CASTLETON, Vt. – Because of previous postponements, the Castleton University men's lacrosse team enters a busy week with four games in six days, starting with consecutive contests under the lights at SUNY Potsdam Tuesday, April 3, and against Green Mountain College at Spartan Stadium Wednesday, April 4, both beginning at 7 p.m.
Castleton has won three consecutive games, rallying from a two-goal deficit late in the second period to defeat SUNY Canton last Wednesday, 11-10, on a goal by Tyler Crowningshield with 1:57 remaining in regulation. Saturday, the Spartans opened their North Atlantic Conference schedule with a 6-2 victory over Maine Maritime, the fewest goals scored by Castleton in a victory since a 6-5 overtime win at SUNY Canton March 25, 2015.
Senior Sam Siegel, the team's leading goal scorer last season, picked up the offensive pace last week, earning five goals and two assists in the victories over SUNY Canton and Maine Maritime. Against the Kangaroos, Crowningshield also notched a hat trick, and Colin Clark dished out a career-high three assists to go along with one goal of his own.
Coming off a perfect 11-for-11 performance on face-offs Saturday against the Mariners, Josh Gosselin is now 44th in the country in face-off winning percentage at .617 (87-for-141) as well as 36th in ground balls per game (6.86). Defensively, Brandon Myron made 11 saves against SUNY Canton and seven saves on nine shots on goal against Maine Maritime, moving him into 17th in Division III in saves per game (13.71) and 50th in save percentage (.582).
SUNY Potsdam is 2-5 overall after losses to Clarkson (13-8) last Tuesday and Kean (11-10) this past Saturday. As a team, the Bears are averaging 8.4 goals, 35.6 shots, 30.9 ground balls, and 7.7 caused turnovers per game, plus SUNY Potsdam has won 56.6 percent (81-for-143) of its face-offs and has earned a 77.9 percent success rate (113-for-145) on clearing attempts.
Eric Soderquist leads the team in scoring with 14 goals to go along with six assists for 20 total points, while Josh Huiatt also has 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists along with team high totals of 31 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers. Marc Leveroni has taken the majority of the face-offs with a 59.2 percent (58-for-98) success rate.
In net, Zach Sheridan has started five of the Bears' seven matches, posting a 2-3 record with a 7.87 goals against average and a .672 save percentage, currently third in Division III. Sean Coe has started the other two matches for SUNY Potsdam, going 0-2 with a 13.04 goals against average and a .479 save percentage.
This is believed to be the sixth meeting overall between Castleton and SUNY Potsdam, with the Bears winning the previous five contests. On April 9, 2017, at Spartan Stadium, the Spartans overcame a three-goal deficit with 11:07 remaining in the fourth period, as Jason Sedell scored consecutive goals in the span of 1:13 to tie the game at 9-9 with 1:09 left in regulation. However, with one minute left in the first overtime period, Casey Boulio scored to give the Bears the 10-9 victory.
Green Mountain is 0-4 overall so far this season, including 0-1 in conference play after a 19-4 loss to Thomas March 24. The game against Castleton was originally scheduled to be played in Poultney, but is now the second of four "home" games the Eagles will play at Spartan Stadium this year, as Green Mountain lost to Wheelock Feb. 24, 9-4, and will face Lyndon April 7 as well as Maine Maritime April 13.
As a team, the Eagles are averaging 3.3 goals, 22.8 shots, 29.3 ground balls, and 12.3 caused turnovers so far this season. Offensively, Will Durant leads the team with five goals and two assists, followed closely by Chris Surdam with four goals and two assists.
Defensively, Dominic Wright leads the Eagles with eight caused turnovers. In net, Matt Sonntag started the first three games and posted an 18.59 goals against average and a .457 save percentage with 37 saves. Chelsea Wimble came on in relief in two games before starting the Thomas match and has compiled a 17.76 goals against average and a .341 save percentage.
This is believed to be the 29th meeting between Castleton and Green Mountain since 1995, with the Spartans holding an 18-10 series advantage. Castleton has won the last 14 games in a row over the Eagles, including last year's 21-2 victory at Spartan Stadium April 24, 2017. Tyler Crowningshield led the Spartans with five goals and three assists.
Castleton heads to Bangor, Maine, to face Husson University Saturday, April 7, at 11 a.m. before coming back to campus to welcome Plymouth State to Spartan Stadium Sunday afternoon, April 8, tentatively scheduled to start at 3 p.m. in a contest rescheduled from March 18.