March 29, 2014

No. 8 LIU Post Squeezes Past Chestnut Hill

from press release

LIU Post's Joe Costello scored a pair of second half goals to help the Pioneers rally past Chestnut Hill. (Kevin P. Tucker)

LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. - The No. 9 LIU Post men's lacrosse team came back from a four-goal halftime deficit Saturday, and edged 15th-ranked Chestnut Hill, 10-9, in an East Coast Conference clash at Victory Field #1 in Lafayette Hill, Pa.

Down 2-1 early on in the second quarter, the Griffins (3-4, 2-2 ECC) scored five unanswered goals to bring a 6-2 lead into the break. Senior attackman Michael Melnychenko (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) and sophomore attackman Michael Plaia (Hicksville, N.Y.) combined for four of the tallies, three of which occurred on the man-up.

The latter half was another story entirely, as the Pioneers (5-2, 4-1 ECC) went on a 7-1 run to grab a 9-7 advantage with 5:04 to go in the fourth quarter. Graduate attackman Joe Costello (Minneapolis, Minn.) notched unassisted markers to bookend the spurt. Sophomore midfielder Anthony Berardis (Mahopac, N.Y.) sandwiched it with three goals of his own.

Chestnut Hill tied things up though in the last minute of regulation. Melnychenko and sophomore defenseman Derick Darnulc (Baldwin, N.Y.) found the back of the cage just 14 seconds apart to make it a 9-9 game. Yet, a goal by sophomore attackman Matty Beccaris (North Babylon, N.Y.) at the 33-second mark, following a faceoff win by LIU Post, would secure the victory for the green and gold.

The Griffins did have one final opportunity to send the contest into overtime. With two seconds left, senior midfielder Mark Winkelspecht (Laurys Station, Pa.) put a shot on net that was stonewalled by graduate goaltender T.J. DiCarlo (Farmingdale, N.Y.).

Senior defenseman T.J. McAndrew (Randolph, N.J.) scooped up five ground balls and caused three turnovers in the game. He also accounted for the assist on Beccaris' game-winning goal. In addition to recording two points (1 G, 1 A) on the day, junior attackman Chris Caiazza (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) amassed three ground balls and one caused turnover. for the Pioneers, who won the shot (38-18) and ground ball (28-20 battles).

LIU Post won 11-of-21 (52.3 percent) faceoffs, made good on 9-of-12 (75.0 percent) clears, and converted on 2-of-5 (40.0 percent) extra-man opportunities as well.

Head Coach John Jez and the Pioneers are back in action Wednesday (Apr. 2) at Merrimack in North Andover, Mass. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.


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