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 men’s lacrosse wins its season opener against Fairfield

Despite some sloppy play at times, the Minutemen were finally able to play and win their first game in over a year
(Eva Trainer/Collegian Staff)

After not playing a game in over a year, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team took down Fairfield in its season opener. The Minutemen (1-0, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) appeared a bit rusty coming out of the gate but were eventually able to shake it off as they won 13-9.

“A lot of emotion early in the game for our guys, fired up, and I thought we corralled it pretty well, but we turned the ball over way too much for my taste” said head coach Greg Canella.

UMass let up three goals to the Stags (1-3, 0-2 CAA) on their first three shots. It appeared early on as if this was headed to be a high-scoring game.

Despite being prepared for Fairfield, Canella said he felt his guys were a bit surprised by the Stag’s ability to attack the goal right off the draw and make you play defense for the entire duration of the shot clock.

However, sophomore goalie Matt Knote was able to get himself back into a rhythm after giving up a few goals early on. Knote finished the game with 10 total saves.

“I think you just have to continue to play, we made stops and when you make stops it creates opportunities for your offense to settle in,” Canella said.



The Minutemen cleaned up some of their sloppy play by forcing the Stags to turn the ball over 11 times. They were also successful on both of their penalty kills.

UMass and Fairfield were both knotted at six at the half. The Minutemen were able to pull away in the second half as they continued to settle in.

UMass held the Stags to 10 shots in the second half after they allowed 20 shots in the first half. The Minutemen took advantage of their defensives stops by shooting the ball 22 times in the second half compared to Fairfield’s 10.

“We won more faceoffs in the second half, we cleared the ball efficiently in the second half, and we out ground-balled them by five in the second half… I think we ramped up our intensity defensively”.

The offensive attack was led by senior Chris Connolly. Connolly scored three goals, giving himself the hat trick on the day. He helped the Minutemen knock off the rust by scoring the first of his three goals in highlight-reel fashion by going through four different Fairfield defensemen and scoring just before the first quarter expired.



Freshman attackman Dillon Arrant, junior attackman Gabriel Procyk and graduate student Billy Philpott all scored twice for the Minutemen. Graduate student Jeff Trainor led the team with two assists as eight of the team’s 13 goals came off of assists.



“Good ball movement, you always want the hockey assists that we talk about, I thought our guys were too cute today,” Canella said. “I thought we made one or two extra passes that we didn’t need to, especially in transition that we should try and take that shot from the outside, hopefully, we can do that moving forward”.

Sophomore faceoff specialist Zack Hochman continued to dominate the circle for the Minutemen. Hochman won 12 faceoffs and even managed to take one straight to the goal and bury the ball in the back of the net.

“He’s such a good athlete who has the ability to get to the groundball”.



UMass will look for back-to-back wins to begin its season after taking down Fairfield as they will take on Drexel next weekend. Faceoff is set for noon on Saturday, March 20.

Carson Depp can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @CarsonDepp.

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