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Leopards Fall Short Against Curry

Leopards Fall Short Against Curry

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior attackman Sean Gallagher's (Topsfield, Mass.) goal with 59.9 seconds left snapped an 11-all tie and junior Michael Hibbard (North Chelmsford, Mass.) made a save on a game-tying goal attempt with 13 seconds left as the Curry men's lacrosse team held on to defeat Wentworth, 12-11, in a The Commonwealth Coast Conference game at Sweeney Field.

The Colonels used a pair of goals in a span of 57 seconds to take an early, 2-0 lead as junior midfielder Russell Lanham (Silver Spring, Md.) and freshman attackman Connor Arnold (Clifton Park, N.Y.) scored.  Sophomore attackman Mark Pappas (Worcester, Mass.) got the Leopards on the board with 11:08 left before Arnold netted his second of the quarter, upping the lead to 3-1.  Pappas would counter with his second of the quarter to cut the lead to 3-2 with 6:19 to play, but senior attackman John O'Donnell (Middleton, Mass.) and Arnold would tack on goals less than two minutes apart to give Curry a 5-2 lead.  The Leopards closed out the quarter with a goal from senior attackman Chris Guilherme (Derry, N.H.) to pull within a pair at 5-3.

Wentworth scored the first four goals of the second quarter, with junior midfielder Justin Connors (Richboro, Pa.) scoring 1:53 into the quarter, Guilherme tallying twice and Pappas finding the back of the net once to give Wentworth a 7-5 lead.  With 3:19 left in the half, sophomore midfielder Joseph Natale (Haverhill, Mass.) scored a man-up goal to cut the lead to 7-6 heading into the break.

O'Donnell provided the only scoring of the third quarter, on a feed from Gallagher, to tie the score at 7-all with 5:28 left to play.

The two teams would combine for nine goals over the final 15:00, beginning with a pair of Colonel goals from senior midfielder Michael Snyder (Lee, Mass.) and an unassisted marker 38 seconds later from Lanham, which put Curry ahead, 9-7.  The Leopards countered with a goal from Pappas with 9:59 left and a tally from freshman attackman Jeff Guilherme (Derry, N.H.) 1:47 later.  Chris Guilherme picked up the assist on each of the goals.

Curry again took a two-goal lead when senior defender Drew Ligas (Cranford, N.J.) scored with 4:23 left and O'Donnell tallied with 3:28 left.  A man-up goal from freshman midfielder Max Blum (New Fairfield, Conn.) made it an 11-10 game with 2:29 left and Chris Guilherme found the back of the net with 1:52 left to knot the game at 11-all.  Freshman midfielder Christopher Kipp (Scarborough, Maine) assisted on both goals.

After the Colonels won the ensuing faceoff, Curry would maintain possession and draw a pushing penalty on the Leopards but were not able to capitalize on the man advantage.  With just over a minute left Natale found Gallagher in front, who fired a shot to the upper right corner.

A turnover after the faceoff gave Curry the ball, but the Colonels would turn the ball over as well and would be called for a penalty with 27 seconds left.  Out of a time out, Wentworth had the ball at the midfield line and worked for a shot.  The first shot attempt sailed wide, but the hosts maintained possession.  With 13 seconds left a shot was taken from the right wing that Hibbard saved and Curry ran out the clock.

O'Donnell finished with three goals and an assist, while Arnold had three goals and Natale had a goal and four assists.  Senior midfielder Kyle Abbott (Ashland, Mass.) won 14 of 21 at the X and picked up a game-high nine ground balls.  Hibbard made 13 saves.

Chris Guilherme had four goals and two assists to pace the Leopards, with Pappas also tallying four goals.  Kipp had three assists, while Jeff Guilherme and Connors each had a goal and two assists.  Senior defender Bill Ainslie (Hanover, Mass.) had six caused turnovers on the night.  Freshman Jeff Bathalon (Maynard, Mass.) picked up the loss, making 10 saves and allowing six goals in the second half.  Sophomore Matt O'Connor (Duxbury, Mass.) made three saves in the first half.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Colonels, who improve to 4-7 overall and 1-6 in TCCC play.  Curry hosts Plymouth State on Thursday at 4:00.  Wentworth dropped its fifth straight to fall to 1-5 (0-5).  The Leopards host Salve Regina Saturday at 7:00.