March 11, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - In the inaugural meeting between both programs, MIT emerged with a 6-4 win over Salve Regina University in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Tuesday. Eric Zuk registered a hat-trick while John Kucharczyk earned three assists for the Engineers (1-1). Brandt Nelson paced the Seahawks with two goals as their record fell to 1-1 on the year.
Salve Regina opened the scoring with 4:07 on the clock when Evan Gates found Ryan Comerford for his third goal of the season. With five seconds remaining in the period, Zuk connected on a pass from Kucharczyk for the equalizer.
Nelson converted a feed from Ryan Doherty after 2:52 elapsed in the second stanza. MIT countered with man-up goal by Patrick Shannon that was set up by Corey Garvey midway through the frame. With 5:12 on the clock, the Seahawks regained the lead at 3-2 courtesy of a blast by Bennett Sweeney that gave Robert Hoffman the assist. Just over three minutes later, the Zuk-Kucharczyk connection returned which resulted in a deadlock at halftime.
The majority of the third period was a defensive battle until MIT's Ryan Ballentine found Dan Piemont for the go-ahead goal with 1:04 left. The Engineers carried the momentum into the final frame as Piemont connected on a pass from Kucharczyk for what proved to be the game-winning goal after 1:51 expired. Salve Regina ended its 28-minute scoring drought and cut its deficit in half (5-4) on Nelson's unassisted strike with 8:41 to play. Zuk completed the hat-trick and gave the Engineers an insurance goal at the 3:21 mark, just two seconds after a two-man power-play expired. The Seahawks had several chances to close the gap, including a pair of extra-man opportunities however MIT's defense thwarted any hopes of a late rally.
In net, Garth Grove collected 12 saves for the Engineers while Brian Walker made 14 stops for Salve Regina.
MIT will resume action on Monday, March 24 when it faces off with Colby College in Clearwater, Fla. Next up for Salve Regina will be a neutral-site game against Amherst College on Sunday, March 16.