Connecticut College 9, #18 Wesleyan 3 Bleistein Stops 15 Shots as Camels Ground Cardinals in New London

Connecticut College 9, #18 Wesleyan 3 Bleistein Stops 15 Shots as Camels Ground Cardinals in New London

NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior  net-minder Bobby Bleistein (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) corralled nine of his 15 saves in the second half to lead the Connecticut College men's lacrosse team to a 9-3 victory against Wesleyan University in the regular season finale for both teams. 

The Camels closed out their season at 4-11 with 2-9 mark in conference play while the 18th ranked Cardinals fell to 9-6 with a 6-4 record in the NESCAC.

The Cardinals will play in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match up this Saturday at 1 p.m. against an opponent and site to be announced.

Sophomores Ross Thompson (Carmel, N.Y.) and John Cunningham (Cheshire, Conn.) both had two goals and an assist to pace the Camels on offense. Thompson caps off his sophomore season with 21 goals, 20 helpers and 41 points.  Max King (Amesbury, Mass.) scored twice.

Rookie specialist Ben Parens (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) won 8-of-16 face-offs and added one goal and seven ground balls. He wrapped upped an impressive freshman season with 110 ground balls. 

Sophomore defender Cormack Mulshine (Simsbury, Conn.) chipped in with four ground balls and a caused turnover for the victors.

Rookie attackman Harry Stanton (New Canaan, Conn.) provided a silver lining in the loss for the Cardinals, finishing with one goal, one assist and one ground ball. Stanton has accounted for 27 goals and 15 assists in his nascent career to rank second on the Cardinals with 42 points. Senior Nate Ryan (Fairfield, Conn.) and Niall Devaney (North Falmouth, Mass.) contributed with single markers for Head Coach John Raba's squad.

Junior Jared Jacobs (Malvern, Pa.) won 6-of-14 battles at the X and had five ground balls while sophomore Jason Gibson (Ridgewood, N.J.) was a perfect 2-for-2 on face-offs.  Junior Lyle Mitchell (Weston, Conn.) added four ground balls in the loss.

Senior net-minder Justin Schick (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) made six saves in the setback.

The Camels opened the scoring 2:07 into regulation when Penn Sednaoui (Bedford, N.Y.) made a nice feed from behind the cage to Thompson out in front who rifled one past Schick to make it a 1-0 game. With 10:40 left in first, Schick made a nice stop on Sednaoui from point blank range to keep the Camels off the board. But Max Luing (Ridgewood, N.J.) made a nice pass across the box to King who found the back of the net to make it a 2-0 game.

Bleistein set the stage for the Camels' third goal when he denied Jackson Arnold's (Greenwood Village, Colo.) scoring bid with 6:25 to go. Freshman AJ Vazquez (Bedford, Mass.) collected the ground ball and took full advantage of the unsettled situation, going end-to-end for the shot and score. With 1:52 left in the first, King unloaded with a submarine style shot to put the Camels on top 4-0. Just before the horn, Bleistein made another clutch stop, denying the Cardinals' leading scorer Matt Prezioso (Southington, Conn.) and the Camels had a 4-0 lead after one. Devaney finally got the Cards on the board 52 seconds into the second quarter with his 14th goal of the season. Then, with 6:53 left in the half, Arnold made a nice pass from the top of the box to Stanton, who one-timed one past Bleistein to trim the Camel lead to 4-2.

Neither side could find the back of the net in the third. At the start of the fourth quarter Bleistein made another huge stop on Arnold with 13:20 to go to protect the hosts two goal advantage. A cross-checking penalty set the stage for a man-up goal at the 12:10 mark, when Thompson fed Cunningham for a shot from just outside the crease to make it a 5-2 game.

Wesleyan answered less than a minute later when Ryan was able to execute with a nice spin move to escape a pair of Camel defenders. But on the ensuing face-off, the Camels regained their three goal edge when Parens won his face-off, collected the ground ball and sprinted all the way to the cage for his sixth goal of the year to make it a 6-3 game.

The Camels added on three more insurance goals to close out the 9-3 win.

Wesleyan held a 37-34 advantage in shots but the Camels were 2-for-3 with the man-advantage. Ground balls were even at 24 aside.