UMass falls to Yale 13-12 in overtime on Saturday

Mike Tobin and Gabriel Procyk each notch hat tricks in defeat

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Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian

By Colin McCarthy, Assistant Sports Editor

Energy and intensity ran through the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team on Saturday.

After a crushing loss to Boston University a week prior, UMass (1-3) was determined to turn the page and pick up a win against New England rival Yale. But after a long, hard-fought battle, it was the Bulldogs’ (2-1) intensity in overtime that shined through and allowed it to win, 13-12, over the Minutemen.

“Up-and-down, back-and-forth game,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “We were very competitive … Yale is obviously an excellent program and they have been for quite some time. Good outing, we’d rather have a different result, but I’m proud of the guys with the effort and intensity they brought.”

Gabriel Procyk lit up the score sheet on Saturday and his fourth goal came at a crucial moment. Down one point with less than four minutes to play in regulation, Dillon Arrant made a 1-on-1 dodge from the wing and applied pressure towards Yale goalkeeper Jared Paquette. His move caused a Bulldog defender to slide out of the crease to challenge Arrant, but the sophomore took notice. He quickly fired in a pass to Procyk who was planted in the middle of the offensive zone, and the attacker had just enough room to fire a goal past Paquette and knot the game up at 12-12.

Neither team could score in the final three minutes, and when the regulation horn sounded there was still work to be done.

The Bulldogs maintained a high pace of play during the overtime period that was too much for UMass to match. The Minutemen who dominated for stretches of regulation were out-shot 7-0 in the frame that mattered most. They had one offensive possession to pull out a win, but Mike Tobin turned the ball over, and UMass couldn’t hold off Yale for much longer.

Attacker Matt Brandau scored the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs and finished the day with four goals and three assists. That seven point performance wasn’t necessarily indicative of a bad day for Sam Eisenstadt, though. Eisenstadt lined up across from Brandau for the majority of the game, but the Bulldogs’ offensive plays created space for the attacker that didn’t come as often when the two battled it out 1-on-1.

“Good matchup,” Cannella said of Eisenstadt and Brandau’s battle. “Brandau scored a couple goals in transition and then the final one we weren’t really matched up properly … I thought Eisenstadt was excellent.”

The Minutemen were missing key pieces to their starting lineup on Saturday including two of their biggest offensive threats, Kevin Tobin and Chris Connolly. In their absence, Procyk and Mike Tobin combined for seven goals, but the scoring was more top-heavy than it had been through the first three games. As a whole UMass struggled to get its shots past Paquette, who finished with 18 saves for Yale.

“We still need our attack to be able to finish the ball a little bit more, but we did a good job,” Cannella said. “Midfielders are doing a good job, [Procyk] did a nice job down there, those guys held together, played hard together and made some really good plays.”

Across the field, Matt Knote also put forth a solid performance between the pipes. He finished the day with 15 saves and fought through tough moments without allowing a goal. In the fourth quarter he made one stop initially with his stick, but the ball dropped to the turf behind him and looked destined to roll across the goal line. Before that could happen, Knote desperately fell on his back and laid on top of the ball to prevent a score.

Knote also stood tall in overtime, fighting off an onslaught of attempts by Yale and making two saves in the extra period.

“I think there was an overall greater intensity on the defensive end,” Cannella said. “Eisenstadt did a good job getting the guys ready to play and [Knote] was dialed in, that’s what we need every day, that’s what we expect every day, and they did a nice job.”

The Minutemen spent a lot of their energy fighting through Saturday’s game, but now they will have to wipe away the loss quickly and recover before returning home to take on Albany on Tuesday.

“It’s a lot more mental than anything,” Cannella said of the preparation heading into Tuesday. “They’ll be tired [Sunday], but they’re young and they’ll be back [Monday] and get to play Tuesday. It’s really more of a mental and emotional focus to get those guys back up.”

Face-off is set for 3 p.m. from Garber Field.

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