UMass men’s lacrosse looks to cut down on turnovers against Towson

Minutemen committed 22 in loss to Hofstra


Eva Trainer/Collegian

By Ben Painchaud, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team is addressing turnovers in practice this week after the team committed 22 in its loss to Hofstra last Saturday.

Saturday was the first time all season that UMass (7-4, 1-1 CAA) committed more than 16 turnovers in a game and lost. The Minutemen committed 19 turnovers against Harvard, 19 against UMass Lowell and 22 against Brown, winning all three of those contests, making them 3-1 on the year when they breach the 16-turnover mark.

Head coach Greg Cannella didn’t have much to say about the 22 turnovers against Hofstra.

“You just can’t have 22 in a game and expect to win,” he said.

The Minutemen average 16.55 turnovers a game on the season, good for 32nd in the country. Georgetown, for reference, ranks first overall with an average of 13.58 a game. It’s a solid but not spectacular number, one that Cannella sees as marred by inconsistency.

“As a whole, I think we’ve been a little bit up and down with [the turnovers],” said Cannella. “Certain games, we lose composure, we’ve lost focus, and really certain crucial parts in the game—that’s the killer.”

To mitigate their turnovers ahead of their heavyweight matchup with No. 11 Towson, the Minutemen have returned to the basics of clearing the ball and making smart decisions this week in practice, according to Cannella.

Attack Chris Connolly said that the team is emphasizing “getting back to what we do, valuing the ball on every possession.” Cannella said that he wants his players to “slow it down” in their head while not relenting with their fast pace.

More than turnovers, the main theme in practice this week has simply been playing hard.

“Dodge hard, play hard, defend with intensity,” said Cannella. “It comes down to in I think all these games now: who executes better under pressure in crunch time.”

UMass will travel to Towson on Thursday. Face off is slated for noon on Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

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