Cougars Secure First-Ever Postseason Berth On Senior Day
Worcester, Mass. – John Goracy (Lumberton, N.J.) and Ryan Moore (West Hartford, Conn.) scored five goals each and host Clark University locked up the first postseason berth in program history with a dominating 16-6 win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars improve to 7-5 on the season and 2-2 in league contests, while the Buccaneers have dropped four straight games to slip to 7-7 overall and 1-4 in NEWMAC games.
By virtue of the win and a previous win over Wheaton, Clark has assured itself of at least the No. 4 seed in the upcoming conference tournament which will be played at campus sites on Wednesday, April 30. The championship game will be played at home of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, May 3.
Unlike last season's matchup between the two teams that saw Peter Christiansen (Seattle, Wash.) cap a six-goal spurt with his overtime goal to give the Cougars a 12-11 win, this game was put away early by Clark. The Scarlet and White scored the game's first seven goals and never looked back as their offense clicked for most of the afternoon.
Moore wasted little time in the explosive first quarter, netting a pair of markers in the game's first six minutes.
Darius Jagminas (East Greenwich, R.I.) setup a man-up goal for Christiansen with 6:10 left in the first and then Goracy got in on the act less than two minutes later with an unassisted tally.
Josh Rothwell (Swampscott, Mass.) gave Clark a 5-0 lead with an amazing end to end sprint and his first career goal with a rocket the whizzed into the back of the net.
Moore completed the first quarter hat trick with 3:37 left in the first and then Nick Johnson (Amherst, Mass.) gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead to end the period.
Massachusetts Maritime came out firing to begin the second, getting scores from Reed McLean and a man-up score from Ryan McNeill less than three minutes in.
Johnson fed Goracy for a man-up score to stem the tide, but Dylan Freudenberg helped get a score from Joseph Landy and then Sean Staples made the game, 8-4, with 55 seconds left before halftime.
Clark quickly regained momentum when Christiansen found Moore for key goal with just eight second left in the period.
Murphy's goal, however, would be the Buccaneers' last as the Cougars ran off six straight goals beginning with goals from Moore and Goracy off fantastic passes from Johnson.
Jagminas handed out an assist to Goracy for the first goal of the fourth and Goracy added another less than two minutes later when he took a great feed from Christiansen.
The goals kept coming as Turgeon and Holden found the back of the net to wrap up the scoring.
Clark was on the attack all afternoon, firing 35 shots on goal against three Buccaneer goalkeepers with Keison Cunningham playing 33 minutes and recording 11 saves.
Kevin Ranta (Beverly, Mass.) was strong in between the pipes for the Cougars, making 19 saves and scooping up five groundballs.
Ryan Marsh (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) helped control the faceoff "X" going 16-for-26 and corralling a game-high ten groundballs.
In addition to Goracy and Moore's outstanding offensive performances, Clark got a goal and four assists from Johnson and two markers from Holden.
Johnson's 46 points this season are tied for the ninth most in a single season in school history. He has 26 goals and 20 assists – just the fifth player in school history to record 20 goals and 20 assists in a single season. Among those who have also reached the feat include current head coach Jeff Cohen in 2001 (21 goals, 21 assists) and his brother and assistant coach Chris Johnson in 2012 (27 goals, 21 assists).
Clark will wrap up its 2014 regular season next week with road games at Springfield on Wednesday and at Emerson College on Saturday.