Worcester, Mass. – Brandon King (Eastham, Mass.) scored all of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter and host Clark University rallied for an improbable 11-10 win over MIT in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) lacrosse action on Friday evening.
The win for the Cougars not only extends their winning streak to four straight games but gives them their first-ever win against the Engineers, snapping a 25-game losing streak to their league rivals. In recent seasons MIT has found ways to spoil Clark's seasons as they did with season-ending, playoff-eliminating victories in 2012 and 2013 and then last year's gut-wrenching overtime loss in Cambridge.
That would not be the case in 2017 although for a long stretch it looked as if the Engineers were going to spoil the second annual Renny Classic. Named in honor of current Clark lacrosse student-athlete Whit Merritt's father, the event aims to shed light on Alzheimer's disease and in the past two seasons the Cougars have raised more than $7,500.
Score: Clark University 11, MIT 10
Records: Clark University (9-3, 3-0 NEWMAC); MIT (7-4, 2-1 NEWMAC)
Location: Granger Turf Complex, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
After the Scarlet and White went in front 3-1 in the first quarter on goals from Isaac Bass (Amherst, Mass.), Lucas Petricone-Berg (Nyack, N.Y.) and Will Mandracchia (Melrose, Mass.), Clark offense went silent and by halftime, Clark was trailing 5-3 as the Engineers put four second quarter goals on the board.
Things actually got worse for the Cougars even after Bass recorded an unassisted marker to open up scoring in the third. His goal was answered by a pair of Engineer tallies, including one from Harris Stolzenberg that made the MIT advantage, 7-4 with less than two minutes to play in the third.
Clark began its comeback as the final stanza got underway beginning with Andrew Myhre (Middlebury, Vt.) finding a cutting Jack Goracy (East Islip, N.Y.) and then Johnson serving up two straight to King, making the score 7-7 with a little more than eight minutes to go.
The Cougars surged ahead a minute later when Johnson setup another Scarlet and White score – this one to Mandracchia. Clark's four goal outburst was countered with a Graham Davis strike but two more from King had the Cougars back in front.
Now ahead 10-8, Clark tacked on another score when Johnson helped out Mandracchia for the three-goal advantage.
To their credit, MIT didn't hang their heads and they forced a turnover and got a Michael Traub score almost immediately. Still ahead by one, Clark's attempt to drain the clock failed and the Engineers had a shot to score and force overtime but it wasn't meant to be for the Engineers.
Inside The Boxscore:
Ryan MacNeil (Weymouth, Mass.) had a monster defensive performance, scooping up six groundballs and recording five caused turnovers.
In addition to the huge showings from Johnson and King, Mandracchia finished with a hat trick and Drew Riopelle-Tyrrell (Northville, Mich.) made 13 saves.
Clark is off until Wednesday when they visit Massachusetts Maritime for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff.