Sam Hornblower: 2017 LEC Defensive Player of the Year

Southern Maine Falls to New England College 11-8

Senior long-stick middie Chris Roop.
Senior long-stick middie Chris Roop.

            GORHAM, Maine -- New England College senior attack Brian Gillis (North Vancouver, B.C.) scored a game-high four goals, including three in the second half, as the visiting Pilgrims overcame a one-goal halftime deficit to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 11-8, in non-conference men's lacrosse action Wednesday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

            The win was the second straight for the Pilgrims and improves their overall record to 3-4.  The Huskies had their three-game winning streak stopped and fall to 3-4.

            Gillis finished the game with five points on four goals and one assist.  Senior James Putney (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) added three scores, and junior Adam Shute (Calgary, Alberta) chipped in with two.  Junior Pat Miles (Brampton, Ontario) contributed three assists.  Sophomore goalie Cody Kitson (Shelton, Conn.) was credited with six saves.

            For USM, seniors Ryan Foley (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Mark White (Oakville, Ontario) each had two goals and one assist.  Classmate Kyle Baker (Kennebunk, Maine) shipped in with a goal and two assists.  Senior goalie Ryan Hatch (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) made 12 saves.

            Down 6-5 at the halftime intermission, the Pilgrims strung together six consecutive goals to take an 11-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter.  The Pilgrims' defense, led by Kitson, held the Huskies without a goal in the third quarter.

            Shute ignited the string of goals for NEC tying the game with 13:53 remaining in the third quarter.  Gillis gave the Pilgrims the lead for good six and half minutes later with his second goal of the game.  Senior Chris Collins (Murrieta, Calif.) added a man-up marker with 2:39 to go making it 8-6.

            Senior Matt Goyette (Lowell, Mass.) kept the run of NEC goals going three minutes into the fourth quarter.  Gillis closed out the NEC scoring with a pair of goals 31 seconds apart midway through the quarter.

            USM tried to mount a late charge getting a man-up goal from Baker and an even-strength marker from junior Dylan Kenney (Portland, Maine) 16 seconds apart, but that was as close as USM would get.

            NEC took a 3-1 lead in the opening quarter scoring three straight goals after spotting USM a 1-0 lead on Foley's goal.  Gillis, Putney and Shute had the NEC markers.

            Southern Maine outscored NEC 5-2 in the second quarter to forge the 6-5 lead at halftime.  Sophomore Kaleb Smith (West Gardiner, Maine) scored off a nice feed from classmate Burleigh Desjardins (Brunswick, Maine).  Foley potted a man-up goal to tie the game at 3-3, and White gave USM a short-lived 4-3 advantage.

            Putney scored twice to restore the lead to NEC, but senior Steve Ribero (Londonderry, N.H.) and White found the net in the final three minutes to give USM the advantage at the break.

            Southern Maine opens Little East Conference play this weekend hosting Keene State College on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).  New England College will entertain Johnson State College on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) for a North Atlantic Conference match.