Gordon Holds Off Men’s Lacrosse, 10-7

Junior Sean Burke

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT generated four goals late in the third quarter to narrow its gap to two, but Gordon College had the upper hand in the fourth quarter as it held on for a 10-7 win in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Saturday. Freshman Bill Kelleher (Pittsburgh, Pa.) paced the Engineers with three goals while senior Wes Chittick (Glenside, Pa.) registered a game-high five points on two goals and three assists for the Fighting Scots.

The majority of the first quarter was a defensive battle as the game remained scoreless until senior Dan Perednia (Granby, Conn.) found the back of the net at the 6:09 mark. Gordon quickly increased its lead when freshman Sam Spellman (Lewes, Del.) converted a feed from classmate Matt Dantona (Syosset, N.Y.). MIT got on the board late in the frame courtesy of a solo effort by sophomore Ben Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.).

The Fighting Scots outscored the Engineers, 4-1, in the second stanza en route to a 6-2 advantage at the intermission. Senior Adam Quinn (Gloucester, Mass.) buried a man-up marker while freshmen Austin Long (San Diego, Calif.) and Jordan Heckelmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Chittick rounded out the scoring. Freshman Jake Slonaker (West Windsor, N.J.) accounted for the Engineers' lone goal of the quarter.

Chittick found Dantona for a man-up goal and Perednia for an even-strength tally early in the third quarter. MIT responded with two goals from Kelleher and junior Sean Burke (Centennial, Colo.), including an extra-man score for both, that brought it within two (8-6) at the end of the period.

Gordon's 16-minute scoring drought ended courtesy of a Chittick goal that was set up by Nate Masson with 10:28 left to play. During the next seven minutes, both sides were plagued with turnovers but the Fighting Scots kept the pressure on with four shots on net.

The Engineers continued to attack, trimming the deficit to 9-7 when Kelleher redirected a pass from sophomore Tim Wilczynski (Old Lyme, Conn.) for a man-down goal with 3:33 remaining. After another string of turnovers, Dantona secured the victory on a man-up tally inside the final minute.

Junior Christopher Rullan (Wexford, Pa.) amassed a career-high 23 saves to go along with five groundballs for the hosts. Senior Ernie Park (Plainsboro, N.J.) earned a pair of assists as classmate Bryan Beller (Dix Hills, N.Y.) and Hessels both collected four groundballs.

Dantona finished with two goals, one assist, and four groundballs while sophomore Ian Knechtle (New Canaan, Conn.) and senior Jeff Ryan (Gilette, N.J.) both had four groundballs and two caused turnovers. Long went 11-of-17 in faceoffs and picked up five groundballs as junior Houston Zemanski (Annapolis, Md.) collected 13 saves and three groundballs.

Both squads return to action on Tuesday, April 3. MIT (2-4) will visit UMass Boston while Gordon (3-5) will host Curry College in a Commonwealth Coast Conference match-up.