Nor’Easters Edge Lyons, 9-8

Nor’Easters Edge Lyons, 9-8

Bramhall records 17 saves in season opening loss

BIDDEFORD, Maine – The Wheaton College men's lacrosse team dropped its season opener to the University of New England (UNE) by a score of 9-8 on Saturday night in non-conference action at the Big Blue Turf Field.

Wheaton sophomore Matthew Hillman (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) tallied a game-high three markers, two assists and three ground balls. Classmate Sean Finn (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) potted two goals while seniors Will Compton (Deering, N.H./Proctor Academy), Sean Doherty (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and Billy McNamara (Mansfield, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) added one goal apiece.

Juniors Dan Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley), Pat Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine/Morse) and Mike Allan (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) notched two goals each. Senior Tyler Thomas (Mount Pleasant, N.Y./Bedford Road School), sophomore Geoff Bruno (Durham, Conn./Xavier) and freshman Sam Cloutier (Lewiston, Maine/Lewiston) had one goal, respectively.

Trailing 8-7 with four minutes left to play in the contest, UNE scored two unanswered goals and limited Wheaton's offense to just a pair of shots for its first win of the season. Allan evened the score at 8-8 with his second goal of the game (unassisted) at the 3:24 mark and Bruno followed just over a minute later with the eventual game-winner at 2:20 on a nice feed from Thomas.

Both teams exchanged turnovers off the ensuing face-off before sophomore Alfonse Femino (Malden, Mass./Malden) caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball at 1:01 to give the Lyons a chance to tie the game. After a timeout was called by the Wheaton coaching staff with 55-seconds on the clock, Compton and junior Colby Shields (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) had both of their shots blocked from the top of the scoring area. Allan then pounced on the loose ball generated from Shields' game-tying bid and hurled the ball down the other end of the field to fend off the Lyons.

UNE took a slim 5-4 lead into the half outscoring Wheaton (4-2) in the second quarter. Cloutier registered his only goal of the contest at 3:02 as it came between two markers from Gorman. Allan opened up the quarter with his first goal at 12:23 on an assist from Thomas. Hillman and Compton netted back-to-back goals over a 6:34 span for the Lyons with Hillman's tally coming at 11:13 of the quarter.

Wheaton jumped out to a 2-1 advantage in the first as Doherty found the back of the net at 12:14 and Hillman finished on a pass from Compton at 10:56. Thomas recorded UNE's first goal of its 2013 campaign moments later at 10:39.

Lyons' junior goalkeeper Harrison Bramhall (Barrington, R.I./Trinity Pawling) stopped a game-high 17 shots in the loss. UNE senior Jay Letendre (Southington, Conn./Southington) made nine saves.

The Nor'Easters outshot Wheaton, 38-35, and went 2-for-7 on man-up opportunities. The Lyons were 11-for-17 on clear attempts, picked up 35 groundballs and were also 9-for-19 at the face-off X.

Wheaton (0-1, 0-0 Pilgrim) travels to UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday, March 6 for a 4:00 p.m. non-conference matchup. UNE (1-0, 0-0 TCCC) hosts Southern Maine on Thursday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m.