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March 22, 2017

Grant Whiteway has career day for UMass men’s lacrosse

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

To say Grant Whiteway had a good game is an understatement.

The attackman finished with a career-high seven goals and an assist as the No. 14 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team defeated Providence 16-11 on Tuesday at Garber Field.

“It feels good,” Whiteway said of his performance. “The offense was moving good today and I was on the receiving end of a lot of stuff. My teammates were finding me when I was open and everyone was moving off ball so it made it easy.”

Whiteway entered Tuesday’s game with just five goals on the season to go along with three assists. He was the Minutemen’s leading returning scorer this season after finishing his 2013 campaign with 26 goals.

Whiteway received a pass from Connor Mooney in front of the cage just two minutes, 27 seconds into the game. He snuck it past Friars goalkeeper Tyler Hines, who was pulled after the first quarter, and from that point forward the Minutemen never looked back.

“He seemed like he was ready to go,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said of Whiteway’s performance. “He’s been frustrated over the past few weeks, so it’s great to see a guy that works hard play well.”

Mooney was quick to talk about his teammate’s performance and was thrilled to see that all of Whiteway’s work was finally starting to pay off in games.

“It was great for (Whiteway) and we were all really pumped about it, especially since he was excited,” Mooney said. “He was putting his shots on goal – he was shooting the ball really well. Seven goals is fantastic. He puts in a lot of work in the offseason and in practice and it’s great to see that.”

Mooney finished with a hat trick of his own, totaling three goals on four shot attempts to go along with his four assists. Two of Mooney’s assists came on Whiteway goals. Arguably, Mooney’s biggest goal came with one second remaining in the first quarter when he beat the horn to give the Minutemen a four-goal lead.

Although both Mooney and Whiteway led the charge for UMass offensively, Cannella preached how important it was to get off to an early lead following the Minutemen’s 25-10 loss to Albany on Saturday.

“We were lucky we had a Tuesday game after Saturday, the massacre,” Cannella said. “Watching Grant (Whiteway) he looked like he was running around with a lot of energy. These Tuesday games are really hard, mentally and physically.”

Whiteway’s seventh goal stopped a streak of three consecutive goals for Providence, as Nick Mariano ran around from behind the cage and found an open Whiteway. Mariano, UMass’ leading scorer, finished without any goals and had only one assist, which came on the final goal from Whiteway.

“My teammates were just finding me when I was open,” Whiteway said. “Everyone was moving together off ball. If you look at it a lot of our goals came off of assists, that’s how you can tell you’re playing good offense.”

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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