Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

Minutemen drop CAA opener to Nittany Lions on Saturday

With the No. 10 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team down, 8-7, to Penn State on Saturday afternoon at Garber Field, senior captain Ryan Hantverk sprinted down the field.

With the clock winding down, Hantverk rocketed the ball straight at the cage. The net rippled, the crowd cheered – and the ball banged off the crossbar, giving the Nittany Lions the victory.

“I knew I had to get a shot on goal, I put everything I had into it, [but] it just hit the crossbar,” said Hantverk.

“It nicked the top of the crossbar, that’s why it didn’t come straight out, so you’re looking at three inches,” said UMass coach Greg Cannella. “Overall I’ll say the same thing. [I’m] disappointed, [but] not discouraged. The guys gave a really strong effort. Just a little bit of the execution wasn’t there for us.”

The Minutemen (5-2, 0-1 CAA) fell to the Nittany Lions (3-3, 1-0 CAA) on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of their Colonial Athletic Association season. UMass faced a tough goalkeeper in Austin Kaut, who notched 25 saves, an NCAA record for the 2011 season so far.

“He had a great day,” said Cannella. “Twenty-five saves, that’s a heck of a day, that’s an All-American type of performance. He’s made a lot of saves in every game and he was excellent today.”

Although Kaut was a wall in the cage, the Minutemen did provide a heavy amount of offense against a lackluster PSU defense that surrendered possession on 22 occasions.

This included a 3-1 shelling in the third quarter, with goals coming from Anthony Biscardi, Kyle Smith and Colin Fleming.

While UMass displayed good offense throughout the entire game, including junior Art Kell’s five points, it was the first quarter that proved to be the difference. After letting in three goals in the first quarter, the Minutemen held the Nittany Lions to one goal for the next two quarters.

Despite letting up another trio of goals in the fourth, the Maroon and White continued to hound the ball on the defensive front. The Minutemen held PSU to 27 shots, 11 less than UMass’ total.

“You’ve got to give [Kaut] credit, but at the same time we need to get better at shooting and get our shooting percentage up,” said Hantverk. “It’s frustrating when you take more shots than a team and score less than them at the end of the game. We’re still a confident group, we still know we can play [and] we still know we’re good.”

Two players that did sneak past the Minutemen defense were Kyle Vanthorf and Tom LaCrosse, who netted four and two goals, respectively. They were aided by Shane Sturgis (one goal), who continued to make runs up the field throughout the entire contest.

For UMass, sophomore Will Manny worked around the Nittany Lions’ defense for two assists on the day, adding to his total, which puts him at No. 11 in the nation.

Anthony Biscardi also had an impressive performance, as he served as a momentum-changer late in the game. Down a goal, Biscardi nailed the Nittany Lions’ Ryan Link, which not only knocked him to the ground for a little while, but allowed momentum to shift, as Smith nailed his goal to knot the score at five going into the final quarter.

“Anytime you can make a big hit or a big play and change momentum … you need those in games like this,” said Cannella. “We didn’t respond to that [play] well enough. We didn’t use that energy coming off of that.”

In the fourth, PSU scored two straight and then traded back-and-forth goals with the Minutemen. The final goal for UMass came from Biscardi with 56 seconds remaining, after trailing 8-6. Despite a late run by Hantverk, the Nittany Lions held on to win the CAA opener.

A positive for the Minutemen came from Anthony Toresco, who substituted for Greg Rushing on faceoffs due to Rushing’s recent illness. Toresco aided the Minutemen in winning 12-of-18 faceoffs.

“Anthony had a nice day,” said Cannella. “We’re happy that he was able to come through, win draws and be confident. I think it’s a confidence thing for Anthony, so we’re happy for him [and] proud of him.”

The loss comes on the heels of a 14-6 drubbing of Providence last Tuesday, which included hat tricks from both Hantverk and Kell.

Tied 2-2 midway through the first, the Minutemen scored five of the next six goals to take a 7-3 lead which they never surrendered.

Moving forward, UMass heads on the road for its next three games against Harvard, Saint Joseph’s and Towson as conference play continues. Four of the seven CAA teams make the postseason, which begins on May 4.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

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