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Russo Leads Endicott to 18-5 Victory Over Salve Regina



The Endicott Gulls defeated the Salve Regina Seahawks on Saturday, with a resounding 18-5 win. It was a monsoon at Gaudet Field at the start of the contest, with heavy rain and whipping winds, adding a visible challenge for both teams, with them having some trouble getting ground balls and maintaining possessions. Pregame, Endicott’s Head Coach Eric Hagarty spoke on his team’s chemistry and facing the elements.



“I think you come to find out that talent plays a little bit of a role, but it’s really the chemistry and the culture that you identify at this point in the season that sets you apart. This group of guys has been about the right stuff since day one, you play in elements against certain teams and that ends up being the distinguishing factor beyond any talent,” said Hagarty.



On the other side, Seahawks Head Coach Patrick Cooney spoke on the strengths he’s seen from his team so far and facing Endicott.



“We’ve got a nice group of seniors, fourteen total including our manager, so we have a lot of experienced seniors out there. We like our depth this year overall, we have some nice newcomers as well, Will Kein in goal has been tremendous as a freshman, Justin Haverly on the faceoff has been awesome as a sophomore, it’s a nice group of experience and new, young talent. We’re excited to play a great team like Endicott, they’re the standard bearer for the CCC along with Western New England and a few others, so we’re hoping for a good game despite the weather today,” said Cooney.




It was a stalemate at the beginning of the game, with the first five minutes being scoreless, until Endicott’s shining star and senior attack Domenic Russo broke the silence and started an Endicott scoring spree. Two minutes after Russo’s goal, junior attack Nick Pagluiso netted a goal of his own, he was assisted by senior midfielder Max Kesicki, who stands with Russo as one of the Gulls' top scorers. Russo would strike again with two more goals to give himself a hat trick to end the quarter, bringing the score to 4-0.



The Seahawks defense would improve slightly, not allowing a second quarter goal until there was nine minutes on the clock. The first goal of the second quarter was scored by Endicott’s senior midfielder Nate Cuttitta, and about four minutes later, the Gulls would score again thanks to graduate midfielder Jack Damon. The Gulls' offense appeared to be unstoppable with another goal just over a minute later from sophomore attack Cam Fernandez, making the score 7-0.





Even though the Gulls’ offense was obviously on fire, it was also their defense that aided them in their dominance over the Seahawks. The Gulls’ defense was doing an excellent job at edging Salve’s offense out of scoring position as well as being proactive and aggressive. A big thanks to Endicott’s defensive stand was owed to their senior goalie Tim Luciano, coming into the game with 102 saves, he was the equivalent to a brick wall.



Inside the final two minutes of the half, Salve would finally get one past Luciano, bringing the deficit to six. The first Seahawks goal came from freshman midfielder Casey Johnson in the form of a nice tik tak goal with help from junior defenseman Jack Naglieri. The Seahawks would carry this positive offensive energy with them into the second half, with a goal from sophomore midfielder Thomas Skolnick less than two minutes into the new half.




Endicott would be quick to answer with a score from sophomore midfielder/ faceoff specialist Thomas Barker seconds after Skolnick’s goal. The Seahawks would clap back by getting one of their top scorers involved, senior attack Ryan Reilly. Reilly’s goal would bring the score to 8-3. Before the game, Coach Cooney spoke on Reilly as well as the overall offense for Salve.



"We do have some guys that score, like Ryan Reilly, the Captain, number eleven, but we also have a nice distribution of points across the board which is nice, and we've been trying get the defense involved, whether it's the short-sticked d-middies, or even the long poles coming down," said Cooney.



After some back and forth, Pagluiso would get his second, widening the gap once again. After a flag on the Seahawks, the Gulls would go on another scoring spree, with goals from Russo, freshman attack Nick Graap, Russo again, and Damon with his second. All of a sudden, the Gulls were running away with it, with a 13-3 lead heading into the final quarter.



The fourth quarter would be more of the same, with Endicott scoring at will. Russo would net three more goals in the quarter, bringing his goal count to seven on the game, having an absolute day and proving that he can score in multiple ways. Coach Hagarty touched on Russo when mentioning the key players and leaders of the team.




“Having those consistent pieces like Pagluiso and Russo, they’re very consistent, like steady eddies, and I’ve always felt that offense is like a dance, you gotta get six guys on the same page, and it’s nice having great leadership on that end, it allows everyone to shine but at the same time to keep it organized,” said Hagarty.



Graap and Kesicki would each pick up a goal to put the game out of reach. On the other hand, Salve went down swinging, with two fourth quarter goals, one from standout junior attack Liam Cooney and the other from senior midfielder Max Van Winkle. Although Salve was outplayed by Endicott, there is something to be said about how they kept their heart and did not hang their heads, they continued to press the issue and be resilient despite the deficit.



The final score would be 18-5, Endicott, continuing their historic streak of beating Salve. Coming off an impressive win, Endicott will go back home to face Montclair State on Wednesday, as for Salve, they will look to get back into the win column against Gordon College at Gaudet Field on Tuesday, with their current overall record still positive, at 5-4.




Make sure to check out fansonlysportz.com for your local sports updates! - WD

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