Sam Hornblower: 2017 LEC Defensive Player of the Year

Southern Maine Men's Lax Rallies to Defeat Norwich 10-9

Southern Maine Men's Lax Rallies to Defeat Norwich 10-9

Southern Maine Rallies to Defeat Norwich 10-9

            GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine men's lacrosse team scored the final four goals of the game to erase a three-goal deficit and defeat visiting Norwich University 10-9 in a non-conference men's lacrosse game Friday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

            The game was the season opener for USM under the direction of first-year head coach Tobey Farrington.  Norwich dropped its second straight game to slip below ,500 at 1-2.  The game was originally scheduled to be play Saturday at Norwich, but was moved to Friday at USM due to unplayable field conditions at Norwich.

            Down 9-6 late in the third quarter, the Huskies received goals from rookie Nick James (Portland, Maine/Deering) and sophomore Cam Thibault (Scarborough, Maine) over the final 2:09 to pull within one heading into the final stanza.

            Thibault's third goal of the game, off a feed from sophomore Joe Cullinan (Contoocook, N.H.), with 8:56 remaining tied the score at 9-9.  Senior captain Paul Leonardo (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) gave the Huskies their first lead since the first quarter (1-0) taking a pass from junior Tristan Dundas (Abbotsford, B.C.) and burying a shot with 6:19 to play.

            Norwich sophomore Kevin Horchak (Mullica Hill, N.J.) rang a shot off the iron inside in five minutes remaining, and USM sophomore goalie Griffin Hanson (Dover, N.H.), making his first career start, came up with three big saves over the final three minutes to preserve the win.

            Thibault's first goal of the day gave USM an early 1-0 lead.  Junior John Jennings scored twice in the final three minutes of the first period to give the visitors a 2-1 lead after a period.

            In a high-scoring second quarter, rookie Parker Campbell (Rockaway, N.J.) scored three times, and seniors William Conroy (Dorchester, Mass.) and Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) each had one for the Cadets.  Leonardo found the net twice and James tallied his first collegiate goal for the Huskies with 16 second remaining in the quarter to make it 7-4 at the break.

            Leonardo and Thibault led the Huskies offense with three goals apiece.  Thibault also dished off two assists, and Leonardo had one helper.  Dundas gave the Huskies a spark in the third quarter scoring twice.  James matched Dundas with two goals and each one assist.  Hanson stopped 14 shots to earn his first career win.

            Campbell matched Thibault for game-high scoring honors with three goals and two assists.  Jennings was the only other repeat scorer for the Cadets.  Sophomore goalie Nick Kandra (Crofton, Md.) stopped 16 shots.

            Southern Maine looks to make it two in a row under Farrington when the Huskies hosts Emmanuel College on Wednesday (4 p.m.).  Norwich travels to Massachusetts Maritime Academy next Thursday (7 p.m.).