Sam Hornblower: 2017 LEC Defensive Player of the Year

Southern Maine Drops Season Opener at M.I.T.

Senior Keegan Smith dished out two assists in Huskies' season-opening loss at M.I.T. (file photo by Jason Johns).
Senior Keegan Smith dished out two assists in Huskies' season-opening loss at M.I.T. (file photo by Jason Johns).

Southern Maine Drops Season Opener at M.I.T.

            CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Senior Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.), rookie Jack Strachan (Moresville, N.C.) and junior Graham Davis (Crofton, Md.) combined for 14 goals and nine assists as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers rolled to a 19-2 season-opening victory over the visiting University of Southern Maine Huskies Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference game at Steinbrenner Stadium.

            Stolzenberg scored five goals and dished out five assists for a 10-point day, and reached century milestones for goals scored (102) and assists (100).  Davis added four goals and four assists while Strachan scored five goals.

            Senior Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) had two goals and one assist, and junior Mitch Turley (Westfield, Ind.) tallied a pair of goals for the Engineers.  Sophomore Alexander Lynch (Roswell, Ga.) started in goal and stopped 11 shots without surrendering a goal in the first half.  Sophomore Victor Fink (Haverford, Pa.) took over in the second half and made nine saves.

            Southern Maine averted being shutout with fourth-quarter goals from senior Jeff Urmston (Bellingham, Mass.) and sophomore Matthew Swirbliss (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy).  Senior Keegan Smith (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner Regional) assisted on both goals.  Junior goalie Zach Bessette (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) had 19 saves in 41 minutes of play before giving way to rookie Alex Leblanc (Westbrook, Maine) who had two saves over the final 19 minutes.

            Strachan scored three goals in the opening quarter as the Engineers opened up a 5-0 lead.  Davis had a goal and an assist, and Stolzenberg scored once.

            Stolzenberg had five points (three goals, two assists) in the second quarter as M.I.T. scored nine unanswered goals to build a commanding 14-0 lead by the halftime break.  Strachan picked up more two goals, and Davis dished out three assists in the quarter.

            Urmston finally broke the shutout bid converting a feed from Smith with 6:46 to play in the fourth quarter.  Five minutes later, Swirbliss scored his first collegiate goal off a feed from Smith.

            M.I.T. outshot USM 54-40 in the game (40-22 on goal), and won the ground ball battle 39-28.  The Engineers converted 1 of 3 man-up situations while holding the Huskies scoreless on eight man-up situations.

            Southern Maine returns to action on Saturday (12:00 p.m.) hosting Maine Maritime Academy for the home opener at Hannaford Field.  M.I.T. will host Hartwick College, also on Saturday (1:00 p.m.). 

-ble-