Mount Ida vs. Castleton State
May 3, 2008
The Game Story:
Mustang freshman Matt Savage (Peabody, MA/Peabody) and senior John Lightbown (Melrose, MA/Melrose) combined for 11 goals giving the Mount Ida College Men’s Lacrosse team their fifth consecutive North Atlantic Conference (NAC) title against Castleton State College winning 16-9 on a wet and wild Saturday.

For the past five years, MIC and the Spartans have met in the championship, and every time the Mustangs claimed the victory. Castleton will go home after an outstanding year going 12-6, 6-1 in the conference, while Mount Ida will continue their season and venture into the NCAA Tournament with selection Sunday coming tomorrow. They end the season with a 13-5 overall record, staying perfect at 7-0 in league play. The Mustangs will carry their 37-0 record against conference opponents all the way to 2009.

In the most exciting contest of the season at a very muddy and wet Mount Ida Athletic Field, the hosts jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of quarter one on goals by Lightbown, Savage, and junior Criag Heintzelman (Windham, NH/Salem). Assists would be tallied by junior’s Leo Shidler (Peabody, MA/Peabody) and Brett Conley (Fairfield, CT/Fairfield Warde).

The Spartans would counter on a score by freshman Michael DelDotto (Reading, MA/Austin Prep.) making it 3-1. It wouldn’t be long until the Mustangs netted another right before the first horn, making it 4-1 on a rip by Shidler going into the second quarter.

The visitors would not back down tallying two quick goals by DelDotto and junior Phil Barry (Randolph, VT/Springfield College), cutting the hosts lead to 4-3 with 8:14 showing on the clock before halftime.

Like he has in the past, John Lightbown would take it upon himself to stretch the lead for his squad, firing in three scores before the end of the second stanza giving his team the 7-3 advantage. Castleton would net a quick unassisted score my sophomore Korey Counos (St. Albans, VT/Bellows Free Academy) with 33 seconds remaining before the horn making it 7-4.

It would be a battle to the end at this point with both squads going toe-to-toe for the final 30 minutes of the game. The Mustangs would get two quick goals from Savage while the visitors countered with three, two scores by sophomore Jake Rick (Rochester, NY/Irondequoit) and one by junior Devon Wood (Woodstock, VT/Nichols College) making it 9-7 hosts with 6:42 to go in the third.

But the will of the four time defending champions would not go unnoticed, especially from seasoned veterans Lightbown and Conley while newcomers Savage and Dan Harrington (Westford, MA/Westford Academy) showcased their hungriness to win.

The Mustangs would eventually pull away with the dagger coming on a ridiculous flip shot between the legs by Savage taking the indefinite 12-7 lead never looking back.

It would be all but over at this point, the Spartans would net the first two scores of the fourth quarter by Barry and sophomore Kirk Bolduc (Lewiston, ME/Lewiston) pulling with in three goals. But Mount Ida would tally the final four scores by Conley, Lightbown, Savage, and Shidler taking the 16-9 victory and their fifth consecutive NAC Championship.

Mount Ida goaltender sophomore Matt Vernik (Bethany, CT/Amity Regional) would notch 11 saves for his team while Spartans stopper junior Michael Mamunes (Manchester, CT/East Catholic) tallied 13.

Tournament MVP Mount Ida junior Craig Heintzelman would dominate the face-off circle with 19-26 possessions along with the first goal of the contest. He would pick up 11 groundballs giving his team the offensive opportunities they needed for the victory.

The Spartans will head home with their season rounded out while the Mustangs will look forward to the NCAA Tournament with selection Sunday coming tomorrow. Look for it on CSTV and Lax.com

ALL – TOURNAMENT TEAM
1st Place Team
Tournament MVP - Craig Heintzelman – Mount Ida
John Lightbown – Mount Ida
Matt Savage – Mount Ida
Dan Harrington – Mount Ida
Tom Watts – Mount Ida

2nd Place Team
Jake Rick – Castleton
Jimmy VanDerKar – Castleton
Michael DelDotto – Castleton

3rd Place Team
Mike Ross – Thomas
Josh Collelo – Thomas

4th Place Team
Phil McNerney – Maine Maritime
Clay Tolman – Maine Maritime