Nichols vs. Western New England
April 6, 2011
The Game Story:
DUDLEY, Mass. (Apr. 6) – The Nichols College men's lacrosse team doubled up Western New England in the second half but was unable to overcome an eight-goal first-half deficit in a 12-7 The Commonwealth Coast Conference loss to the Golden Bears at Vendetti Field Wednesday evening. After its third-straight win, WNEC remains undefeated in TCCC action at 6-0 and moves to 7-3 overall with the win, while Nichols dips to 1-5 in league play and 3-6 overall after the narrow loss.

Marty O'Brien led WNEC with three goals, while Adam Knapton and Colton Craig each added a pair of scores. Corrigan Harreys had three points on a goal and two assists.

Bradley O'Brien (Danbury, Conn.) and Matthew Caulfield (Fairfield, Conn.) each scored twice for Nichols, while Macaulay Gillis (Northborough, Mass.) had five points on four assists and a goal.

Western New England dominated the first two quarters of action, outshooting the Bison, 29-7, and holding a 23-6 groundball advantage thanks in part to an 11-of-12 performance at the faceoff dot by Josh Tullis. Down 9-1 at the break, Nichols found its stride, converting on three of five man-up opportunities in the second half - including a perfect 3-for-3 performance in the third quarter - to outscore WNEC, 6-3, in the half.

Craig wasted little time putting the Golden Bears on the board with a man-up tally at 13:17 of the opening quarter. Gillis tied it up with 6:32 left in the frame before WNEC rattled off four straight to close the quarter with a 5-1 lead. The Golden Bears kept the momentum in their favor to outscore the Bison, 4-0, in the second quarter, sparked by another man-up tally from Craig within the opening minute.

The tides turned, however, at the start of the third quarter, as Tim Ahern (Boca Raton, Fla.) and O'Brien scored back-to-back man-up strikes for the home team and Caulfield followed with even-strength and man-up goals just over a minute apart to bring the Bison with four.

But O'Brien scooped up the ensuing faceoff and carried it directly to the Nichols net to halt the Bison's momentum, scoring just 14 seconds later, making the score 10-5. Patrick White and Mike Donahue followed in quick succession for a seven-goal WNEC advantage before O'Brien closed the quarter with his second of the night. Nichols capped the scoring with the lone tally of the fourth quarter, a Gillis to Ryan Pacific (Danbury, Conn.) goal with 5:58 left.

Nichols goaltender Scott Gray (Annapolis, Md.) made a season-high 18 saves in the game, including 12 in the first two quarters. Brewster Knowlton surrendered seven goals with nine saves – five coming in the final quarter.

WNEC outshot the Bison 47-22 on the night, and held a 40-21 groundball advantage. Tullis finished the night 18-for-22 in faceoffs, and led the team with eight groundballs.

Nichols returns to action Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. TCCC game at Roger Williams. WNEC travels to Gordon for a noon conference matchup.