Stevens Tech vs. Eastern Connecticut
May 10, 2006
The Game Story:
HOBOKEN, N.J. (May 10, 2006) – Stevens Institute of Technology built a 5-0 lead early in the third quarter and then held off a strong second-half from Eastern Connecticut State University as the Ducks claimed a 7-4 victory over the Warriors in an NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship first-round game on Wednesday evening at DeBaun Field in Hoboken, N.J. Stevens (14-3), which has won 11 of its last 12 games, advanced to the second round where it will face SUNY Cortland on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Cortland, N.Y.

Following a scoreless first 10 minutes, sophomore attack J.R. Oreskovich (La Costa, Calif.) tallied an even-strength goal off an assist from junior attack Patrick Bailey (Manassas, Va.). The Ducks extended their lead to 2-0 with 10:07 remaining in the second quarter when junior midfielder Mark Bielicky (Bridgewater, N.J.) scored an unassisted goal. Bailey connected on back-to-back goals later in the quarter as Stevens grabbed a 4-0 lead at intermission.

Exactly two minutes into the second half, junior midfielder Matt Althauser (Bellevue, Wash.) scored to extend the margin to 5-0. Eastern Connecticut (12-5) began its comeback when junior attack Chris Elrod (Riverside, Conn.) took a feed from freshman midfielder D.J. Simmons (Mystic, Conn.) and beat Ducks’ junior goalkeeper Jack Dunderdale (Ridgefield, Conn.). The Warriors closed to within 5-2 as Simmons picked up an unassisted goal just 79 seconds after Elrod’s tally.

Sophomore attack John Dolny (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) stemmed the tide when he broke in alone and beat ECSU freshman goalkeeper Kyle Savage (Southington, Conn.) with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors came right back with a goal from sophomore attack/midfielder Pete Hamilton (Rutland, Vt.) as they cut the Ducks’ lead to 6-3 heading into the final stanza.

In fourth quarter, Dolny picked up his second goal of the game to reestablish a four-goal advantage with just over 10 minutes remaining. Simmons scored his second of the evening to trim the lead to 7-4 with 9:09 to play, but that was as close as the Warriors would get the rest of the way.

Bailey finished with three points on two goals and assist for the Ducks. He also had four ground balls and three caused turnovers in the contest. Dolny had two goals and five ground balls. Sophomore defender Nick Daniello (Cross River, N.Y.) added six caused turnovers and four ground balls. He was 5-for-7 in faceoffs in the game. Dunderdale made seven saves between the pipes.

Eastern Connecticut was led by Simmons, who collected two goals and an assist for three points. Savage made nine saves and had seven ground balls for the Warriors. Sophomore midfielder Mike Annunziato (Norwalk, Conn.) won six faceoffs for ECSU.

Neither team was able to convert on an extra-man opportunity as they combined to go 0-for-7 in the game. Stevens was successful on 73.1 percent (19-for-26) of its clear attempts. The Ducks also did a decent job defensively as they held the Warriors to just 20 successful clears in 38 attempts (52.6 percent).

Making its sixth straight trip to the NCAA tournament, Stevens has now reached the second round for the fourth year in a row. In 2004, the Ducks advanced all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Middlebury College. Stevens will look to duplicate its 2004 tournament run when the Ducks face Cortland (14-3) in a rematch of their April 22 match-up. The Red Dragons won that game by the final score of 18-7.