Brendan Hegarty continuing to contribute for UMass lacrosse

By Jason Kates

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)
(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

After appearing in just 10 games last season for the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team, Brendan Hegarty has burst into the starting lineup his sophomore year, starting in all nine games so far this season.

The Setauket, New York native has recorded 10 goals and three assists for the Minutemen, whose 13 points are fifth highest on the team.

“I think I’ve been contributing a good amount and helping the team to be successful,” Hegarty said. “I’ve gotten some opportunities this year and just try and make the most of them when I’m out on the field.”

Despite not getting much playing time his first year with the program, Hegarty acknowledged how much his recent production has helped him earn a spot in the starting lineup this year.

“Going from freshman to sophomore year, I think I was able to mature a little bit and become a better player,” he said. “Just contributing when I’m out there, and the production that the coaches see when I’m out there helps to get more time.”

In the offseason, Hegarty mentioned several areas of his game that he worked on in order to get better. Standing at 6-foot-1, 225-pounds, he knew he’d have to become more fit in order to adapt to an increase in playing time.

“The biggest thing for me was improving my shape, and getting into better shape for the season,” Hegarty said.

He also mentioned working on stick skills and being able to create more scoring chances for himself and his teammates.

Out of the 10 goals he has scored, seven came in a three-game span in which UMass fell to No. 12 Harvard, Brown and No. 16 Albany. Although he was able to put together a run of solid offensive production, Hegarty recognized that individual performances are always put on the backburner behind the team’s performance.

“You know, it always tough when you lose, it’s hard to look at individual performances and be happy when you lost the game,” he said. “But it definitely helps confidence-wise, knowing that you can get on the board and help the team in any way possible.”

With the production Hegarty has brought to the team on the offensive end, there has been some inconsistency, being held four games this season without a point. In a 9-7 win over Hofstra, he scored a hat trick that was crucial in getting the victory. It also broke a two-game streak without registering a goal or an assist.

“Not scoring can be frustrating, but at Hofstra I got some opportunities and I just made the most of them,” Hegarty said.

During the Minutemen’s recent 3-1 stretch, Hegarty recognized the improvements that his team has made in terms of offensive execution.

“It’s basically come down to our execution and preparation for each individual game,” he said. “Our preparation has been very good the past couple of weeks, and we’ve just been executing a lot better than we were during the first few games of the season.”

Getting experience is always key when trying to improve as a team, and Hegarty believes that the games early on have helped this team grow.

“When you’re playing good teams like that, coach always says, ‘embrace the challenges,’” Hegarty said. “We like playing those tough teams, it’s always a big challenge for us.

“And the experience part definitely helps, getting to play against some top players.”

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected] and followed @Jason_Kates.