(Nashua, NH) Three games in to the season and it seems like the Rivier Raiders Men's Lacrosse team enjoys playing in the warm weather. Today they ran their record to 3 and 0 on the season with a 17 – 7 win over the Green Mountain College Eagles.
Rivier jumped out to a 1 – 0 lead just a minute into the game. Mike Arricale (freshmen, Billerica, MA), continued his scoring streak, with a sharp diagonal drive across the face of the goal before letting one fly to open up the scoring. However, the lead was short lived, with the Eagles quickly answering on a goal by Chris Milholland. Milholland took advantage of a defensive lapse and found space to knot the game up early on. Over the opening first six minutes of the 1st quarter the Raiders seemed to struggle to jump into gear, and aside from a nice individual effort by Ryan Woolaver (freshmen, Tewksbury, MA) at the 5:00 minute mark that was turned aside by a nice save from Ezra Ward, the Green Mountain goalkeeper, the Raiders were off to a slow start.
As the quarter moved on the Raiders found some consistency to their attack and took control. Jeff Kelly (sophomore, Westborough, MA) got the Raiders second goal, and that sparked the team. The Raiders quickly put two tough shots on net after that, with a good Danny Hooper (sophomore, Wakefield, RI) shot turned away by a good save from Ward. The Raiders kept the pressure up though, and Woolaver struck again with 4:43 left in the 1st on a nifty little stick move to open up space for him to release his shot. Woolaver's goal came off of a nice transition attack initiated by a solid one on one defensive play by Kevin Conley (junior, Nashua, NH) were he won the ball and initiated the counter. Cliff Aquino (freshmen, Waterbury, CT) kept the defensive beat late in the 1st quarter with a big hit on an attacking GMC player as he drove towards the goal. Green Mountain hung around, scoring a late goal by Toliver DiMasi, to cut the score to 3 - 2. Rivier answered right away with Arricale connecting 12 seconds leader to restore the Raiders two goal lead.
Oliver Osnoss opened the 2nd quarter with a strike for Green Mountain that cut the Raiders lead to 4 – 3. Rivier responded quickly with Woolaver adding his second of the day. The Woolaver strike was the first of 6 unanswered strikes for the Raiders in the 2nd quarter, with Tim Wall (freshmen, Peabody, MA), Hooper, Arricale, and another for Woolaver blowing the game open during the quarter. Hooper's goal capped of a nice, quick passing play from Arricale, with Hooper firing his low shot seemingly just as he received Arricale's pass. Woolaver's last goal of the quarter, with 1:20 left, capped off a great passing play which saw the Raiders whip the ball over 45 yards quickly to change the point of attack. Arricale found Shaun Donovan in stride who tossed it to Woolaver wide open on the backside where he walked in one on one and beat Green Mountain's Ward. The Raiders closed out the first half leading 10 to 3.
Any hopes of finding their way back into the game in the 3rd quarter for Green Mountain were put to sleep with Rivier connecting for 7 goals. The Raiders continued to carry the play and dominated the quarter with 6 unanswered goals to open up the 3rd, before Green Mountain notched another strike. Hooper, Woolaver, Dan Connelly (freshmen, Bedford, NH), and Carl Ghannad (senior, Salem, NH) contributed the goals to Rivier's attack as the Raiders built their lead to 17 – 4.
With the game clearly in hand, Rivier closed out the 4th quarter. Green Mountain added 3 goals against the run of play to cut the score to 17 – 7, but the game's outcome had already been determined. Chris Benoit (junior, Blackstone, MA) finished the game with 4 saves in net, two of them of the impressive variety.
The Raiders have built an impressive 3 – 0 start to the season under new Head Coach Jay DeLanoy. They return to action this Saturday at Raider Field versus Emerson College at 1:00 pm.