CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's lacrosse team looks to clinch a bye into the semifinals of the North Atlantic Conference Tournament as it closes out the regular season with games on consecutive days, hosting Green Mountain Monday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to Lyndon State to face the Hornets Tuesday, April 25, at 4 p.m.
The Spartans are 7-8 overall and 4-1 within the NAC after defeating Johnson State last Thursday, 11-2. New England College has already clinched the league regular season title, but Castleton can still finish in second place with two victories over the next two days. With a second-place finish, the Spartans would receive a bye in the NAC Tournament and host a semifinal game Wednesday, May 3.
After scoring five goals last Tuesday at Norwich, Sam Siegel is now in fifth place in the league with 30 goals, plus he is fourth in the NAC with 45 points. Louis Alhage is third in the conference with 25 assists and seventh in the NAC with 41 total points. In net, Brandon Myron is second in the conference with 133 saves and fourth in goals against average at 10.28.
Green Mountain is 1-9 overall and 1-5 within the NAC after losing to Thomas Saturday, 9-4. The Eagles' victory this season came against Johnson State on April 12, 13-3. David Gerken leads Green Mountain with 10 goals and 12 total points, plus he has picked up 26 ground balls and caused nine turnovers.
Deven Rogers leads the team with 44 ground balls and 47 faceoff victories to go along with five goals and four assists, while Ethan Cooper has caused 10 turnovers so far this season, plus he has picked up 26 ground balls. Carl Diethelm has started all 10 games in net for the Eagles, currently placing fifth in the NAC in saves with 105.
Other than 2001, these teams are known to have played at least once every year since 2000, with Green Mountain winning the first eight meetings before Castleton started its current 13-game winning streak over the Eagles in 2005. Last season, the Spartans shutout the Eagles, 22-0, as Alhage scored four goals and Tom Pardew dished out four assists for Castleton.
Lyndon State is 8-5 overall and also 4-1 within the NAC after a 19-11 victory over Husson Saturday. The Hornets travel to play Johnson State Monday before hosting Castleton Tuesday. As a team, Lyndon State is averaging 34.2 shots, 10.38 goals, 35.5 ground balls, and 11.8 caused turnovers per game.
Spencer Aubin and Konner Bick are tied for the team lead with 23 goals apiece, while Zachary Carey has contributed 19 goals. Ian Pelkey has 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points, and Shea Jones has earned 15 goals and a team-high 23 assists for 38 total points.
Adam Peeler is one of five Hornets with at least 40 ground balls, leading the team with 51 ground balls. Defensively, Brandon Hunter is tops with 22 caused turnovers, just ahead of Marshall Blackman with 20 caused turnovers. Shane Morin has started 11 games in net for the Hornets, posting a 6-3 record with a 10.36 goals against average and a .496 save percentage with 64 saves.
This is the ninth meeting overall between Castleton and Lyndon State, with the Spartans winning the previous eight contests. Last season the Spartans shut out the Hornets for the second straight season, 16-0, behind a hat trick by Siegel. The NAC Tournament quarterfinals are scheduled to be played Saturday, April 29, followed by the semifinals Wednesday, May 3, and the finals Saturday, May 6.