ALBANY, N.Y. – For the second consecutive game, the Castleton University men's lacrosse team dropped a nail-biter by a final score of 8-7, falling on Wednesday night to Sage in a non-conference matchup.
Trailing 8-2 in the third quarter, Castleton (2-6) rattled off five unanswered goals to draw within one score with just 4:49 to play, but Sage (5-3) held off the charge to claim the 8-7 victory in the end. Jason Sedell notched his 100th career goal in the second quarter, joining elite company as just the eighth player in program history to reach the milestone.
Sedell netted four goals and an assist in the contest while adding three ground balls and two caused turnovers for the Spartans. Colin Clark added a goal and an assist, while Kyle Lutinski assisted on a pair of goals. Tom Pardew and Tyler Crowningshield were Castleton's other goal scorers. Cameron Russell and Andrew McCarthy had four ground balls apiece while Luc Issa racked up four caused turnovers in the contest. Brandon Myron suffered the loss, allowing seven goals with four saves in the first half. Maxx Ingison came on in the second half and allowed just one goal with four saves for the Spartans.
David Baraniuk, Robert Martin and Matt Fisher each scored twice for Sage, while Martin, Shea Obado and Adam Parker had assists for the Gators. Ryan Adamczak had five ground balls for Sage while six different players caused one turnover each. Brandon Maresca stopped nine shots in his fourth win of the season for Sage while allowing seven goals.
The Spartans held a slight edge in ground ball pick-ups, 31-30, while also winning the turnover battle with 24 turnovers to Sage's 29. The Gators held a 28-25 advantage in shots while controlling 10-of-17 face-offs. The Spartans were a perfect 3-for-3 on man-up opportunities, while Sage was 2-for-5 on the day.
The Gators got on the board three times in the first period, spreading their trio of scores across the opening 15 minutes. Obado struck first just more than two minutes in, before Fisher potted his first of the game at the mid-way point of the frame. Eric Fairhurst made it 3-0 with 1:23 left in the quarter on an unassisted score.
The lead stretched to five goals with 6:31 to play in the opening half, as Baraniuk and Martin found the twine just a minute apart from one another to make it 5-0 in favor of the Gators. Sedell answered with a pair of goals just 90 seconds apart to get Castleton on the board and back within striking distance, but Sage stretched the lead to 7-2 on Fisher and Martin's second goals of the day just 10 seconds apart before the half.
Baraniuk notched his second goal of the day less than three minutes after halftime, making it an 8-2 game in favor of the Gators. Castleton showed the same resiliency it has all season, as Clark and Pardew each buried passed from Lutinski on man-up chances to make it 8-4 heading into the fourth quarter of play.
Crowningshield finished a man-up chance of his own from Sedell just 16 seconds into the fourth, making it 8-5. After four minutes of scoreless action, Castleton struck again when Sedell completed the hat trick to make it 8-6 with 10:48 to go in the contest. With the clock winding down under five minutes, Sedell came through for the Spartans once more to pull Castleton within one goal, 8-7, but that was as close as it would get as the Gators ran down the clock to seal the contest.
The Spartans get back into Little East Conference play on Saturday at 6 p.m. when they travel to Salem State.