CASTLETON, Vt. – For the second time this week, the Castleton University men's lacrosse team will play games on consecutive days, as the Spartans will travel to Bangor, Maine to face Husson Saturday, April 7, at 11 a.m., and then return home to take on Plymouth State Sunday, April 8, at 3 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans, 4-5 overall and 2-0 within the North Atlantic Conference, split their first back-to-back situation earlier this week, losing at SUNY Potsdam Tuesday night, 13-3, before defeating Green Mountain Wednesday night, 21-1. Castleton will have one more instance of matches of consecutive days next weekend, hosting Thomas Saturday, April 14, and then playing at Kean Sunday, April 15.
Against Green Mountain, 15 different Spartans earned at least one point, led by Jason Sedell with four goals, including the 100th point of his collegiate career on his third goal of the night with 3:29 remaining in the second period. Shane Centerbar, Ben Davine, and Alec Madden all scored the first goal of their collegiate careers, while Luc Issa picked up his first collegiate point with an assist late in the third period.
Freshman Maxx Ingison has seen a significant amount of time in net this week, first making a season-high seven saves in 23 minutes of action Tuesday at SUNY Potsdam. Ingison then played the entire second period against Green Mountain Wednesday, but he did not need to make a save.
Husson enters Saturday's game with a 3-4 overall record, but a 3-1 mark within the NAC after defeating Maine Maritime Wednesday, 19-10. As a team, the Eagles are averaging 9.7 goals, 38.0 shots, 41.7 ground balls, and 10.6 caused turnovers per game.
Jacob Boothby leads the Eagles with 15 goals, while Zach Glazier has scored 12 goals. Both Brandon Bosse and Brooks Gay have earned 10 goals and nine assists for a team-high 19 total points. Owen Richmond has won almost 53 percent (71-for-134) of face-offs so far this season.
Defensively, Chad Merrill leads the way with 34 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. Matt Martin has been the Husson goalie throughout the year, posting a 10.00 goals against average and a .607 save percentage with 108 total saves.
This will be the 16th meeting all-time between Castleton and Husson, with the Spartans winning the previous 15 contests. Last year at Spartan Stadium, the Eagles scored the first two goals, but Castleton rattled off seven straight goals in the first half and 14 straight tallies in the second half on its way to a 21-6 victory. Sedell and Sam Siegel led the Spartans with three goals and one assist apiece.
Plymouth State brings a 3-4 record into the weekend heading into a Friday night match at Salem State. As a team, the Panthers are averaging 9.4 goals, 33.1 shots, 27.7 ground balls, and 7.7 caused turnovers per game.
Connor Delea leads the Panthers with 11 goals, followed by Ryan Croatti with nine goals and Griffin Jacobson with nine goals and six assists for a team-high 15 points. Kyle Stockman leads the team with 27 ground balls as he has taken the vast majority of the face-offs, winning 55.1 percent (75-for-136).
Defensively, Casey Elkins and Charlie Harrington are tied for the team lead with eight caused turnovers apiece. Zel Kerkel has played all but 11:35 in net for the Panthers, posting an 11.46 goals against average and a .509 save percentage with 81 total saves.
The Spartans and Panthers are playing for the 12th time in history, with Plymouth State holding a 9-2 series advantage. Castleton won two years ago, 11-8, but Plymouth State scored four goals in the final 2:18 of regulation to defeat the Spartans last year, 10-6.
After Sunday's game, Castleton will have a couple of days off from competition before playing three games in four days, starting Thursday, April 12, against Lyndon at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.