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Spartans silence Monks, head to NAC semifinals

The Castleton men’s lacrosse team hosted St. Joseph’s College for the quarterfinal round of the North Atlantic Conference tournament on April 25. The Monks drew first blood about five minutes into the contest, but from that point on, the Spartans took control of the game, advancing to the NAC semifinal game with a 22-8 victory.Jeremy Peyton led all scorers with three goals and two assists, matching his previous five-point performance against St. Joseph’s.

“We kinda talked at half, and we were a little upset with how things were. We were trying to force things. I think halftime gave us a chance to relax,” Peyton said about the boost in tempo at the start of the second half.

Once the third quarter started, Castleton sat in the driver seat as 10 different players reached the scoring column.
The Spartans went on an 8-0 scoring run as sophomore Craig MacDerment won an outstanding 87 percent of face-offs taken.

The defensive play of senior defenders Patrick Duffy and Jason Jakimer was solid once the Spartans’ transition game was being executed. Jakimer provided an offensive surge to the transition play after picking up two ground balls with his long pole, and outrunning St. Joseph’s midfield on both possessions.

“It’s going to get intense,” said senior attack Phil Barry about the remainder of the NAC tournament being hosted by Castleton. “We’re up for it though; we’re definitely ready for it. We gotta finish them [Ida] off and win our first NAC title.”

Junior attack Korey Counos also finished the game with a hat trick and assisted on one goal. Junior midfielders Mike Martinez and Kirk Bolduc scored hat tricks of their own in the win. Barry scored two goals and assisted on one goal, senior attackman Ryan Bartlett scored two goals, as did sophomore attack Mike DelDotto.

Castleton will host the NAC semifinal round against in-state rival Johnson State College. The Spartans escaped the previous game against Johnson with an 11-9 win, the closest contest between the schools in NAC play since a 2004 matchup that ended in a 12-11 Spartan win.

“That game was just a fluke; we’re really so much better than them,” said goalie Mike Mamunes.