New Haven, Conn. – Juniors Justin Bennet (Fairfield, Conn.) and Greg Buck (Berlin, Conn.) combined to score 11 goals and dish out four assists to lead the Albertus Magnus College men's lacrosse team past visiting Wheelock, 20-7, in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Celentano Field.
The Falcons were dominant in the face-off circle, winning 24-of-31 en route to their first victory of the season, while the Wildcats dropped to 2-3 on the year with their third road setback of the spring.
Bennet was stellar for the hosts, winning 23 face-offs, scoring a game-high six goals and grabbing a career-high 19 ground balls. Buck was a force on the offensive end for Albertus Magnus, scoring five goals and dishing out three assists, while sophomore Brennan Moore (Meriden, Conn.) added four markers and a trio of helpers for AMC in the triumph. Sophomore Paul Mirmina (Milford, Conn.) also added four tallies for the hosts.
Wheelock had a balanced offensive attack with freshman Keenan Brown, classmate Brendan Nardone and junior Eddie Romero accounting for all seven of the team's scores. Brown potted three goals, while Nardone and Romero netted two apiece.
Over the first five minutes of play, Albertus Magnus jumped out to a 5-0 lead. During the spurt, Buck scored three times and Mirmina gave the squad a 5-0 lead with his first of the day. With 6:04 left in the first quarter, Wheelock got on the board to cut the deficit to four at 5-1. The Falcons answered the Wildcat strike with a goal from Bennet to build back a five-point edge. The visitors ended the opening stanza with two unanswered goals to trail by three at 6-3 after 15 minutes.
The Falcons scored four of the five goals in the second quarter to take a 10-4 edge into halftime. AMC began the frame on a four-goal run capped by a Buck goal before Romero closed the scoring in the opening half.
In the second half AMC pulled away, using a pair of four goal runs to earn their first win of the spring.
Between the pipes, sophomore netminder Jack Kerner (Merrick, N.Y.) made 13 saves in over 55 minutes of action to record the victory for Albertus Magnus. AMC Freshman John Brunetti (West Haven, Conn.) did not face a shot in relief of Kerner over the final four and a half minutes of play. On the opposite side, freshman Noah Horning turned aside 13 shots in a losing effort for the Wildcats.
Albertus Magnus scooped 56 ground balls compared to 39 for the guests and outshot Wheelock, 39-30.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, March 19, with a road non-conference clash against Daniel Webster at 1:00 pm. The Falcons are looking for their second straight win versus the Eagles, after topping Daniel Webster, 26-12, at home during the 2014 season.