Eastern Connecticut vs. Umass-boston
May 1, 2003
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Umass-boston6-8
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The Game Story:
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Senior All-America Marc DiGiovanni (WILTON) and sophomore Brian Hebron (HICKSVILLE, NY) combined for seven goals and nine assists as the Eastern Connecticut State University menÔ^└^┘s lacrosse team defeated the University of Massachusetts Boston 19-4 Thursday in the semifinals of the Little East Conference playoffs at Thomas Nevers Field.

The two-time defending regular-season and conference playoff champion, top-seeded Eastern (10-3) scored the first 16 goals of the match en route to its 22nd straight conference win and 36th consecutive victory at Nevers Field. Fourth-seeded UMass (7-9) had won five of its last six entering play before falling to Eastern for the tenth straight time. Eastern had eliminated UMass 17-3 in last yearÔ^└^┘s semifinals.

Eastern, ranked seventh in New England and a winner of six straight, is scheduled to host second-seeded Keene State College (11-3) in SaturdayÔ^└^┘s final at Nevers Field at 1 p.m.. Keene blasted third-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth 20-5 Thursday. It will be the first championship match appearance for the Owls, ranked 15th in New England. As the No. 2 seed last year, Keene was upset by UMass Dartmouth in the semifinals.

For the first time, the playoff champion will be accorded an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament, which gets underway next week. DiGiovanni equalled his career high with nine points, assisting on a career-high seven goals and adding two of his own. The assist and point totals are one shy of the Eastern match record. DiGiovanni moved into sole possession of second place all-time with 77 assists -- 23 shy of John RubanoÔ^└^┘s all-time record -- and took over fourth place all-time with 188 career points. He is one shy of sharing place for career points and three shy of sharing second place. Eddie SheehanÔ^└^┘s 212 points are the all-time record. DiGiovanniÔ^└^┘s 111 career goals rank him fourth, 46 behind all-time leader Sheehan.