Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s lacrosse bounces back with 11-3 win over Hartford

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(Shannon Broderick/ Daily Collegian)

(Shannon Broderick/ Daily Collegian)

After a difficult loss, some athletes can reflect on their previous game for weeks, agonizing over what they could have done differently. The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team wasn’t given that opportunity this week.

The Minutemen (2-2) bounced back from a heartbreaking overtime loss against Harvard last Saturday with a dominant effort Tuesday afternoon, beating Hartford 11-3.

UMass coach Greg Cannella was happy with the Minutemen’s ability to recover so quickly from the loss to the Crimson just three days earlier.

“(It was a) good result for our team and a tremendous defensive effort from our team,” Cannella said. “We were able to finish the ball with some efficiency and play fast and generate a lot of shots, so overall we’re pleased.”

UMass opened Tuesday’s game with four straight goals and never trailed en route to its second win of the season. After the Hawks trimmed UMass’ lead to 5-2 entering the halftime break, the Minutemen regained control in the second half and outscored Hartford 6-1 – including the final four goals of the game – down the stretch.

UMass was offensively by sophomore Peter Lindley, who tallied three goals for his second hat trick of the season.

“Most of them were off the ball, so for Peter that’s his job to score off the ball and inside the crease,” Cannella said. “He finished the ball very well. He had seven shots, but still pretty efficient.”

UMass junior goalie D.J. Smith added that he was relieved that Lindley was shooting on the opposition’s net, and not his own.

“He’s great on the crease, catching the ball and shooting really quick. (It’s) awesome to have him out on the crease. He’s a great player,” Smith said.

While pleased with his performance, Lindley thought he had a couple missed opportunities and credited his teammates with helping to set up his goals.

“My teammates set me up very well on the crease today. They were dodging hard and found me and I just shot the ball and scored, so (the) credit (goes) to them,” Lindley said.

The Minutemen’s offense was also powered by sophomores Buddy Carr and Jake Lisauskas, who both contributed a pair of goals, with Carr also picking up an assist.

It was the best effort for the Minutemen defense so far this season, holding their opponent to just three goals, about six goals less than the season average. Smith credited the success to the team’s ability to remain focused and follow the game plan.

“We knew that they’re a hard-charging team,” Smith said of Hartford. “They play fast and they force a lot of things…We knew that they’d take some bad shots or turn the ball over off some bad passes or something, so we just stayed disciplined and stayed to our game plan.”

Hartford (1-2) struggled to generate offense nearly the entire game. Tallying 15 fewer shots than UMass, the Hawks only had one quarter in which they reached the double-digit shot mark, compared to three for UMass.

Junior Jaedon Henderson led Hartford with a goal and an assist, while sophomore Trevor O’Brien and junior Doug Biondi added the other two goals for Hartford.

A big reason why the Minutemen kept Hartford to just three goals was the team’s success defending sophomore Griffin Feiner and freshman Dylan Jinks.

Heading into Tuesday’s matchup, the two Hawks’ underclassmen were tied as Hartford’s leading scorers with eight points each through two games. UMass held both players pointless.

The Minutemen now have a difficult task ahead of them on Saturday as they go on the road to face No. 7 Brown. Cannella said he believes the Minutemen will need to be at the top of their game if they want to remain competitive with such a good team.

“They’re hungry and they’re averaging probably 18, 19 goals a game, so they’re an excellent team (and) we’d better be ready or else they’ll take it to us,” Cannella said.

UMass is 1-1 against ranked opponents this season, beating No. 11 Ohio State 16-9 in addition to its No. 14 Harvard 10-9 in overtime.

Saturday’s opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Jamie Cushman can be reached at [email protected]

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