UMass men’s lacrosse extends win streak with win over Albany

Freshmen Matt Knote and Zack Hochman offer key contributions in win

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(Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

By Anthony Syrek, Collegian Staff

Entering the fourth quarter, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team was evenly matched by Albany, only managing a 13-11 lead. In the final 15 minutes, UMass made the plays that were necessary to pull away.

Just over a minute into the fourth, Devin Spencer started up the offense and scored with 13:58 left, a sign of good things to come for the Minutemen (4-2). With about seven minutes left, Kevin Tobin scored and then just a minute later Spencer followed it up with his second goal of the period to put UMass up 16-11 on the Great Danes (2-2). Tobin and Spencer both finished with three goals on the day.

Chris Connolly’s goal with four minutes left made it 17-11 and all but secured the UMass victory. Connolly finished four goals and tied a career high in points with eight.

“It was a battle all the way and our guys showed a lot of character coming off of Saturday’s win,” coach Greg Canella said.

Canella said the team did not rest on its upset victory against the No. 1 team in the nation at the time in Yale. He was impressed with how his squad was able to play at a high level for four quarters off a short week.

UMass started off shaky as Albany scored two goals just three minutes into the contest. UMass was able to tighten up and answered back with four straight goals, matching every Great Danes score.

“I think every team that we coach, we talk about the process throughout the year, and hopefully these guys are starting to understand that they’re in the middle of the process,” Canella said. “They need to continue to work very hard.”

The Minutemen also got contributions from freshman goalie Matt Knote and faceoff man Zack Hochman.

Knote started off shaky in the beginning but settled in, especially in the fourth when they needed him most. The freshman goalie finished with six saves in the fourth quarter, only letting up one Albany goal with 12 seconds left. Albany’s top scorer Tehoka Nanticoke finished with five goals, but Knote made sure to hold him to zero in the fourth.

Knote said its different dealing with someone like Nanticoke since he can score from multiple positions, but he just needed to maintain consistent intensity.

Hochman also showed out in the game, finishing 26-of-33 on faceoffs, including 6-of-6 in the fourth quarter, keeping the ball away from Albany.

“They’re fearless,” Canella said.

Canella said Hochman is a tough kid, finding this out quickly during the recruiting process. He said Knote is as well and he is challenged every day, but he is coachable and possesses the character to grow as a player.

The Minutemen will try to stretch their win streak to four as they take on Long Island University at Garber Field on Tuesday March 10th at 2 p.m.

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