Worcester, Mass. – In one of the most physical games in recent memory, it was Clark University senior Chris Johnson (Amherst, Mass.) who delivered the knockout blow, scoring two of his game-high three goals in the decisive fourth quarter of the Cougars' 8-2 Pilgrim League men's lacrosse win over Massachusetts-Maritime on Saturday morning.
With the win, Clark snaps its brief two-game losing streak and improves to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in league play, while the Buccaneers dip to 5-5.
The Cougars offensive explosion in the fourth quarter overshadowed a stellar performance in goal by Massachusetts-Maritime's Paul Painten (Walpole, Mass.). The sophomore netminder turned back 24 attempts as Clark continuously fired its 48 shots on the offensive end.
Johnson opened up the scoring less than a minute into the game when he recorded an unassisted marker.
Things stayed that way until the early portion of the second quarter when Jeffrey Wasson (Buckhorn, Ontario) made the score 2-0.
Massachusetts-Maritime stole the momentum when Dylan Freudenberg (Islip, N.Y.) snuck a shot past Cougar netminder Andrew DeVito (Glastonbury, Conn.) with 1:53 left in the half.
Wasson and Phil Winslow (Providence, R.I.) connected for the lone goal of the third period, upping the Clark advantage to 3-1. That goal ignited a stretch in which the Cougars scored six straight goals, including markers from Wasson, Keegan Callahan (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Nick Figliola (Weston, Conn.).
Kyle Scannell (Tierre Verde, Fla.) notched the Bucs final goal with 3:21 left, but they would get no closer the rest of the way.
Clark struggled on the extra-man, going 1-for-12, most in part to some incredible saves by Painten. Not to be outdone, DeVito turned back eight shots to earn the win for the Cougars.
In addition to Johnson, Clark got a goal and an assist from Figliola and Winslow and two goals and an assist from Wasson.
The Cougars will return to action on Wednesday when they step out of conference play with a road trip to Bowdoin College, while Massachusetts-Maritime travels to UMass-Dartmouth.