UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Harvard in overtime

By Philip Sanzo

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(Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team entered the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game with a 9-6 lead. However, Harvard slowly crawled its way back over the next 15 minutes and finished it off with a 10-9 win in overtime.

UMass (1-2) had played exceptional lacrosse at many spots throughout the game, however it allowed the Crimson (3-0) back in when it mattered most.

Just 10 seconds into the overtime period, Harvard attacker Devin Dwyer scored the game-winner after it had won the opening faceoff.

The Crimson finished the game on a 4-0 run and scored six of the final seven goals, three of which came off the stick of Dwyer.

“Harvard made one more play than us and we tell our guys that we played hard,” Minutemen coach Greg Cannella said. “We aren’t disappointed in the effort, we are not disappointed in most execution and Harvard is a good team and they beat us fair and square.”

UMass found most of its success in the second quarter. Coming off a sloppy start in the first, which saw the Minutemen take only six shots and behind 3-1, they stepped it up in the second going on a 5-0 run with goals from Brendan Hegarty, two from Buddy Carr, Kevin Porzelt and Isaac Paparo to take a 6-3 lead into halftime.

Carr, one of UMass’ best players on the day, after scoring three goals last week against Ohio State, had another hat trick Saturday with two of his three goals came in the second quarter.

His three-goal performance against the Crimson brings his season total up to seven, which leads the team and is already one more than he had all of last season (six).

“It feels good, you know it is a nice feeling,” Carr said. “I need to credit my teammates there, they set me up a couple of times today. It was a good all-around team effort but we couldn’t come out with a W.”

Harvard’s offensive trio of Dwyer, Joe Lang and Morgan Cheek had a big impact not only in the production as the three combined for eight of its 10 goals, but the overall tempo of the game.

Cheek also added five assists on the day including the one on Dwyer’s game-winning goal in overtime.

“Good group, and (Joe Lang) and (Cheek) are sophomores too so it will be a handful the next two years,” Cannella said. “But yeah, good athletes, great with the ball in their stick, obviously Cheek dishing out those assists was real important for him.”

Much like the defense, Harvard’s offense did not throw anything at the Minutemen that they weren’t prepared for.

Senior defenseman Kyle Karaska said that everything they saw in the game they had already seen on film. The difference, according to Karaska, is that the Crimson just played harder.

“I think we got a little bit more complacent towards the end defensively and sat back with that lead and almost got a little too stagnant with it,” Karaska said. “It is something to learn from, something moving forward to that we will make sure to pay attention to so that it never happens again.”

A lack of production isn’t what doomed UMass however as the Minutemen had six different players score.

“I think that all of our attackmen scored today. We had a couple of opportunities,” Cannella said. “I thought that last shot was going to go at the end; an awesome job of composure by our guys at the end of the game to get a shot off.”

The Crimson’s defense did not give UMass many good looks but Carr did not see that as the reason for its failure on offense in the fourth quarter, as the Minutemen only registered five shots.

“They did play good D, they were flying around,” Carr said. “Sometimes we didn’t take the shots we could have and other times we just didn’t pull the trigger for some reason.”

UMass won’t have a lot of time to reflect on the loss. On Tuesday, it will host Hartford at 3:00 p.m. at Garber Field. The Hawks dominated the Minutemen last season, beating them 15-8 in Hartford. They currently sit at 1-1 on the season.

“There can’t be a slump of energy we need to carry this energy over just like we came off a win,” Karaska said. “We have to have the guys confident and ready to go on Tuesday.”

Philip Sanzo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.