WHITTIER, Calif. – The Southwestern University (TX) men's lacrosse team put together two five-goal surges and goalie Kyle Kuberski saved the potential tying shot by Eastern Connecticut State University in the final 20 seconds as the Pirates escaped with a 13-12 victory in a match played at Memorial Field on the campus of Whittier College.
After Southwestern (7-5) outscored Eastern (2-3) 10-2 to move out to a 10-5 lead, the Warriors battled back, getting goals from senior attack Matthew Rougeot (Cheshire) to twice cut the deficit to one, the final time with just under a minute left.
Hoping to pull even for the first time in the second half, Eastern gained possession when first-year sophomore Matt Robidoux (Cheshire) won the draw, but first-year sophomore Jacob Testa's (Southington) shot was stopped by Kuberski – his 16th save of the game – in the final 20 seconds.
Rougeot led Eastern with four goals and two assists, senior attack Connor Wyllie (Somers) adding three goals and an assist and Testa his first points with two goals and an assist.
Junior goalie Chris Gorman (Shrewsbury, MA) stopped nine shots for Eastern.
Freshman Connor Hillemeir (Farmington) – last week's Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Week – won 11 of 17 faceoffs and topped the Warriors with seven ground balls, while sophomore midfielder Anthony Choronzy (Clinton) improved his team-leading ground ball total to 29, with six. Freshman defenseman Tyler Koppy (Attleboro, MA) came off the bench to cause four turnovers.
The Warriors got out quickly in the game, with Rougeot netting the first goal a minute into action and junior attack Samuel Watson (Trumbull) scoring twice to vault the Warriors into a 3-0 lead six minutes into play.
The Pirates answered with their first five-goal run to assume a 5-3 lead with five minutes left in the first half, then opened the second half with five more in a row in outscoring Eastern 10-2 and moving out to a 10-5 lead late in the third quarter.
Eastern visits Anna Maria College Saturday at 1 p.m.