Kevin Cutinella looks to keep up his momentum following breakout performance 

The sophomore tallied two goals and two assists against Albany for his first collegiate points

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Kevin Cutinella looks to keep up his momentum following breakout performance 

(Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

By Ben Painchaud, Collegian Staff

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After seeing action in each of the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team’s first four games, Kevin Cutinella finally caught his break against Albany on Tuesday. Described by head coach Greg Cannella as a “real heady player,” the mid-fielder notched his first points of his collegiate career against the Great Danes, with two goals and two assists in the Minutemen’s winning effort.

Prior to Albany, Cutinella had put five shots on goal through the Minutemen’s first four games, none of which found the back of the cage. Expected to redshirt after the season, he missed his entire freshman campaign due to a hamstring tear and repeated aggravations, and so it took Cutinella a few games to finally get his feet wet.

“Shooters shoot, and glad [the two goals] fell,” Cutinella said. “My teammates put me in the right situations, and I capitalized on it and was just happy to help the team win.”

The comeback process was tough for Cutinella, who worked his way back onto the field in time for the Minutemen’s season-opener versus Army, in which he put up three shots.

“Every day I did something to prepare,” he said. “It was either running or stretching. I did yoga, which I’d never done before. I just did everything I possibly could so if I look back, I didn’t have any regrets.”

On a side note, Cutinella wears the number 55 in honor of his late brother Thomas, who passed away at age 16 after sustaining a head injury in a football game. Thomas wore number 54 on the gridiron.

“I always wanted to be around his number, and everyone asked ‘why weren’t you 54?’ And that was his number, so that’s why I’m 55,” Cutinella said.

His two goal, two assist effort could be a building block going forward, “if he continues to work hard in his conditioning, his strength, in-and-out of practice and going 100%, that’ll happen,” according to Cannella. Yet, No. 55 is only focused on the improvement of the whole team.

“I think that every game we play we learn off of, and then take what we learned and put it into the next game,” Cutinella said.

Goalie Sean Sconone was thrilled to see his teammate finally cash in.

“Kev works hard. He draws slides and he makes good looks, and I was really happy to see Kev do that,” Sconone said.

UMass is scheduled to take on NJIT this Saturday in Newark. Face-off is set for 1 p.m.

Ben Painchaud can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Ben_Painchaud.