Merchant Marine increased its advantage after 45 seconds expired in the fourth quarter, however, MIT trimmed its deficit to 14-11 courtesy of a pair of goals by Santoro with 11:45 on the clock. The Mariners created some distance two minutes later, but a solo Santoro strike once again brought the Engineers within three with just under six minutes remaining. Merchant Marine replied with 3:12 to go as Heatzig capped the scoring 58 seconds later on a pass from sophomore Oliver Heins (Fair Haven, N.J.).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Heatzig finished with four goals and two assists while Westley registered his first career hat trick. Sophomore Luke Gianni (Henderson, Nev.) won 22 of his 31 faceoff attempts and collected 11 groundballs as senior Aubrey Toland (Princeton, N.J.) and first-year Ben Dwyer (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) both chipped in four groundballs. In net, first-year Lukas Drexler-Bruce (Denver, Colo.) made eight saves.

- The Engineers ended the day with advantages in shots (44-31), shots on goal (26-24), groundballs (44-35), and faceoff wins (22-11).

- MIT was 11 of 15 in clearing attempts and converted one of its two extra-man opportunities. The Mariners were 18 of 22 during their clearing attempts and did not receive any man-up opportunities.

UP NEXT:

- MIT continues its road trip on Wednesday, March 20 when travels to UMass Dartmouth for a 4:00 p.m. start.

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