DANBURY, CT – Junior attackman Eric Caldwell (East Moriches, NY) tallied a game-high seven points on five goals and two assists to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team to a 14-5 victory over visiting Salem State University in the Little East Conference opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon at the Westside Athletic Complex. With the win, the Colonials improved to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Vikings dropped to 1-4 and 0-1.
Sophomore Nick Quirk (Fitchburg, MA) and rookie Kevin Albert (Canton, MA) netted two scoring strikes apiece to lead Salem State. Freshman attackman Tyler Morris (Billerica, MA) chipped in with a goal and one helper.
Junior Ryan Reuling (Groton, CT) added a pair of goals and dished out two assists for the Colonials, while classmates Christian Sparacino (Manorville, NY) and Jack Brierley (East Hampton, NY) each earned hat tricks. WestConn senior Ryan Yursha (Brick, NJ) controlled the faceoff x, winning 15-of-21 draws.
The hosts held a 54-23 advantage in shots and capitalized on man-up opportunities, going 3-for-4, while holding the visitors to just 1-of-6.
The Vikings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. However, WestConn retaliated with a four-goal spurt. After a Salem State violation, Sparacino dodged down the right alley and ripped a righty rocket into the top corner, rounding out the run.
WestConn would hold a 6-3 halftime advantage. The gap widened to 9-4 in the third when Reuling found Brierley for a fast break twine burner midway through the third.
The hosts would net five of the next six tallies en route to the win.
Colonial sophomore goalkeeper Perry Cassidy (East Setauket, NY) improved to 6-3 overall while turning aside five shots. Viking rookie netminder Stephen Balcher (Townsend, MA) dropped to 1-2 and finished with 15 saves.