Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s lacrosse tops No. 11 Ohio State, not looking too far ahead

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(Sam Anderson/Daily Collegian)

Last weekend’s loss to Army in the season opener looked all too familiar to the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team. In 2015 it began the same way and went on to lose the next four games, starting their year off at 0-5.

Well, any notion that the Minutemen (1-1) would repeat that infamous start was quickly put to rest when they defeated No. 11 Ohio State 16-9 at Garber field for the home opener Saturday afternoon.

Buddy Carr (four goals), Gianni Bianchin (three) and Peter Lindley (three) all picked up hat tricks for the Minutemen (1-1); the hat trick of hat tricks if you will.

Bianchin scored the first of his three goals 17 seconds into the game, setting the tone for the remaining 59 minutes .

“It gave me a boost but I felt like it gave the team a boost,” Bianchin said. “We also emphasize on scoring first and how that would affect the game because after that, the whole team was pumped after.

The first quarter ended with the Buckeyes (2-1) leading 4-2, but following that UMass took control of the score and overall momentum. A 4-0 run to start the second quarter gave the Minutemen a 6-4 lead. Bianchin contributed three of the six goals, as the junior attacker completed the hat trick 2:03 into the second quarter.

Even though OSU continued to tied the game at six thanks to an Eric Fannell goal with 3:20 remaining in the half, UMass went into the locker room with the lead after Dan Muller put one home with :02 remaining.

The Minutemen outscored the Buckeyes 9-3 in the second half and dominated in all phases of the game.

“I think we were just clicking you know, even last week we only had 16 shots total and this week had 16 goals,” Carr said. “So we were just clicking on all cylinders we were just flying around, we got second chance opportunities of the ground and it was just fun to play we all had a blast.”

UMass led OSU in shots (37-24) and ground balls (38-24) and put on tremendous pressure that forced the Buckeyes to commit multiple turnovers.

“I think today we dominated the faceoff, (behind the cage) and (ground balls), and just flew around today and that’s what we want to do,” Carr said. “We had a really good week of practice and it carried over and it helped us for sure.

Staying consistent

Minutemen coach Greg Cannella was clear that it is very important that they stay consistent with their production and overall energy.

“Today we did (have a lot of scoring) but you have to be consistent with that,” Cannella said. “You can’t score 16 one day and then five the next, so we’re still a working progress there, but the effort of Buddy Carr, Pete Lindley and Gianni Bianchin were solid.

UMass still has majority of its schedule ahead, one that includes North Carolina, Harvard and Penn State. Cannella said that the Minutemen can celebrate the upset victory now but must come ready to work on Monday.

Bianchin talked about the importance of transferring that energy they had in the game over to practice and future games.

“I think we need to keep preparing like we have and I feel like good things will come if we keep preparing, and being focused and bringing a lot of energy to every game and practice,” Bianchin said.

According to Bianchin, Carr and Cannella the results of Saturday’s game all begin in practice and that a win against a nationally ranked team is nice but the team needs remain focused on just themselves.

“You know the only message that I think we’ll send to our team is that ‘hey, this is all about us, it has nothing to do with the other teams,’” Cannella said. “It is about us, our preparation and our attitude everyday in practice and if we come out everyday and give that out put than we have an opportunity to go out and win games and if you don’t you won’t.

UMass will host the Crimson (1-0) next Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

“It feels great especially this early in the season compared to last and we just got to look forward to next week though against Harvard,” Carr said. “We got another top ranked team coming in here and we have to get ready for them.

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

About the Writer
Philip Sanzo, Sports Editor
UMass’s depth and St. Joseph’s high scorer means Friday’s semifinal has potential for a possible shootout.
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