MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior attack Mike Jordan (Cheshire) scored three of his game-high six goals in a three-minute stretch early in the game as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team defeated Western Connecticut State University for the15th straight time, 11-6 in a Little East Conference match Tuesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At right: Tim Reilly sprawls out on this first period shot against Western Connecticut Tuesday night. (Photo by Chris Ganoe)
With the win, Eastern (9-5, 5-1 Little East) secured a bye into the LEC semifinals, but it couldn't prevent Keene State College from clinching the playoff's No. 1 seed with its victory over homestanding Plymouth State University Tuesday afternoon. An Eastern win Saturday against visiting Plymouth State and a Keene State loss to visiting Salem State University would give the Warriors a share of the regular-season title, but the Owls would maintain the No. 1 seed by virtue of its 11-6 triumph over host Eastern ten days ago.
Behind Jordan's three goals and one from sophomore attack Tim Reilly (Hanover, MA), Eastern moved out to a quick 4-1 lead and Western (6-9, 3-3 Little East) never got closer than one thereafter. Jordan scored twice in a span of 33 seconds in man-down situations in the opening minutes. Leading 5-4 late in the first half, the Warriors ran off four consecutive goals to move out to a 9-4 lead four minutes into the second half.
Reilly finished with two goals and two assists and senior All-America midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) two goals and an assist for the Warriors, who allowed only Western leading scorer Nate Wilson to score more than one. Wilson scored his team's first two goals – his 42nd and 43rd of the year -- but was held scoreless over the final 42 minutes.
Sophomore midfielder Tyler Vallie (Orange) won 11 of 19 faceoffs for Eastern and claimed six ground balls, and sophomore goalie Blake Smaldone (Hamilton, MA) made 14 saves to record his eighth win in 12 decisions.