Sam Hornblower: 2017 LEC Defensive Player of the Year

Southern Maine Holds Off NVU-Lyndon 9-4

Sophomore Robby Pini (photo by Jason Johns).
Sophomore Robby Pini (photo by Jason Johns).
Huskies Open Little East Conference Play on Saturday at Eastern Conn.

            NEW HAMPTON, N.H. -- The University of Southern Maine Huskies jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, then held off the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Hornets to post a 9-4 victory over in a non-conference men's lacrosse game play Tuesday night at the New Hampton (N.H.) School.  The game was moved to the New Hampton School as the Hornets home field is not playable.

            The win snapped the Huskies' two-game losing skid and lifted their overall record to 3-2.  The Hornets, who snapped a three-game losing streak with their win over Thomas College last week, fall to 1-4 overall.

            Junior Tristan Dundas (Abbotsford, B.C.) led the Huskies' offense with three goals and two assists.  Senior captain Paul Leonardo (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) and rookie Nick James (Portland, Maine/Deering) each had two goals and an assist.  Sophomore Joe Cullinan (Contoocook, N.H.) added a goal and an assist.  Sophomore goalie Griffin Hanson (Dover, N.H.) earned his third win of the season making nine saves over 59 minutes.

            Sophomores Anthony Townsend (Pembroke, Mass.) and Taner Onor (East Montpelier, Vt./Union 32) each had two goals apiece for the Hornets.  Rookie goalie Aaron Florence (Mandeville, La,/Fontainebleau) recorded 16 saves in a losing effort.

            Southern Maine outshot NVU-Lyndon 51-26, and had a 28-21 edge in ground balls.  The Huskies defense, led by senior Sam Hornblower (Portland, Maine/Deering), forced the Hornets into 30 turnovers.

            Dundas sparked the Huskies' first-quarter outburst scoring two goals.  Dundas found the net just 46 seconds into the game, and added the Huskies' third goal with 4:59 to play.  Cullinan had USM's second goal, and Leonardo gave the Huskies a four-goal lead with 2:39 left in the quarter.

            Townsend scored twice in the second quarter to offset the Huskies lone goal by James.  Onor's first goal in the third period closed the gap to two (5-3).  James second goal of the game gave the visitors a 6-3 lead after three quarters.

            Onor tightened to game with his second marker early in the fourth quarter, but that would be the last NVY-Lyndon goal.  Leonardo, Dundas and sophomore Robby Pini (Natick, Mass.) scored inside the final seven minutes to secure the victory.

            Southern Maine begins Little East Conference play this Saturday (3 p.m.) traveling to Eastern Connecticut State University.  NVU-Lyndon hosts Husson University for a North Atlantic Conference game on Sunday (12 p.m.).  The game will be played at Norwich University