UMass men’s lacrosse comes from behind to defeat LIU 14-10

The Minutemen have now won four straight games

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Lynus Erickson/Daily Collegian

By Colin McCarthy, Collegian Staff

Another great fourth quarter performance helped lift the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team to a 14-10 victory over Long Island on Tuesday.

No. 17 UMass (5-2) trailed LIU (1-6) by three goals midway through the third quarter, but outscored the Sharks 6-1 in the fourth to secure the victory.

The Minutemen continue to hold off opponents in the fourth quarter of games. Matt Knote and the defense have only allowed six goals in the fourth quarter in their last four games.

“They buckled down,” coach Greg Cannella said. “Jackson Suboch, Jake Dulac. Matt [Knote] had some tremendous saves to keep us in it.”

UMass jumped out to an early 4-0 lead just seven minutes into the game. After a timeout, the Sharks moved away from their zone defense in favor of man defense. They held the Minutemen scoreless for nearly 20 minutes after the switch.

“We were successful against the zone but then they went into man-to-man,” Cannella said. “And then I thought we got a little selfish… Give a lot of credit to their defense and their goalie.”

Offensively, UMass did not find the same success it had in recent games, taking 47 shots and only finding the back of the net 14 times. LIU goalie Will Mark finished with 18 saves. Mark was second in the nation in saves per game with 14.8 coming into the matchup.

“Definitely a really good goalie, I didn’t even know he was a freshman” Jeff Trainor said. “He’s really good stick-side and I think that showed today. When we went away from his stick, we found success.”

Trainor was a key player down the stretch for the Minutemen. He scored three times in the fourth quarter alone, including two goals in a row to tie the game. He finished with four goals and added one assist.

“I just think as a team we kind of put the pieces together and got back to our offense,” Trainor said. “It just happened to be me in the situations where I’m putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Along with his stellar offensive performance, Trainor made an impact on the defensive side of the ball as well. He caused three turnovers by and took one of those coast-to-coast for his first goal of the game.

UMass finally took back the lead with nine minutes left to play when freshman midfielder Matt Caddigan threw the ball over his shoulder while falling to bury his first goal of the season. He joined Mike Tobin as the second freshman to find the back of the net this year.

“I have no idea how that went in, I’ll have to watch it again,” Cannella said. “That first goal for him will always be a good memory, especially on a play like that.”

Only a few weeks away from conference play, the Minutemen currently share the best record in the Colonial Athletic Association with Fairfield but have played a tougher schedule thus far, facing three ranked teams as opposed to just one for the Stags.

With its victory over LIU, UMass has now won four in a row, and three straight at home. Beginning with a neutral site game against Utah on Saturday, it will play its next three games away from Garber field, where it is 2-1 so far this season.

The Minutemen square off against the Utes at Farmingdale College at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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