Saturday afternoon was the Kyle Smith show at Garber Field as the No. 13 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team finished its preseason exhibition schedule with a come-from-behind, 14-7 win against Siena.
The senior attacker tallied five goals, four of which came in the first half. His fourth goal put the Minutemen ahead for good late in the second quarter.
Assisting on three of Smith’s goals was fellow senior Will Manny, a 2012 Tewaaraton Award – which is given to the national player of the year – finalist. Manny also added two goals of his own.
The duo struck for UMass’ first goal of the game with 7:49 left in the first quarter when Manny found a cutting Smith in front of the net. Smith then finished from point-blank range to beat Saints goalie Matt Sharp.
They weren’t done there, however, as Manny found Smith again with 6.5 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the game at 3-3.
The two connected two more times in the second quarter. First, Manny assisted Smith to tie the game at 5-5. Then, Smith returned the favor and assisted a Manny goal after Siena scored again to tie the game at 6-6.
Shortly after Smith’s fourth goal, which Grant Whiteway assisted, Connor Mooney scored the effective game-winning goal with only 0.3 seconds left in the first half, giving UMass an 8-6 lead at the break.
The Minutemen carried that momentum into a dominating second half, allowing just one goal and clamping down defensively.
A big reason for the dominating defensive performance was the play of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Zachary Oliveri. He had his fair share of struggles early on as the Saints got out to a 5-3 lead in the second quarter, but he only allowed two more shots past him in the second and third quarter combined.
Junior goalkeeper Reed Goodhue replaced him in the fourth quarter and prevented Siena from getting on the scoreboard the entire quarter. The two of them are competing for the starting minutes in goal as the regular season begins this week.
Other Minutemen who contributed offensively included Matt Whippen, Whiteway, Colin Fleming, Robert Orazietti and K.R. Jurgelevich.
Whippen scored UMass’ second goal late in the first quarter with the help of Jurgelevich, who assisted the goal. Whiteway then scored in the second quarter. The rest of the scoring in the first half belonged to Smith, Manny and Mooney.
Fleming also stepped up big in the second half. The senior scored twice early in the third quarter, including a twirling goal that crept in top-shelf to put the Minutemen up 11-7 at the time.
Orazietti and Jurgelevich scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter for either team.
UMass returns to Garber Field Saturday to begin its regular season against Army at noon.
Cameron McDonough can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Cam_McDonough.