On Saturday, March 29, the Pioneer Men’s Lacrosse team, the no. 9 ranked team of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (currently 5-2), squared off against the no. 15 ranked Griffins of Chest- nut Hill College (3-4). The East Coast Conference clash featured an epic comeback by the Pioneers, overcoming a four-goal deficit at halftime to win 10-9 on enemy turf.
It seemed to be the Griffins day early on, as they scored five un- answered goals in the second period. Senior attackman Michael Mel- nychenko, and sophomore attackman Michael Plaia combined for four of the nine goals for the Griffins, pushing their lead to 6-2 at the half.
The third period was a different story, as the Pioneers came out more aggressive, out-shooting their opponent by 10 points, which helped narrow the deficit to 7-5 heading into the last frame.
Post sophomore midfielder Anthony Berardis tied up the game at seven with two goals in the fourth period, giving him three for the match. The Pioneers took a two-goal lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game, giving them a 9-7 advantage. The Griffins, however, scored twice in the final minute of the game to tie it up at 9-9. With just over 30 seconds on the clock, sophomore attackman Matty Beccaris scored the go-ahead and eventual game winning goal for the Green and Gold.
Senior defenseman T.J. McAndrew caused three turnovers in the game, and also accounted for the assist on Beccaris’ game winning goal. The Pioneers won 11 of 21 faceoffs and converted on two of the five extra man opportunities as well.
Coach Jez and his squad are back in action on Wed. Apr. 2 when they travel to Merrimack College. Game time is set for 4 pm.