SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Top-seeded Western New England College defeated sixth-seeded Plymouth State University Sunday afternoon, 21-7, to win its second straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Championship.
Senior CJ Annunciata (Waltham, Mass.) led a balanced WNEC scoring attack with four goals and two assists to earn the Tournament Most Valuable Player Award.
Plymouth State advanced to the championship game with one-goal upset victories over third-seeded Lasell (9-8) and second-seeded Eastern Connecticut (13-12 in overtime). The Panthers started strong against the Golden Bears taking an early 2-0 lead on goals by sophomore Nick Pearson (Peterborough, N.H.) and junior Jon Gagnon (New Bedford, Mass.) almost six minutes into the game.
WNEC broke the contest open with 14 unanswered goals, including nine in the second quarter for a 10-2 lead. The Golden Bears’ defense held the Panthers scoreless for 30 minutes, 52 seconds at one point in the game.
Sophomore Adam Cherry (Westfield, Mass.) added four goals and an assist while senior Patrick Matthews (Middle Island, N.Y.) had two goals and three assists. Sophomore Jason Whitehouse (Gilmanton, N.H.) contributed four goals while freshman Brody Savoie (Wilbraham, Mass.) chipped-in with two goals and an assist.
Gagnon and junior Bobby Dabrieo (Woburn, Mass.) each scored twice for PSU while Pearson finished with a goal and assist. Senior Steve Skinner (Hingham, Mass.) and freshman John Cogswell (Jefferson, Mass.) scored once each, and junior John Padua (Hamden, Conn.) recorded two assists.
Western New England College ends its season with a 14-6 record that ties the school record for wins established by last year’s ECAC championship squad that posted a 14-7 mark.
Plymouth State winds up with a 9-8 record, after finishing 6-7 last year. The nine wins for PSU this spring represents the most victories in a season since the 2000 team finished 10-6. The wins over Lasell and ECSU are also Plymouth State’s first victories in four career ECAC post-season appearances.
(Courtesy of WNEC Sports Information)
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