Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s lacrosse upsets No. 11 Ohio State Saturday afternoon

(Sam Anderson/Daily Collegian)

After losing its season opener to Army 9-5, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team set out to have a good week of practice and hoped it would translate into its game against No. 11 Ohio State.

On Saturday afternoon, that idea came to fruition.

Trailing 4-2 to the Buckeyes (2-1) after the first quarter of play, the Minutemen (1-1) exploded offensively, outscoring OSU 14-5 in the last three quarters of play on their way to a 16-9 victory at Garber Field.

UMass coach Greg Cannella said a performance like the one his team exhibited today stems from the time you put in leading up to the contest.

“Guys played hard and had a good week of practice,” Cannella said after the game. “Typically when you have a good week of practice you’ll come out with a little bit of confidence.

“Any time you lose your first game you’re really disappointed and the sense of urgency kind of ramps up,” Cannella added. “Guys look at their performance and say ‘hey I can be better than that’ so that’s all they did. The preparation has been the same, but they did a really nice job this past week doing it and obviously it has to be consistent.

Led by the trio of Buddy Carr (4 goals), Gianni Bianchin (3) and Peter Lindley (3), the Minutemen recorded their most goals in a game since an 18-goal outburst last year against Quinnipiac March 15, 2015.

Following a lackluster performance a week ago, Cannella acknowledged that those three specifically played with a chip on their shoulder.

“They played aggressively, fortunately their shots went and when the shots go you play more aggressively as the game goes along,” he said. “I thought those guys took it personally too. They knew they didn’t perform the way that the team expects them to perform and they prepared the right way this week.

Bianchin, who opened the scoring 17 seconds into the game, also touched on the level of liveliness the Minutemen put on display throughout the win.

“We emphasized all week play like you practice, and I thought everyone, including the guys that didn’t play, just brought so much energy,” Bianchin said. “It brought us above the barrier that we needed.

When asked what spurred UMass on, Bianchin said it was the energy on the sideline that did the trick.

“After we kept scoring, the bench was crazy and that just lifts everyone up and makes everyone more motivated to score, we were just on fire,” Bianchin said. “We had a great week of preparation and I think it just carried over. The loss against (Army) made us more angry, but I thought we really came to play.

Carr, who scored two of his game-high four goals in the final quarter, thought after a week where the offense was virtually nonexistent, the team came together Saturday.

“Even last week we only had 16 shots total and this week we had 16 goals, so we were just clicking on all cylinders,” Carr said. “We got second-chance opportunities off the ground and it was just fun to play, we all had a blast.

Last season, it took until the sixth game for the Minutemen to get in the win column.

With a home win against a ranked team just two games into the season, Cannella said it does serve as a confidence booster moving forward, but the focus needs to remain the same.

“You tell the guys ‘listen you get to enjoy this for a little bit and then you go back to work on Monday’ and if we don’t prepare like we did last week this week, you’re not going to get what you want out of the game and hopefully they do that,” Cannella said.

“It feels great, especially this early in the season compared to last,” Carr added. “We’re very happy about that win, it’s a big win for us, but we really just got to move on and look forward to the next team.

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @JKates1216.


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