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March 22, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse falls on the road at Albany

(Robert Rigo/Collegian)

After a competitive first quarter, Albany outscored the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team 7-1 in the second quarter on the way to a 17-8 victory Wednesday.

UMass (0-4) exchanged goals with Albany (2-1) in the opening quarter, but the Great Danes seemed unstoppable in the second quarter, ending the frame with six unanswered goals.

“It seemed like we were ready to play,” Minutemen coach Greg Cannella said. “We played fairly well early in the game into the second quarter, then they went on a run and we weren’t able to stop the run. We weren’t able to win a faceoff, get a ground ball and we had a couple chances on offense to score the ball and stop the run, and we weren’t able to do it.”

UMass showed signs of life in the second half when junior Buddy Carr scored back-to-back goals for the Minutemen in the third quarter, the first time UMass had scored consecutive goals all game, but an Albany goal a minute later and a pair of goals to open the fourth put an end to any possibility of a comeback.

While Cannella acknowledged that the lack of momentum didn’t help, it wasn’t what cost the Minutemen.

“Of course [it hurt] but if you’re keeping pace it’s OK because the longer you’re in a game with a team like that, the tighter they’ll get. But they were able to stretch it, they were able to loosen up and play loose and play the way that they love playing,” Cannella said.

Redshirt senior Dan Muller and Carr led the UMass offense with two goals and six shots each, while redshirt sophomore Dom St. Laurent added a goal and an assist.

“Muller’s been very consistent throughout the year, so he did his thing in the midfield in terms of playing offense and defense, clearing the ball scoring goals,” Cannella said. “No one played great, if you asked those guys I’m sure they’ll tell you they could have played better.”

One of the lone bright spots for the Minutemen was the play of senior goalie D.J. Smith. It might seem odd that a goalie who allowed 17 goals played well, but the final score would have been even more lopsided if Smith did not make the 14 saves he did.

“D.J. was outstanding, he made saves on a barrage of opportunities,” Cannella said. “He was very good early, really good in the third and fourth quarter as well. The shots they took in the second quarter were just outstanding shots.”

The reason UMass lost by nine goals is because the goalie on the other end of the field, Albany’s J.D. Colarusso, played just as well, making 13 saves.

“We didn’t shoot particularly well early, similar to the Army game where we shot the ball at the goalie’s stick early,” Cannella said. “You do that with a goalie, you give him a little bit of confidence. He’s a good goalie and he made a couple good saves, particularly one on Buddy Carr one-on-one, but we’re still not a very good shooting team.”

Great Dane senior Bennett Drake scored early and often, earning a hat trick by the second quarter before adding two goals in the fourth quarter for a five-goal game. Juniors Justin Reh (four goals) and Connor Fields (three goals) also added hat tricks for Albany.

The Minutemen will look to earn their first win of the season when they travel to Yale on Tuesday for their fourth-straight road game.

Opening faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Jamie Cushman can be reached at jrcushman@umass.edu, and followed on Twitter @Jamie__Cushman.

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