Spartans Seal Top Seed with 21-7 Win

Castleton, Vt. - The Spartans earned the top seed in the North Atlantic Conference playoffs and home-field advantage through the postseason for the second straight season with their 21-7 victory over Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday at Spartan Stadium.

Zach Davidson finished with five goals and four assists, his seventh straight game against a conference opponent with at least six points this season. Alex Green finished with five goals and an assist, while Sean Paradis scored twice and dished off four assists.

Castleton began the game by jumping out to an 8-1 through the first quarter. The Spartans put up three goals in the first five minutes of play, with Davidson leading off the scoring just 2:29 into the contest. Less than a minute later, Taylor Swarter scored his first goal of the game, followed by Paradis finiding the net at the 10:00 mark, putting Castleton ahead 3-0. 

Nicholas Betti put the Mariners on the board at the 9:29 mark of the first quarter with an unassisted goal, his 30th of the year, but the Spartans responded immediately with a flurry of goals to end the quarter. Davidson buried one and Swarter and Green each notched two goals in a 5-0 Spartan run to end the first frame, putting the Spartans ahead 8-1 at the break.

In the second quarter, the Mariners attempted to mount a comeback before half, but the Spartans answered every call to action, finishing with a 3-3 push through the quarter. Betti scored his second of the game just 46 seconds into the period, but Davidson answered with a goal midway through the quarter.

The Mariners' Bronson Guimond buried a goal to cut into the Spartans' lead again, but the home team responded with a pair of goals. Davidson scored, followed by a goal from Louis Alhage to make it 11-3. A.J. Larrabee notched a tally for the Mariners with 39 seconds left to make it 11-4 at the half. 

Castleton dominated the second half, outscoring the visitors 10-3 after halftime. Alex Green opened the seconf half scoring with a goal 20 seconds into the third, but MMA's Peter Moore answered just 36 seconds later with a goal to make it 12-5. Zach Devoid spurred a 4-1 to finish the quarter with a goal at the 12:59 mark. Sean Paradis followed suit a minute later, and Green scored a pair of goals to finish the quarter. With 19 seconds left in the frame, Moore scored his second of the game for the Mariners to make it 16-6 entering the fourth.

In the final frame, the Spartans dominated play, outscoring the Mariners 5-1. Five different Spartans scored down the stretch as Castleton ran away with a 21-7 victory. 

Luc Leblanc finished with a team-high seven ground balls for the Spartans while Owen Hartmand and Louis Alhage each scooped six. Hartman and Alex Noonan led the defense with three caused turnovers each. Peter Latulippe earned the win in net, making eight saves in 49 minutes of play to propel the Spartans over the Mariners.

Nicholas Betti led the Mariners' offense, scoring three goals and dishing off an assist. A.J. Larrabee grabbed a game-high 10 groundballs while Jack Tragert scooped seven for the visitors. Ryan Mclellan and Peter Moore led five different Mariners who each finished with a pair of caused turnovers. James Wilgus took the loss in net, allowing 16 goals in three quarters. The sophomore made eight saves.

Castleton improves to 10-5 on the season, and remain undefeated at 7-0 in the NAC. They will take on Johnson St. in their regular season finale on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00pm.