Nashua, NH – Rivier University's Men's Lacrosse team improved to 2-0 (2-0, 0-0 GNAC) on the season with a tight 5 – 4 victory over the visiting Lions of Emerson College (0-1, 0-0 NEWMAC). The contest was close throughout with the host Raiders taking a 1-0 lead after the first quarter before Emerson pulled even in the second to send the teams into the half tied at 1 apiece. The teams traded goals in the third quarter with Emerson pulling ahead 3-1 with a pair of strikes before the Raiders closed out the quarter with two goals of their own sparked by sophomore Kyle Graham (Londonderry, NH) with a goal and an assist to knot the score at 3-3 heading to the final quarter. Sean Given (Londonderry, NH) took up the reins with a pair of strikes to put the home team up 5-3. Emerson would close out the scoring with an answering tally, but the Raiders were able to close out the victory.
Tom Johnson (FR, Londonderry, NH) opened up the scoring for the Raiders with a strike 4:23 into the opening quarter on an assist from Graham. Emerson tied it on a man-up goal from Calvin Bussiere (Colchester, VT) with an assist from Eric Colleran (Fairfield, CT). The visitors took a 2-1 lead early in the second half on a tally from Nicholas Kitsos (Summit, NJ) with an unassisted drive and shot. Emerson pushed to a 3-1 lead on another goal from Bussiere assisted by Dan Auerbach. Kyle Graham and Tom Johnson (Londonderry, NH) answered the bell for the home side to knot the score back up at 3-3. On the 3-2 strike Johnson fed a nice short pass to Graham in the slot and he wasted no time in getting off a quick sharp shot that eluded Emerson goalie Zoe Fisk. Just under 6 minutes later, with 1:55 to play in the third, it was Graham returning the favor. Graham fed Johnson high in the slot in space. Johnson was able to step into his shot ripping a blast into the top corner and pulling the Raiders even. Johnson's shot actually tore through the netting in the top corner and play was briefly held up while the referees mended the hole. That set the stage for a tied contest heading to the fourth quarter.
The Raiders added a man-up tally 1:25 into the fourth on a goal from freshman Sean Given (Londonderry, NH). Given took a nice feed from Kevin Dembkoski (SO, Salem, NH) working behind the left of the Emerson goal. Dembkoski fed Given low and wide left of the slot and Given fired true to his mark to find the net. Under a minute later sophomore goalie Clark Plummer (Londonderry, NH) turned in a big save for the Raiders denying a tough Emerson chance to keep the one goal cushion. Given struck again at the 9:19 mark for the home side with an assist from Ryan Woolaver (JR, Tewksbury, MA). The goal pushed the Raiders ahead 5-3. Colleran was back for the visitors at the 10:04 mark with a nice individual effort in the slot. The attacker picked up a ground ball in the slot on a blocked shot and fired a quick low shot to tighten the game up at 5-4. Plummer made a big stop on Benjamin Byrd (Richardson, TX) with 3:01 to play. Byrd rolled from behind the left side of the net and fired a high shot to the top corner that Plummer blocked. Auerbach tested Plummer again with an athletic power move as he jumped from behind the cage and fired in midair but the Raider goalie denied the chance. Plummer finished with 11 saves for the Raiders.
The Raiders move their 2014 season mark to 2-0. They take the field again this Saturday the 8th away at Nichols in a 2:00 pm contest. Emerson next contest is March 12th versus Mt. St Vincent College.