CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University scored with 2:57 remaining in regulation to defeat Husson University, 8-7, Wednesday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2018 North Atlantic Conference Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Spartan Stadium.
With the victory, Castleton improves to 10-7 and advances to the NAC Tournament title game for the 15th consecutive year. Meanwhile, Husson sees its season conclude with a 6-8 overall record.
Down 6-2 at halftime, Husson started its rally with 6:23 remaining in the third period on an unassisted goal by Brooks Gay to close the Eagle deficit back to three. Taking advantage of its third extra-man opportunity of the game, Husson moved even closer on a goal by Jacob Boothby with 1:50 left in the third period.
The play went back-and-forth into the fourth period, but no goals were scored until Gunner McAllister went from one end to the other and whipped a shot into the net with 8:37 left in the fourth period to pull the Eagles within one at 7-6.
With 7:02 left in regulation, Boothby completed his hat trick, taking a pass from Zack Glazier and finding the back of the net to tie the game at 7-7, the first tie since five minutes elapsed in the opening period. The Eagles received another extra-man opportunity later in the fourth period, but could not take advantage.
Playing for the first time since April 12 after missing the last four games with an injury, Shane Centerbar found an opening in front of the Eagle net and received a pinpoint pass from Kyle Lutinski. Centerbar converted for his fourth goal of the season with 2:57 left in regulation to put the Spartans back on top.
Castleton won the ensuing faceoff and set up the offense attempting to score an insurance goal, but Husson goalie Matt Martin made two saves, the second one leading to an Eagle possession. After an exchange of turnovers, Husson took timeout with 21 seconds left on the clock, and then Matt Verrill took a shot that was stopped by Spartan goalie Brandon Myron. Castleton forced one final turnover to run out the clock.
Adnane Adossama, Kevin McCarthy, and Jason Sedell scored two goals apiece to lead the Spartans, while Lutinski finished with four assists. Josh Gosselin won 13-of-17 face-offs, Ryan Crowningshield caused four turnovers and collected five ground balls, and Myron earned eight saves during the afternoon.
For Husson, besides Boothby's three goals, Gay finished with two goals and one assist. The Eagles struggled to gain possession throughout the day, but stayed in the game thanks to Martin, who ended up with 14 saves.
Boothby started the scoring just over two minutes into the game, but Castleton responded with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead into the second period. Gay scored the first goal of the second period, but once again the Spartans answered back with three straight goals to first establish a four-goal advantage.
Castleton awaits the winner of the second semifinal between Lyndon and New England College taking place Wednesday evening in Henniker, N.H. The NAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament championship match is scheduled for Saturday, May 5, at a time and site to be determined.