COLCHESTER, Vt. - Junior Pete Donnally (Madison N.J./Morristown-Beard School) fired in four goals to help the fourth-seeded and nationally-ranked Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team claim an 8-4 triumph over No. 5 Saint Anselm College in a Northeast-10 Conference Tournament first round match-up on Tuesday at Duffy Field. The victory was the school-record 11th this season for the Purple and Gold.
The Purple Knights, who are ranked ninth according to the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, improved to 11-4 after extending their winning streak to five games. Saint Michael's advances to its second consecutive NE-10 Tournament semifinal - and fifth in seven seasons - and travels to top-seeded Le Moyne College for a 2 p.m. contest on Friday. The Dolphins are also ranked second nationally. The Hawks, who were one of only four squads to defeat the Purple Knights this year, finish the season with an 8-7 mark.
Donnally became just the third player in program history to record 40 goals in a single season and currently sits fourth in career goals (94). Senior Max Zuccarini (Medfield, Mass./Medfield/Quinnipiac) tallied two markers and added an assist for the Purple Knights, while sophomores Evan Antolino (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) and Tim McDonald (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) each scored a goal. Junior Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) dished out two assists, while senior Peter Hanson (Andover, Mass./Andover) and junior Neil Kelly (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) each scooped up five ground balls and caused four turnovers. Senior Tyler Violette (Amherst, N.H./Proctor Academy) had four ground balls and three caused turnovers, freshman Matt Casella (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) was 5-of-9 on face-offs, and sophomore Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) made 12 saves.
Senior Alex Vinciguerra (Canton, Mass./Canton) netted a hat trick for the Hawks, while junior Jonathon O'Reilly (Plano, Texas/Plano West) stopped 11shots.
The Purple Knights took a 2-0 lead by the 12:02 mark of the first quarter, when McDonald and Zuccarini tallied 19 seconds apart, with Vanzo collecting an assist on both goals. Donnally tallied his first of the contest at 3:58 before the Hawks countered 46 seconds later to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Vinciguerra made it 3-2 at 12:22 of the second quarter, but Donnally's strike at 9:53 gave the Purple Knights a two-goal cushion once again. Vinciguerra found the back of the net just over one minute later at 8:40, but Antolino responded with the eventual game-winner 1:13 later to give Saint Michael's a 5-3 edge after the first half.
Zuccarini extended the lead to three goals at 5:54 of the third quarter before Donnally notched his third marker with just 38 seconds remaining in the quarter for a 7-3 lead. Donnally scored his league-high-tying 41st goal of the season on a man-up opportunity to give the Purple Knights an 8-3 lead at 8:27 of the fourth before Vinciguerra completed his hat trick with 6:33 remaining in the contest.