NORTHFIELD, Vt. – In the final game of the season for men's lacrosse, the Cadets overpowered the Badgers of Johnson State in a 23-3 performance on Howard Field Wednesday afternoon.
Three Cadets finished with season-high seven points. Sophomore Joe Galante netted seven goals, senior Tyler Nicoll put up three goal and four assists, and his classmate, Tyler Woods, had two goals and five assists.
Freshman Brett Sewing netted his first collegiate goal in the final contest of the season, and was 12-for-14 against Johnson's top face-off opponent, Jason Dubie. Sophomore Nate Fortezzo, in addition to his two goals and one assist, was 10-for-12 on face-offs, also against Dubie.
On Norwich's defensive side, senior Jason Moore, junior Corey Cicio, and sophomore Thomas Andrews combined for six ground balls and three caused turnovers, holding their opponents to 27 shots throughout the game and denying them access on 10 clear attempts. Norwich, on the other hand, was 21-for-23 on clears and took 53 shots.
For the Badgers, Justin Connolly scored two goals, while Mike Trombley put in the third and final goal for the visitors, all on unassisted efforts. In net, Jeff Boesse set aside 13 shots on goal, while Cadets' junior Nathan Proctor made 10 saves.
It was looking like a possible shutout performance by Norwich when the score read 9-0 at the end of the first quarter. Galante initiated play with an uninterrupted hat trick, scoring the first three goals of the game within the first five minutes of action.
Also in the first quarter, Nicoll had scored once and collected two assists, while freshman Ian Thomas had two assists and Fortezzo had a goal and one helper.
Coming into the second quarter, Norwich backed off their scoring, but netted three goals with a trio of players. Freshman Joey Ditommaso netted the first goal on an unassisted coast-to-coast, but Badgers' midfielder Justin Connolly answered back, as he was able to get one past Proctor midway through the quarter to take away the shutout. Woods and senior Patrick Sikora, both in man-down situations, scored the last two goals of the half, each assisted by Ditommaso.
Back in the second half, Galante opened up with another two goals, assisted by freshman Marco Wiederaenders and Woods. Woods then netted one of his own on an assist by Nicoll, a pair that would switch off later in the half for another goal and assist combo.
Connolly, amidst the strong offensive plays and defensive pressure by the Cadets, was able to put another point on the board for the Badgers, but senior Kevin Young answered back to end the quarter 18-2.
In the final 15 minutes of the Cadets 2011 season on the field, Norwich found the back of the net on five more plays, making the score 23-3 by the buzzer. During the fourth quarter action, Sewing netted his first collegiate goal at the 7:32 mark and Johnson State's Trombly scored just a minute and a half into the final frame.
Woods would assist Thomas with 4:16 remaining in the game to mark the Cadets final goal of the season, as they would wrap up their year with a 9-5 overall record.
Having gone 5-2 in conference play, the Cadets earned a No. 3 seed and an appearance in the semifinal round of the GNAC's inaugural postseason tournament.