UMass’ offensive depth shines in home opener against UMass Lowell

13 different Minutemen contribute to their 19-9 win

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Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian

By Shanti Furtado, Collegian Staff

Coming off a close loss against Army West Point last weekend, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team outscored UMass Lowell in a dominant way in its first win of the season.

Not having played a regular season game at Garber Field since April 17 of last year, the Minutemen (1-1) took to their home field with vigor thanks to some old and new faces. Veterans Mike Tobin and Kevin Tobin, the Tobin brother duo, put up five goals collectively in Saturday’s game versus the River Hawks (0-2), while underclassmen Grant Breyo, Shane O’Leary and Mason Bregman all notched goals of their own.

Despite the snowy terrain that lasted most of the 60 minutes of play, UMass was not only able to trump UML in goals, but too in faceoff wins, ground balls and on man up; going an impressive 7-8 on these opportunities.

“I was a little nervous about the weather … it got off to an interesting start down two nothing and then our offense did a really good job in that first quarter,” UMass head coach Greg Cannella said.

O’Leary is putting up strong numbers in his first two games of the season. In his first appearance of the year against Army, O’Leary got not only his first collegiate goal, but his first collegiate hat trick. That momentum was followed up on Saturday with O’Leary firing home a goal midway through the second quarter. The sophomore also added an assist on Logan Liljeberg’s lone goal in the first frame.

“Shane [O’Leary] is a tremendous athlete, he was a 3 sport athlete at Governor’s Academy,” Cannella said. “He’s a worker, he’s fearless. He’s a really good two-way midfielder, and through his hard work he’s playing with that confidence.”

As for the veteran side of the roster, 16 of UMass’ 19 goals came from upperclassmen. The Tobin brothers were large contributors to this. Kevin and Mike Tobin each scored five points, while Mike was one of two players to get hat tricks. The other came through Gabriel Procyk, the senior attacker on track for a career high season in scoring with his new role above the goal for UMass.

Procyk had been a staple on attack during each of his seasons as a Minuteman until 2022. Now, he and Dillon Arrant are both coming out of the box as offensive midfielders, and their scoring ability adds another wrinkle to Cannella’s already successful offense.

The Minutemen came out to a hot start, scoring half of their goals during the first 20 minutes of play.

“Eight is a lot of goals for a quarter … we did a good job with our intensity throughout the entire game but it got sloppy, we fouled a lot,” Cannella said.

With the names of scorers as vast as it appeared Saturday with 12 different Minutemen notching goals, the offensive depth of UMass is one of the best in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“It’s a team win,” Cannella said. “You look at how many people who got on the board, it says a lot about this group.”

The Minutemen look ahead to next Saturday’s matchup at Boston University, a team that surged past Merrimack College in its season opener.

“We have to continue to prepare the right way each week,” Cannella said. “That’s our job.”

Shanti Furtado can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @shantifurtado