JOHNSON, Vt. – After a sluggish first quarter, Castleton University controlled the rest of the game, scoring 10 unanswered goals in the final 45 minutes to defeat Johnson State, 11-2, Thursday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference men's lacrosse contest at Minaert Field.
Castleton jumped on the board just over a minute into the game as Tyler Crowningshield scored an unassisted goal. However, that would be the only first quarter tally for the Spartans, as Johnson State took the lead on two goals by Travis Brown, the second one coming with just one second left in the opening quarter.
Connor Balestra set up Kyle Lutinski for the game-tying goal just under two minutes into the second quarter, and then Crowningshield earned his second goal of the game off an assist by Ryan Stone with 11:34 remaining before halftime to give Castleton the lead for good. Just over two minutes later, Lutinski would pick up his second goal of the game, this time with Cameron Russell assisting, giving the Spartans a 4-2 lead at halftime.
Lutinski completed his hat trick with 8:30 left in the third quarter, and then Sam Siegel set up Isaac Devoid just 13 seconds later to extend the Spartan advantage to 6-2. Devoid would score three straight goals for Castleton, the third coming in the fourth quarter, for his first hat trick of the season.
Stone and Siegel scored goals 22 seconds apart in the fourth quarter, and then Lutinski closed out the scoring with his fourth tally of the game with 4:53 left on the clock. Overall, Castleton outshot Johnson State, 43-6, collected 33 ground balls to Johnson State's two ground balls, went 14-of-15 on clear attempts, and committed just eight turnovers.
Johnson State (0-8, 0-5 NAC) committed 17 turnovers, converted on just half of its clear attempts (9-of-18), and won just two faceoffs as a team. Jay Palmisano played the entire game in net for the Badgers and collected 10 saves, including five in the second quarter as he kept Johnson State within striking distance.
Castleton (7-8, 4-1 NAC) closes out the regular season with a home game against Green Mountain Monday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. and a road contest at Lyndon State Tuesday, April 25, at 4 p.m.