Men's Lacrosse - GNAC tourney run ends in finals
NEWTON, MASS. – Fourth-seeded Norwich University gave second-seeded Mount Ida a stern test in the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship game Sunday, April 29. A five-goal run from the latter stages of the second quarter through the early part of the fourth period turned out to be the difference in a 7-4 MIC win.
The Cadets, dipping to 10-7, trailed 2-0 after a pair of Mustang goals in the opening frame. However, Coach Neal Anderson's team rallied back with a pair of quick scores moments apart off the stick of sophomore midfielders Ian Mendoza (Mount Airy, Md.) and Andrew Dustin (Canterbury, N.H.) less than three minutes into the second period.
Mendoza came back later in the quarter with his second goal of the game to give the Maroon and Gold a 3-2 lead. Just like their guests, Mount Ida (13-4) answered with two goals in the closing 2:30 of the half to take a 4-3 edge into halftime. The home side didn't stop there, continuing a five-goal roll with two more in the third period and one more in the fourth en route to the victory.
Mendoza's two goals, inching him within one of 50 for his career, topped the Cadet offense. Dustin and senior midfielder Patrick Sikora (Montpelier, Vt.) turned in the other two scores. Freshman attacker Seth Fuller (Wheaton, Ill.) added two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Mark Paradiso (Westford, Mass.) had another strong effort in net with 13 saves to close a three-game tournament stretch where he averaged over 12 per contest. He also registered 11 ground balls.
Norwich closes its 2012 campaign with a non-conference in-state clash at Lyndon State Wednesday, May 2. Opening face-off is set for 4 p.m.
GAME NOTES – Sunday's championship game appearance was Norwich's first as a member of the GNAC. A year ago, NU was topped by Lasell 13-9 in the semifinals after a 19-1 win over Emerson in the quarterfinals. … Mendoza's offensive output marked the 12th straight game in which he's scored a goal. He's recorded multiples in nine of those instances. … NU can set a new program single-season win standard with a victory at Lyndon State. The 10 wins ties the 1980 squad for the most in program history.