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

No setback for UMass men’s lacrosse in quick turnaround vs. Hartford

(Shannon Broderick/ Daily Collegian)
(Shannon Broderick/ Daily Collegian)

Fueled by a disappointing loss last Saturday to Harvard, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team responded with its biggest win of the season on short rest in an 11-3 victory over Hartford Tuesday.

Rather than being hung up on last weekend’s 10-9 overtime loss to the Crimson, UMass posted its second-best point total of the season and limited the Hawks to a season-low three goals allowed to get back in the win column despite the quick turnaround.

“These Tuesday games are really difficult, especially mentally for a lot of guys coming out of Saturday, day off Sunday, some review stuff and playing on Tuesday,” coach Greg Cannella said.

By halftime of Tuesday’s contest, the game had a familiar feel to that of the one against the Crimson. The Minutemen (2-2) entered the half with a 5-2 lead, similar to that of the 5-3 lead they had against Harvard Saturday. The Hawks (1-2) scored a goal 14 seconds prior to the end of the second quarter.

Up to that point UMass had the lead but was not playing at its best. The Minutemen took 26 shots and only yielded five goals (.192 shooting percentage) and was visibly out of sync on the offensive side of the ball.

UMass had many open looks and could’ve scored more than five goals in the half, which Cannella acknowledged after the game.

“At halftime we said, ‘Listen, it is 5-2, we gave a goal up in the end because we turned the ball over on the offensive end after a time out’ and we said, ‘Hey you’ve really got to buckle down here and focus,’” Cannella said. “Everyone is tired, but you’ve got 30 minutes to play and these guys are a very good team…They can score in bunches so you’ve got to focus, and thankfully we did a much better job of handling the ball and handling the pressure.”

Last season the Minutemen got handily defeated by the Hawks 15-8 and were not looking to repeat that same fate this season.

Peter Lindley was a major help to the cause, scoring three goals on seven shots Tuesday.

The sophomore was coming off a two-goal performance just a few days prior, and despite his recent success, the loss to Harvard left him looking to redeem himself.

“Obviously when you lose a big game like that, you’re pissed off, you want to get back out there and win a game and that’s what we did,” Lindley said.

According to Cannella, everyone in the locker room felt the frustration after the Harvard loss.

“Those guys are pissed off coming off of Saturday’s contest and allowing Harvard to come back into the game. They take it personally,” Cannella said. “You’ve got seniors down there that took it personal, and fortunately they have the ability to come out and play hard and be strong leaders for the team.”

That frustration led to 44 shots that yielded 11 goals and a defense that limited the Hawks to only three scores.

“I think we just dialed in at halftime,” Lindley said. “We knew we were only up three goals at halftime. We knew we had to put the pedal on and continue to score to get the win.”

Defensively, the goalie tandem of D.J. Smith and Dan Dolan was as good as it  has been all season. Smith was awarded the win after tallying two saves and allowing two goals.

“We learned from that (game against Harvard) in the short amount of time that we had, but then we had to move on quickly and move on to Hartford because we knew they were going to be a good team and a big challenge for us,” Smith said.

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

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