NORTH CANTON, OHIO – Jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the Lake Erie College men's lacrosse team clinched a winning season and won its school, single-season record eighth game of the year with a 16-7 East Coast Athletic Conference Division II Lacrosse League at Walsh University Saturday night.
The victory guarantees the Storm (8-2, 4-1 ECAC) a winning season for the first time in the program's four-year history. Lake Erie had finished 7-7 each of the last two seasons. The four conference wins also match the season totals for the Storm in both 2011 and 2012, the team's final two in the East Coast Conference.
Senior Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary) set an individual single-game record in the win, tallying nine points. He scored four goals and assisted on five others in becoming the first Storm player to total more than eight points in a game.
Junior Reagan Harding (Saskatoon, Sask./Bishop Jones Mahoney) scored two of Lake Erie's three first-quarter goals to take the early advantage before the Storm broke the game wide open with a nine-goal second. Bal assisted on three goals by junior Trevor Tarte (Amherstburg, Ont./Kiski Prep) and scored two of his own as the Storm built the aforementioned 10-0 lead with just over five minutes before halftime.
Mason Axline and Ben Stephens scored for the Cavaliers (2-5, 0-4 ECAC) to break the Storm run, but Bal and Tarte scored again in the final minute of the half to make it a 12-2 game at halftime.
Tarte led the offense with five goals and Harding had the two. The Storm outshot Walsh 49-20 in the game.
Lake Erie also dominated the face-off circle, winning 21-of-24. Senior Bill Desiderio (Lancaster, N.Y./Iroquois) was 20-3 on the night, helping set up plenty of scoring chances. Senior Matthew Curcio (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) picked up six of the Storm's 46 groundballs.
In net, freshman Tom Lipomi (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) allowed two first-half goals and made four saves while senior Alexander Wisner (Sylvania, Ohio/Sylvania Northview) made five saves in the second half.
Axline led Walsh with three goals while Stephens scored twice. Jeff Balzano and Jason Lockwood combined to make 17 saves in goal.
Lake Erie returns home to host top-ranked Mercyhurst University Tuesday night, April 16, at 6 p.m.