Gabe Procyk looks to continue dominance against No. 1 Yale

Procyk found the back of the net five times against UMass Lowell on Tuesday

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By Anthony Syrek, Collegian contributor

Sophomore Gabe Procyk played hero for the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team on Tuesday with five goals against UMass Lowell, and the Minutemen will rely on him again as No. 1 Yale comes to town.

Procyk started right from the jump as a freshman last year, and during his first four games had nine goals. As a sophomore, he is ahead of that pace, racking up 10 in the first four.

UMass coach Greg Cannella said most goals came off of assists, which is a testament to his off-ball movement.

“He is putting himself in really good spots,” Cannella said. “He’s got great hands, quick hands to finish the ball inside. He knows how to sit down when he’s open, he just doesn’t keep cutting.”

Teammate Kevin Tobin also said Procyk works hard off the ball and positions himself to score, which a lot of people don’t really see.

As a freshman coming in from Coquitlam, British Columbia, Procyk started every game, finishing with 36 goals and four assists on the year. Even with these great numbers, Procyk said he learned to watch film and work harder in practice from some of the juniors and seniors.

“I think I’ve just matured a little bit,” said Procyk. “I am just kind of letting the game come to me instead of being frantic out there.”

Tobin said that Procyk is more comfortable and continues to grow into his role every week. He said he needed to grow up fast since he started at such a young age.

Besides the off-the-field maturity, Cannella said Procyk’s game and physical attributes have improved in the past year as well.

“He got a little bit stronger, little bit bigger this year, which helps him ward off people and hitch guys,” Cannella said. “That’s probably his biggest improvement is when he receives the ball, his ability to hitch, to step around a sliding defender, and get the ball off pretty quickly before the goalie is set.”

Procyk is looking to continue his offensive dominance against Yale by relying on his teammates. He said it is a team game and his teammates do the hard work, while he puts the ball in the net. Defensively, Procyk said they did a good job covering the crease and sending help defenders to limit their scoring chances.

The Minutemen will be playing at Garber Field on Saturday, Feb. 29th at 1 p.m.

Anthony Syrek can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ASyrek.