UMass defeats Delaware 11-10 in overtime

Tim Hoynes scores the game-winning goal

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Thom Kendall / UMass Athletics

By Marco Lopez, Collegian Staff

With three seconds remaining in regulation at Garber Field in Amherst, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team was looking for the game-winning goal with the score tied 10-10.

The Minutemen (6-3, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) ended up scoring a goal at the buzzer, but it was waved off by the referee due to crease interference, sending the game into an extra period.

In overtime, UMass and the Blue Hens (6-4, 0-1 CAA) both had empty possessions to start the period before Minutemen senior Tim Hoynes scored the game winning goal on UMass’ second possession.

The Minutemen stormed the field to celebrate, completing an improbable comeback after trailing 9-4 at halftime and earning their fifth consecutive victory.

UMass trailed for almost the entire game, at halftime with Delaware up 9-4 it looked like the Blue Hens were going to cruise to an easy win. However, the Minutemen didn’t give up and battled back in the third quarter, with some key goals to make it a one-point game at 9-8 at the end of three quarters. Midfielder Kevin Tobin, who finished the game with a hat trick, scored one of his game-leading three goals in the third quarter.

At halftime, it was clear that adjustments had to be made for UMass to get back into the game.

“The only adjustment we made was telling the guys, listen, we didn’t play well as a group and as a team, to play better as a team,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “Try to chip away, score one, you can’t score a goal and it counts for five, it doesn’t work. Take your time and value possessions.”

Sophomore midfielder Grant Breyo had two crucial goals in the second half. His first one at the 3:45 mark of the third quarter made it a 9-7 still in favor of Delaware but forced the Blue Hens to call a timeout as UMass started to apply significant pressure.

Breyo’s second goal of the game came at the 14:41 mark of the fourth quarter, allowing the Minutemen to tie the game at 9-9.

Suddenly, after what had been a game where Delaware appeared to be in control, the Blue Hens and Minutemen were battling in the fourth.

At the 12:28 mark, Hoynes scored his first goal of the game to give the Minutemen their first lead of the game at 10-9.

UMass almost took a two goal lead off of a wild Breyo goal that bounced off the top of the crossbar, but that goal was waved off.

Pressure shifted to the Blue Hens with the Minutemen on a 6-0 run. Still not completing going away, Delaware’s Mark Bieda scored his seventh goal of the season to tie the game 10-10. Neither of the teams would score for the remainder of the fourth quarter, sending the game into a sudden death overtime. Bieda’s goal was the lone score for the Blue Hens in the entire second half.

“To show the resolve to come back and shut out that team in a quarter and one goal in the second half, that’s really good stuff,” Cannella said. “Matt buckled down and had 12 saves in the second half, Caleb Hammett continued to win faceoffs for us, for us to be able to get back into the game.”

In overtime, it was Hoynes who sealed the UMass comeback victory with his game winning goal.

“It’s tremendous for [Hoynes], he’s a senior,” Cannella said. “It’s his first time really playing significant time, so for his confidence to be able to make a play in that situation, it’s incredible. He’ll remember that for the rest of his life.”

For Hoynes, the remarkable goal topped off a high-level day for him, scoring two goals and two points, both career highs while also notching the game winner. Hoynes only played in two games last season, but this year has played in eight games and scored six goals this season.

“It was a great moment, definitely felt great. My teammates put me in a good spot,” Hoynes said. “I just decided to go to the cage, trust myself, and just glad that my teammates and coach had that trust in me.”

Minutemen goalie Matt Knote and faceoff specialist Caleb Hammett both delivered high level performances for UMass when it mattered most.

Knote recorded a season-high 20 saves in the game while Hammett won 20 out of 25 faceoffs and collected 15 ground balls. As a team, the Minutemen had 40 to Delaware’s 28 ground balls.

“Winning the faceoffs helped, Caleb was great. And Knote making some crazy saves, defense helped the offense,” Tobin said. “That was huge for us, giving us the green light to just do what we do on offense. So credit to those guys too.”

The Minutemen will take on Towson University on the road next Saturday. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].