Minutemen looking to end their losing streak Saturday against Fairfield

UMass won the previous matchup against Fairfield 13-9

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Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian

By Carson Depp, Collegian Staff

It was Sunday, March 14 when the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team began its season. UMass (3-4, 3-3 Colonial Athletic Association) took down Fairfield by a score of 13-9 on Garber Field to kick off its 2021 campaign.

Now in late April, the Minutemen find themselves on a three-game losing streak as they’ll travel down to Fairfield on Saturday to take on the Stags (2-7, 0-6 CAA).

Fairfield is also on a losing streak of its own, dropping its previous four games. Despite coming up short in each of those four games, the Stags jumped out to early leads over their opponents. Taking a lead early on is something Fairfield also did to UMass in the first meeting.

“They push the ball in transition,” head coach Greg Canella said. “They’re really skilled, they have some really strong players, and defensively they held us down in the first game.”

The Stags are led by grad student attackmen Dylan Beckwith, who has recorded 39 points in Fairfield’s nine games this season. Beckwith found the back of the net twice for the Stags in their previous matchup with UMass.

At this point in the season, the Minutemen have not fared well in their second matchups against their opponents. After taking down Drexel and Hofstra in their first matchups, UMass suffered losses in each of their second contests.

Due to their current losing streak, the Minutemen have watched themselves fall to fifth in the CAA rankings. The top four seeds in the conference qualify for the playoffs, therefore UMass currently sits on the outside looking in.

“Very inconsistent obviously throughout that time which is really disappointing cause you get into this part of the season and it’s when you really need to be consistent especially in all these league games,” Canella said of his team’s losing streak. “The efforts there, the execution isn’t, and I think we’ve missed on that pretty much since Chris [Connolly] went down.”

Senior Chis Connolly was a huge factor for the Minutemen in their first game against the Stags. Connolly recorded three goals that helped UMass overcome Fairfield’s early lead and later win the game. Unfortunately, Connolly went down with an injury in the second game of the season.

The Minutemen have seen some players step up on the offensive side of the ball to help replace some of the missing production that Connolly would have provided. Freshman Dillon Arrant, junior Gabriel Procyk, and grad student Billy Philpott have all been huge pieces for generating scoring opportunities for UMass.

“Every game is important, every game is the most important game of the year cause it’s the next game of the year,” Canella said.

UMass and Fairfield are set to play Saturday, April 24 in Fairfield. Faceoff between the two is set for noon.

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