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NEC Semifinals: Hobart Cruises Past Sacred Heart, 15-9

A big first quarter helped the Statesmen get back to the NEC championship for the second straight season.

Hobart

Hobart used a 6-1 first quarter to take care of Sacred Heart on a cloudy day at Boswell Field, 15-9. Chris Aslanian had four goals and senior goaltender Jackson Brown made 14 saves.

The Statesmen got hot fast with a 6-1 first quarter and adding another goal in the second quarter to compile a 6-0 run after Sacred Heart tied the game up at one. Freshman Justin Scott scored both of his goals in the opening quarter and broke the team’s Division I record for goals scored by a first-year player, which was previously held by Daryl Veltman in 2005. Aslanian scored three of his four goals in the first half as well to jump start the Statesmen offense. On the other side of the field, Brown stopped 10 shots and looked like a brick wall.

“I thought our (defense) started out strong early, and that was the key,” Brown said. “Holding them to one goal in the first quarter really helped our confidence and they weren’t really snipping it until the end.”

But the offense made the biggest improvement from their first meeting back in March which head coach Greg Raymond said that was their turning point on the season. Hobart scored only seven goals in their overtime loss to the Pioneers and scored goal number seven with 12:46 left in the second quarter.

“I think our offense was playing great,” Aslanian said. “Our middies were drawing a lot of attention that gave me good approaches to dodge on, and I was shooting the ball a little bit better, shooting to spots.”

Hobart’s midfielders of Max Romm, Eric Holden, and Mark Darden each scored two goals in the win, which made it very tough for Sacred Heart to contain Hobart.

The Pioneer defense did limit Frank Brown to only a goal and two assists, as Aslanian said the Sacred Heart defense was coming to the NEC Player of the Year very early.

“I thought that on a couple day’s rest, our guys did a good job of executing, good job of, specifically offensively, keeping the ball away from (Ryan O’Donohue) who’s a turnover machine, and dodging very hard very well and moving the ball efficiently,” Raymond said.

Another big part has been the senior leadership, which includes Frank and Jackson Brown, along with Sean Donnelly. Having the experience of those seniors is big, especially winning the NEC championship last season in Philadelphia.

For Sacred Heart, Brian Masi had a hat-trick, while attackman Bryce Jurk and midfielder Julian Garritano each had two goals and two assists. Joe Saggese and Max Tuttle had a goal and an assist each, while starting goaltender Greg Price made nine saves with an injured Brooks Dutton.

Sacred Heart committed 18 turnovers in the game, with Hobart causing 12 of them. That’s compared to Sacred Heart causing four of Hobart’s 13 turnovers. Christopher Willman had three caused turnovers for the Statesmen, with Mason Burr and Sam Mueller causing two each.

Sacred Heart vs. Hobart Final Team Stats

Category Sacred Heart Hobart
Category Sacred Heart Hobart
Shots 39 55
Ground balls 31 38
Face-off Violations 0 1
Face-offs 14-27 13-27
Clears 16-20 23-27
Extra-man Opportunities 1-3 0-3
Saves 10 14
Turnovers 18 13