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 falls to Towson, drop to 0-2 in CAA

(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse season is coming down to the wire and with three games remaining on the schedule, UMass is still winless in conference play.

Towson’s 11-8 victory was the Minutemen’s sixth loss of the season, Saturday.

The Tigers (10-1, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association) came into Garber Field ranked No. 6 in the country, riding a four-game winning streak with their last loss came at the hands of Johns Hopkins on March 12.

Towson limited UMass (4-6, 0-2 CAA) to 27 shots and forced 13 turnovers, six of which came in the third quarter.

Following the Minutemen’s two-goal lead that opened the contest, the Tigers quickly erased it with five minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter, as UMass failed to regain the lead for the rest of the game.

Minutemen coach Greg Cannella believed the momentum never really shifted their way.

“It is one goal you know, it felt like that the whole game, it felt like we were behind the whole game,” Cannella said. “One goal, two goals, one goal, two goals, then we tie it. So even when you tie since you were playing from behind it felt like we were playing from behind.”

The only glimpse of control that the Minutemen showed came with a little under three and half minutes remaining in the half. Towson had just taken a 6-4 lead when Ben Spencer scored an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to one.

UMass then won the following faceoff and immediately got the ball to Brendan Hegarty who tied the game at six, only six seconds after the Minutemen’s previous goal. That was Hegarty’s third and final goal of the game.

“Those guys made some good feeds inside,” Hegarty said. “That’s really the hard part, I have the easy part, I’m on the end of those three.”

That was the closest UMass got to taking the lead. Fifty-six seconds into the second half, Joe Seider scored his 23rd goal of the season and third of the game to regain Towson the lead.

The Minutemen kept up with the Tigers, keeping it a one score deficit for most of the game, but failed to overcome Towson’s constant pressure.

“I think it was our inability to kind of – as an offensive group – to understand the situations of the game,” Cannella said. “We played a lot of defense the entire game, first half and second half, so when you get those possessions you know you can’t toss them away and I thought we did that as an offensive group. I thought we had some real short possessions where we turned it over or didn’t take a quality shot. I think when we were patient we were able to get better opportunities.”

The pressure to score late in the game caused UMass to rush shots that they may not have had to.

“We could have played a little bit more together,” Hegarty said. “I thought at some points maybe guys tried to do a little too much, which we can always fix. But definitely playing more together could have helped us today,”

UMass will visit Fairfield next Saturday to take on the Stags at 1:00 p.m. The last time the two teams met was in the CAA semifinals, where the Minutemen won 9-8. Fairfield currently hold a 5-6 overall record and is 1-0 in the CAA.

“We’ve been in that situation before this year and we have a lot of guys who have been there,” Hegarty said. “So we’ve been battling back all year. We’ve been in that position; you have to grind it out.”

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

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