Seahawks rally to take season opener, 14-11

Carroll compiled five points in the win, contributing three goals and two assists
Carroll compiled five points in the win, contributing three goals and two assists

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – In his first collegiate game, freshman Beau Bennardo (Rumson, N.J.) scored a game-high four goals to help lead the Salve Regina University men's lacrosse team to a 14-11 victory over Salem State University during the Seahawks' season opener at Gaudet Field on Saturday afternoon. The Seahawks improve to 1-0 win the victory, while the Vikings fall to 0-2 on the young season.

Bennardo led all players with his four goals, putting six of his eight shots on net, while senior Brendan Carroll (Garden City, N.Y.) compiled five points on three goals and two assists. Sophomore Curtis McKeon (West Haven, Conn.) also had a strong game, leading all players with 14 ground balls while winning 20-of-27 faceoffs and earning three points on two goals and one assist. Sophomore Chad Hollenshade (Lutherville, Md.) chipped-in with four points on two goals and a pair of helpers, while junior Evan Simone (Dover, N.H.) made eight saves in net to earn the victory.

The Vikings were paced by senior Nate Arminio's (Reston, Va.) three goals, and senior Ryan Ostler's (Billerica, Mass.) game-high four assists. Freshman A.J. Robertson (Ipswich, Mass.), junior Ryan Gendreau (Danvers, Mass.), and freshman Matt Whited (Falmouth, Mass.) each scored a pair of goals for the visitors, while freshman Nick Romeo (Salem, Mass.) made 11 saves in a losing effort between the pipes.

The Vikings built a 2-0 advantage over the opening seven minutes of play, receiving goals from both Robertson and Armino.

The Seahawks battled back to tie the score at three-all by scoring three of the next four goals, including scores by Carroll, Bennardo, and freshman Bryan Walsh (North Andover, Mass.).

The Vikings struck once more before the end of the opening quarter, as junior Will DeRoo (Peabody, Mass.) set up sophomore Frank Lento (Salem, Mass.) to give Salem State a 4-3 edge heading into the second frame.

Both teams scored a pair of goals in the second quarter, highlighted by a man-down score by Carroll with just 32 seconds remaining on the clock to pull the Seahawks back within one heading into halftime.

The Seahawks came out strong in the third quarter, scoring three of the period's first four goals, including tallies by Carroll and McKeon just 24 seconds apart to grab their first lead of the game, 8-7.

The Vikings responded with a pair of goals, reclaiming the lead, 9-8, with just 35 seconds remaining in the third.

Making the most of the time remaining, Carroll set up McKeon for a beautiful low shot that found the back of the net to tie the score with just six seconds remaining in the quarter, sending the two teams into the final frame knotted at nine goals apiece.

Salve Regina opened-up the fourth quarter with three unanswered goals from three different players to take a 12-9 lead. Senior Kevin Murphy (Yorba Linda, Calif.) got the scoring started with an unassisted tally just 11 seconds into the quarter, and was immediately followed by Bennardo's fourth goal of the afternoon just eight seconds later. Hollenshade then scored what eventually held up as the game-winning goal on an unassisted marker with 10:22 left on the clock.

The Vikings battled back with a pair of goals, receiving one score each from Gendreau and Robertson to cut the Salve Regina lead down to 12-11 with just over eight minutes to play.

However, the Seahawks then iced the victory on goals by Bennardo and Hollenshade to take their season opener by the final score of 14-11.

The Vikings will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Curry at 6 p.m., while the Seahawks take to the field again on Wednesday, hosting Keene State at 4:30 p.m.