DANBURY, CT – Junior attackman Robert Swensen (Danbury, CT) and sophomore middie Ryan Reuling (Groton, CT) each notched four goals, while rookie Riley Graham (Oceanside, NY) chipped in with a scoring strike and four assists as the Western Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team coasted to a 17-2 win over visiting Little East Conference opponent Salem State University on Saturday afternoon at The Westside Athletic Complex. With the victory, the Colonials improved to 6-7 overall and 3-2 in league play, while the Vikings dropped to 3-10 and 0-5.
It also marked Senior Day for WestConn as Bryan Murchison (Huntington, NY), Kevin Coyle (Hamden, CT), Branden Heap (Watertown, CT) and Kevin Keiser (Danbury, CT) were honored before the opening faceoff.
"We had a bunch of guys out sick today and we were proud of the way our players stepped up in their absence," stated Colonial head coach Ryan Cavanagh following the lopsided win.
The Colonials dominated nearly every facet of the contest as they outshot the visitors, 49-23, while also collecting 18-of-22 faceoff opportunities (17 wins via Murchison). The hosts also outmuscled the Vikings on groundballs, 35-17.
Salem State moved the ball well in the early minutes and sophomore attackman Nick Quirk (Fitchburg, MA) scored off a pass from classmate Hunter Spencer (Beverly, MA) just after an EMO expired. However, WestConn countered with a trio of goals to seize a 3-1 advantage to end the opening quarter.
The Colonials built the lead to 10-1 at halftime. Reuling earned his hat trick taking a cross-crease feed from Graham and burying it into the cage to make it 5-1. Shortly thereafter, Caldwell powered through a triple-team and bounced a shot just underneath the crossbar from eight yards out, widening the margin to 8-1. Moments later, Swensen earned his hat trick to make it 10-1.
It was much of the same in the second half. Sophomores Jack Hamel (Poughkeepsie, NY), Alec DeRosa (Stratford, CT), and rookie Pierce Suarez (Renton, WA) each pierced the scoring column en route to the win. Rookie goalie Perry Cassidy (East Setauket, NY) made seven saves and improved to 5-7 for the Colonials, while junior Chris Schaub (Brewster, NY) recorded 11 stops and fell to 3-8 for the Vikings.
WestConn returns to action for yet another conference battle when travel to Keene State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.