Men's Lacrosse: Cadets Nipped By Lasers, 14-11, In GNAC Playoffs

Michael Cashman

NEWTON, Mass. – The 49th season of men's lacrosse at Norwich University came to a close on Thursday with a 14-11 loss to Lasell College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinals at Grellier Field. 

The Cadets cap their campaign at 10-9. Norwich qualified for the playoffs as the fourth seed and were ousted by the top-ranked Lasers, who improve to 12-3 on the year and will take on Mount Ida in the GNAC Championship to be played at Lasell on Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m. 

Sophomore Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) led the Cadets with a career-high five points off of three goals and two assists (3-2=5). Junior Josh Jenkins (Centennial, Colo.) and classmate Nolan Aurelia (Stratford, Conn.) each added three goals and junior Michael Cashman (East Kingston, N.H.) assisted three of Norwich's 11 goals. 

Moore potted his 18th goal of the season shortly into the second half, putting the Cadets ahead by a 7-6 margin. Lasell followed up Moore's strike with a dominating stretch that saw the host Lasers put back six-straight goals to build a 12-7 lead that Norwich could not recover from. 

The Cadets sprinted out to a 3-0 lead following goals from Aurelia, senior Joe Wood (White River Junction, Vt.) and Moore. Despite a Lasell goal with only 19 seconds in the first quarter, Aurelia put back his team's fourth goal off an assist from Moore to build a game-high three goal lead shortly into the second stanza. 

Aurelia picked up the hat trick with 5:15 to go in the first half, recreating a three-goal lead, but Lasell fired off three-straight goals of their own to tie the game at five with 1:08 left in the opening 30 minutes. Norwich and Lasell traded goals down the stretch as the game was dramatically tied at five with a Ryan Madden goal for the Lasers with only five seconds left in the first half. 

Taking the lead on the aforementioned Moore goal to begin the second half, the six-straight goals by Lasell that followed was simply too much to overcome. Norwich fought back with 18:53 left in the second half, scoring four of the game's next six goals, but the Cadets simply had no answer for the game-high 21 shots in the third quarter that Lasell fired. 

Sophomore Ian Kriger (Burlington, Mass.) took the loss for Norwich, making 12 saves on 26 shots against. Lasell backstop Jorge Salazar halted 11-of-22 shots for the Lasers. The Cadets won the ground ball battle, 33-to-32, and were successful on 22-of-25 clearance attempts, but were edged in total shots (40-to-35) and face-off victories (15-to-13). 

Thursday's contest concluded the careers of six Norwich senior student-athletes, including defenseman Nick Engel (Concord, N.H.), Nick Imbriani (Foxboro, Mass.), Connor McMahon (Norwich, Conn.), Jimmy Warden (North Andover, Mass.) and Wood. Engel tallied a ground ball while Wood struck for a goal on two shots.