HENNIKER, NH - Trailing 5-0 to end the opening quarter, the Western Connecticut men's lacrosse team rallied to cut the margin to 8-7 in the final stanza, however, the Colonials could not finish off the comeback attempt as they fell at non-league foe New England College on Wednesday night at Don Melander Field, 13-8. Reigning LEC Rookie of the Week Eric Caldwell (East Moriches, NY) paced the Colonials with a hat trick in the loss.
"I was proud of the way our guys responded when we went down after the first quarter. We fought to the final whistle. But you can't spot a team six goals and expect to win," said WestConn head coach Ryan Cavanagh after the game.
Freshman midfielder Ryan Reuling (Groton, CT) chipped in with two goals and an assist, while senior attackman John Foristall (Danbury, CT) added a goal and dished out a pair of helpers for WestConn. The hosts held a solid advantage in multiple categories including shots (51-24) and groundballs (38-20).
Caldwell notched his first goal of the game less than five minutes into the second quarter off a feed from Reuling, slicing the lead to 5-1. Moments later, Caldwell struck for another tally before Reuling scored on a man-up to shorten the count to 6-3. New England added a pair of goals to hold an 8-3 lead at halftime.
The Colonials outscored the hosts 3-0 in the third. Rookie midfielder John Ward (Mahopac, NY) began the flurry, capitalizing on a pass from sophomore Robert Swensen (Danbury, CT), while Reuling and Foristall netted unassisted goals, making it 8-6 heading into the fourth.
Caldwell recorded his team-leading 31st goal of the season early in the period, cutting the lead to 8-7. However, New England answered with five of the contest's next six goals (three on the man-up) to fend off the Colonials rally.
Senior goalkeeper Patrick Tynan (Somers, CT) was stellar in net, finishing with 13 saves, while William Platt notched four for the hosts. With the loss, WestConn dropped to 3-5 overall, while New England improved to 7-4.
The Colonials return to action against visiting league rival Southern Maine on Saturday at Noon.