Men's Lacrosse Pulls Out 7-6 Win in Season Opener

Men's Lacrosse Pulls Out 7-6 Win in Season Opener

BIDDEFORD, Maine - Matt Morgan scored with 1:29 remaining to give Wheaton College a 7-6 victory over the University of New England in a non-conference men's lacrosse season-opener played Sunday afternoon at the Big Blue Turf.

After Alex Zadworny had tied the game at 6-6 for UNE, Morgan converted a pass from Ryan Gjerset for the game-winner. 

The Nor'easters had a man-up opportunity when Wheaton took a penalty with 24 seconds remaining, but the Lyons' defense held strong to preserve the victory.

It was the second consecutive season the two teams had played a one-goal game to start the year -- the Nor'easters earned a 12-11 road win to open the 2015 campaign.

Will Morrison scored a game-high three goals to pace the Wheaton attack. Morgan, Kyle Neale, Devin Higgins and Connor Donaghy each added one marker for the Lyons.

Sam Cloutier had a pair of scores for UNE, while Zadworny, Philip Young, Dan Auger, and Jason Erwin contributed one apiece. David Rubenstein led all player with two assists.

UNE had led the entire contest until Neale and Donaghy scored back-to-back goals to tie the score (4-4) with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter.

Young would score for the Nor'easters, but Morrison tallied consecutive goals -- one to end the third and the other starting the fourth -- to push Wheaton back on top.

Wheaton goalkeeper Ryan Clair had 18 saves and five ground balls in a strong performance guarding the cage, and James Higgins won 9 of 16 face-offs.

Wyatt Earhardt and Sam Coburn combined for nine ground balls for UNE, while Nick George had a match-best three caused turnovers.

Wheaton will face Castleton University Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. in the teams home opener at Nordin Field.

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