April 30, 2014

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Drost, LIU Post Stun NYIT In ECC Semifinals

from press release

LIU Post grad student Joe Costello (above) and the Pioneers knocked off fifth-ranked NYIT in the semifinals of the ECC tournament. They'll now host the conference title game on Saturday evening. (Kevin P. Tucker)

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. - Junior midfielder Connor Drost (Wading River, N.Y.) had a game-high five points on Wednesday, as the No. 11 LIU Post men's lacrosse team bested fifth-ranked NYIT in an East Coast Conference Championship semifinal at Presidents' Stadium in Old Westbury, N.Y.

The third-seeded Pioneers, who improved to 8-5 overall, now advance to Saturday's final, where they will host the winner of the Dowling/Chestnut Hill match-up at Hickox Field at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, the second-seeded Bears dipped to 12-4 on the season.

LIU Post got off to a strong start for the second-consecutive game, netting four unanswered goals to grab a 4-0 lead with 12:32 to go in the second quarter. Drost and junior attackman Chris Caiazza (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) scored just 16 seconds apart over the first 38 ticks of play. Drost led the green and gold in the run, collecting two goals and an assist.

NYIT fired back though, tallying three straight markers over a five-minute stretch, to close the gap to just one (4-3). Junior midfielder Ryan Brunet (Sound Beach, N.Y.) got things going with an even-strength goal. Junior attacker Luke Miller (Mastic, N.Y.) accounted for the other two scores.

Yet, Drost and sophomore midfielder Anthony Berardis (Mahopac, N.Y.) found the back of the cage for the visitors within 19 seconds of each other to give the Pioneers a 6-3 halftime cushion.

During the latter half, the two squads traded a goal apiece in the third quarter, before LIU Post pulled away early in the fourth. Leading 7-4 after 45 minutes of play, Caiazza and sophomore attackman Ryan Slane (North Babylon, N.Y.) tickled the twine over the opening 4:20 of the final session to secure the win. Slane's tally was meant for the highlight reel, as he scored from behind the back to beat Bears' freshman goalie Alex Seltzer (Plainview, N.Y.).

Overall, the Pioneers owned a 33-27 advantage in shots and a 26-24 edge in ground balls. They were also 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) on faceoffs, 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) on clears and 1-of-3 (33.3 percent) on extra-man opportunities.

Between the pipes, graduate goalie T.J. DiCarlo (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made seven saves for LIU Post. His counterpart, Seltzer, turned aside 12 shots for NYIT.

For the full bracket of the 2014 ECC Men's Lacrosse Championship, please click here.


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