CASTLETON, Vt. – Lyndon broke into the win column for the first time Tuesday with a hard-fought 11-8 North Atlantic Conference victory over Green Mountain. With the win, the Hornets improved to 1-11 overall and 1-5 in league play. The loss drops the Eagles to 0-9 overall and 0-5 in the NAC.
The win did not come easy for Lyndon as the contest was a see-saw battle from the opening face-off. Green Mountain took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on goals by Mike Smith and Kyle Walz, and extended the advantage to 3-0 on Smith's second goal of the game at the 13:33 mark of the second quarter.
Robert Crupi (Scituate, Mass.), who had four goals in the contest for Lyndon, slashed the deficit to two with a goal at the 8:41 mark, but Green Mountain's Nick Parsons responded less than two minutes later to push the Eagles' lead to 4-1. Just as thing began to look as if they would swing momentum back in Green Mountain's favor, the Hornets netted six straight goals to take the lead for the first time.
"The game represented our best effort by every player on the team," said Lyndon Head Coach Richard Aberle. "We never gave up and the team worked hard even when we got behind. We fell behind 3-0 and 4-1 but we battled back. When Green Mountain fought back in the third and fourth quarter to tie the score at 8-8, we didn't panic and we responded with our best lacrosse of the season."
Crupi connected on a pass from Colin Young (South Royalton, Vt.) to cut the Eagles' lead to two before he set up Justin Mosher (Salem, N.H.) for a goal with 6:16 left in the second quarter to make it a one-goal game. Crupi completed a hat trick with three minutes remaining to send the game into intermission tied at 4-4.
The Hornets continued to sizzle early in the third quarter as Mosher scored at 14:51 in a man-up situation and Richard Aberle Jr. (Essex, N.Y.) got into the scoring act less than two minutes later with an unassisted goal of his own. Mosher's third goal of the game pushed Lyndon's lead to 7-4 with more than 11 minutes left in the period, but Green Mountain refused to fold.
Parsons sandwiched a pair of goals around Mosher's fourth goal of the game and Smith finished his hat trick with 14 seconds left to cut the Lyndon lead to 8-7 heading into the final period of play. Parson's fourth goal with 8:10 remaining tied the game at 8-8 and left the outcome of the contest still in doubt.
Crupi's fourth goal of the game gave Lynodn the lead for good with 4:20 left and Dominic DiTomasso's (Ashby, Mass.) tally – off an assist from Crupi gave the Hornets some much-need breathing room with less than three minutes to play. Aberle would close out the scoring in the game with his second goal in the final minutes with an assist going to Young.
Goalkeeper Marcus Bessette (Pembroke, N.H.) earned the first victory of his Lyndon career making 11 saves in the contest before being flagged for a penalty in the final minute of play. Shane Morin (Salem, N.H.) came on to finish the contest making one save to preserve the Hornets' victory. Eagle netminder Luke Carey made 11 saves in the loss.
"The key play in the game may well have been in the fourth quarter when Shane Morin had to come in after Marcus Bessette got a penalty," said Aberle. "In the man-down situation, Shane made a huge save on a great shot and then was able to clear the ball and kill off the penalty. Green Mountain had the momentum at that point and we kept ourselves in the game."
Crupi and Mosher had four goals each for Lyndon and were credited with two assists each as well. Aberle collected two goals and DiTomasso had one. Young and Billy Bazyk (Manchester, N.H.) had two assists in the win.
"We had a number of key performances in the game," said Aberle. "Robert (Crupi) played perhaps the best game of his career with four goals and two assists while Justin (Mosher) also had four goals and two assists. The most important statistic in the game, however, was probably Colin Young's 16 face-off wins and 11 ground balls. Those face-offs were decisive in our win."
Parson scored four goals and had one assist for the Eagles while Smith tallied three goals on 14 shots. Walz had one goal and two assists and Charlie Petrik had one assist for the Eagles.
The Hornets were 16 of 19 in face-offs to Green Mountain's 3 for 19 and Lyndon outshot the Eagles by a margin of 54-36 Lyndon held a slim 40-38 advantage in ground balls and were 11 for 16 in clears. GMC was an impressive 21-26 in clears and the teams were even in turnovers with 28 each.