UNION, N.J. – Playing its seventh match over the past 13 days, Castleton University showed signs of fatigue in the second half against Kean University, and the Cougars took advantage by pulling away for a 12-5 victory over the Spartans Sunday afternoon in a non-conference men's collegiate lacrosse contest at Kean Alumni Stadium.
The Spartans struck first just over three minutes into the game as Kyle Lutinski picked up a rebound and found the back of the net with his shot. Just over one minute later, Castleton increased its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Ryan Stone.
Kean (10-2) finally broke through with five minutes left in the first period on a goal by Scott Royster. A little more than two minutes later, Lutinski would set up Kevin McCarthy for his first goal of the day to extend the Spartan lead back to two at 3-1.
The Cougars would strike right before the end of the first period as Mike Snellen set up Cole Blackley for his 18th goal of the season. With 1:29 gone in the second period, Tom Kelly scored off an assist by Andrew Yenesel to tie the game at 3-3.
Castleton retook the lead with 7:05 remaining in the second period as Cameron Russell streaked towards the net and found open space to shoot through. The Cougars tied the game just over one minute later on a goal by Tyler Roberto, and then Kean took the lead with 1:37 left in the second period when Roberto set up Snellen for his 17th goal of the year.
Kean would take control in the third period, scoring six goals without allowing Castleton to add to its total. Snellen scored the first goal of the second half less than two minutes into play, assisted on the first of consecutive goals by Roberto over the span of 1:19, and completed the third period scoring with a tally with 33 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Cougars further extended their lead with 5:09 left in the fourth period as Snellen assisted on Blackley's second goal of the afternoon. The Spartans finally snapped the 9-0 Cougar scoring run when Jason Sedell picked up a goal with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.
Lutinski was the only Castleton player to collect more than one point with a goal and an assist, plus he earned four ground balls, one behind the team-leading total of five ground balls shared by Sedell and Josh Gosselin. Brandon Myron made five saves in net before being replaced midway through the third period by Maxx Ingison, who was credited with four saves.
Snellen led the Cougars with three goals and three assists to go along with six ground balls, while Roberto also notched a hat trick as he finished with three goals and one assist. Thomas Francy earned the victory in net for Kean as he made five saves while allowing just one goal in 38:31, and Peter D'Antoni collected six saves while giving up four goals in 21:29.
Castleton (8-6) plays its final regular season home game Wednesday, April 18, against Johnson State beginning at 7 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.