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 hopes to continue dominance against Utah at Garber field

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team will look to continue their win streak, which currently sits at four after its win against LIU on Tuesday.

UMass is back at Garber sooner than expected, as its game against Utah was moved from Farmingdale State College on Saturday to back home on Friday afternoon because of concern over COVID-19.

That said, the Minutemen are no strangers to quick turnarounds. Just a few weeks ago they played four games in 11 days, finishing 3-1 over that stretch. Still, moving a game up on such short notice does provide its share of challenges.

“Basically what it is is just one less day,” coach Greg Cannella said, “And so today you’re recovering and you got to go through some mental things and then you have [one] practice and then you got to play.”

UMass took a bit of a step back offensively against LIU. Although it finished with 14 goals, it lacked consistency that it had shown in previous games this season.

“I think through each game we’ve learned a lot about ourselves,” Devin Spencer said. “Taking each day and learning from what we’ve done in the past and how we can be better the next day.”

Spencer has embraced his new role in the offense, switching from attack to offensive midfield. That change has caused an increase in the overall offensive production for the Minutemen.

“It definitely gives the defense a different look,” Spencer said. “We’ve had some really good communication and conversations whether it be on or off the field.”

Consistency has been the key for UMass all season and continues to be preached day in and day out. The players and coaches are always looking to remain focused and consistent in all aspects of the game.

“Just understand a little bit about who you’re playing and then go out there and try to play the best you can possibly play,” Cannella said. “Forget about the score… just try to play to the best of your ability.”

Defensively, the Minutemen will be looking to continue to smother opposing offenses against the Utes on Friday. In their four-game win streak, they have excelled particularly in the fourth quarter, only allowing six goals in the frame during that stretch.

Jackson Suboch has been a key player on that side of the ball. A senior, he has performed well on the field while providing leadership for young players like freshman Jake Dulac.

“I think we’ve had some bright spots,” Suboch said. “We just try to focus on ourselves, and how we can improve on the little things every day.”

Suboch has caused opposing teams to turn the ball over 10 times so far this season and will hope to continue pressuring Utah’s attacking unit.

Friday’s game will be the second time UMass has faced the Utes in lacrosse. In its first matchup last year, it defeated Utah in dominant fashion, 16-2.

In that game, the Minutemen offense found the back of the net early and often, scoring their first goal less than a minute into the game. Additionally, they scored 13 unanswered goals after the Utes tied the game at one.

Kevin Tobin and Chris Connolly were both key contributors in that matchup. Tobin finished with five goals and three assists, while Connolly added another four goals and four assists. UMass hopes the addition of freshmen Mike Tobin and Matt Caddigan allows the offense to continue to thrive.

The Minutemen will hope to pick up right where they left off against Utah last year, as the two teams are set to clash on Friday at 3 p.m.

Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.

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