March 19, 2009

MIT Holds Off Curry, 11-9

March 19, 2009

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a late rally that twice brought Curry College within one during the final five minutes of play, the MIT men’s lacrosse team held on for an 11-9 victory on Thursday. Ryan Ballentine paced the Engineers (2-3) with two goals and three assists while Michael D’Amato tallied one goal and four assists for the Colonels (1-3).

Neil Zimmerman opened the scoring for the Cardinal and Gray, connecting on a pass from Dylan Roden after 1:27 expired. John O’Donnell quickly evened the contest by converting a feed from Paul Marchese. The tandem found success again at the 9:21 mark, as they reversed their previous roles to give Curry a 2-1 edge. MIT tallied the equalizer just over a minute later with Bryan Beller picking up the assist on Ernie Park’s goal. The Engineers went ahead for good courtesy of a Zimmerman strike that was set up by Roden with 1:44 left in the frame.

MIT carried the momentum into the second stanza, extending its advantage to 4-2 on a goal by John Kucharczyk that gave Ballentine his first assist of the day. Following over five minutes of scoreless play, the Engineers capped their four-goal run on Park’s solo effort. Each side traded goals to close out the half with a blast by the Colonels’ Russell Lanham bringing the score to 6-4 in favor of the hosts.

Ballentine led off the third quarter with an unassisted goal, but Curry’s Evan Hammersley connected on a pass from D’Amato to maintain the slim lead. The contest was a defensive battle until MIT scored twice during the last four minutes, as Corey Garvey and Ballentine increased its margin to four (9-5).

The Colonels registered three unanswered goals over the course of nine minutes to bring them within one. An extra-man goal by Robert Gardner that was set up by Marchese ignited the spurt which was followed by a Sean Gallagher strike. After earning the assist on Gallagher’s goal, Hammersley found the back of the net with 5:22 on the clock. The Engineers ended their 11-minute scoring drought when Roden converted a pass from Ballentine for what proved to be the game winning goal. Curry quickly cut its deficit in half (10-9) with an O’Donnell score that gave D’Amato his fifth point of the day. MIT then tacked on an insurance goal by Garvey with 44 seconds remaining.

In addition to his two goals, Garvey collected a game-high seven groundballs. Roden finished with one goal and three assists as Zimmerman notched two goals and an assist. Park and Kucharczyk each scored twice while Patrick Shannon totaled four groundballs. In net, Garth Grove tallied five saves.

The Colonels saw three players register three points. O’Donnell and Hammersley both posted two goals and an assist as Marchese contributed one goal, two assists, and four groundballs. Dennis Winter paced the defense with five groundballs. In net, Gordon Holmes made four saves during the first half while Michael Hibbard closed out the game with nine stops.

MIT returns to action on Wednesday, March 25 when it takes on SUNY Potsdam in Clearwater, Fla. Curry will host Commonwealth Conference foe Gordon College on Saturday, March 21.