UMass falls in final seconds to Hofstra

By Melissa Turtinen, Collegian Staff

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James Weliver / Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team dominated the first half of Saturday afternoon’s game against Hofstra, but the team struggled during the second half on both ends of the field.

‘It was a very exciting game obviously, a tale of two halves,’ UMass coach Greg Canella said. ‘The first half we played very well on the offensive end and the defensive end. We struggled both ways in the second half, particularly on the offensive end where we didn’t do a good job of handling the ball and making good decisions on the ball in the second half.’

UMass led Hofstra the entire game, but with four seconds remaining and the score tied at 10 apiece, the Pride notched their 11th goal, giving them their first lead of the game, and the 11-10 win.

Hofstra had been controlling the ball for the last minute of the game in UMass’ defensive end when Jay Card scored the game-winning goal.

‘They were going for sort of a last shot, they were holding the ball and holding the ball waiting for the last shot and we were hoping we could come up with a stop, make a save and go into overtime,’ Canella said. ‘I think they were out of an invert set and they moved the ball a couple times and made a great play, Card is an excellent player. He got real low to the ground and we had somebody sliding to him, but he got under us and as he was falling down he made the shot. Pretty unbelievable individual play there.’

UMass started the game off strong, netting two goals in the first six minutes of the game. The Minutemen led the first quarter 3-2, but by halftime UMass had a 7-3 lead over the Pride.

The end of the first half was exciting; three goals were scored in 23 seconds. The Minutemen’s fifth goal of the game came with 2:24 left in the half when Ryan Hantverk bounced the ball past Danny Orlando (five saves). Joe Reale won the faceoff, and sprinted down the field to score UMass’ sixth goal just eight seconds later. But the Pride didn’t let the two quick goals get the best of them; Stephen DeNapoli tallied a goal for the Pride 15 seconds later.

Hofstra dominated the start of the second half, scoring the only two goals in the third quarter and two more at the start of the fourth. The four unanswered goals tied the game at seven apiece ‘- Hofstra’s first tie of the game.

UMass took the lead again with 11 minutes remaining with a goal from Joe Reale, but less than two minutes later Hofstra tied it at eight. UMass saw two more goals from Even Blum and Rory Pedrick to take the lead again, 10-8.

With 2:44 remaining in the game, Hofstra’s Michael Colleluori netted the Pride’s ninth goal, and at 1:12 and 0:04 Jay Card scored the game-tying and game-winning goals.

The Minutemen (1-1) saw goals from seven players, including two-goal games by Blum, Pedrick and Reale.The Minutemen were hoping to finish better on Saturday than they had the week before against Sacred Heart (15-6 win). The Minutemen took 31 shots and scored 10 goals ‘- scoring on 33 percent of their shots, an improvement from the week before.

‘We had 21 shots in the first half and 10 shots in the second half. If you can’t generate shots you aren’t going to score goals and we weren’t able to do that in the second half,’ Canella said.

Game notes

The loss to Hofstra was the first loss for UMass when scoring 10 or more goals since 2004, the Minutemen were 29-0 previously in scoring 10 or more ‘hellip; UMass’ goalkeeper Doc Schneider made eight saves in the loss ‘hellip; Minutemen were outshot 31-56, they had 23 groundballs compared to Hofstra’s 32 and they were slightly above 50 percent on faceoffs going 12-for-23.

Melissa Turtinen can be reached at [email protected]