UMass men’s lacrosse upperclassmen shined on Senior Day against Drexel

Three seniors notched hat tricks

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Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian

By Shanti Furtado, Collegian Staff

On a day set to celebrate the Massachusetts’ men’s lacrosse seniors, the upperclassmen made certain there would be something to celebrate long beyond their individual playing careers. After teetering on the edge of postseason contention the last few weeks, UMass sealed its bid into the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 13-7 victory over Drexel Friday.

“It was a really good team win,” UMass coach Greg Canella said. “It’s senior night, so to go off with a win and a good memory for the guys who are coming back, and a lot of them who are moving on is great.”

UMass (8-5, 3-2 CAA) coming into Friday’s game knew not only that it would be the last of the season at Garber Field, but potentially even the last of some of its players’ careers. Having been on the cusp of clinching a seed in the CAA tournament for weeks, the Minutemen were faced with two options: hope for a wild card berth contingent on other teams losing or win Friday.

It was the UMass seniors who took charge and refused to let fate decide the outcome against the Dragons.

Gabriel Procyk opened up the scoring early in the first quarter, firing two goals past Drexel’s (6-7, 2-3 CAA) goaltender, Ross Blumenthal. The senior attacker has followed up on an exceptional junior year, passing his career high goals for a season in 2022.

It was Procyk’s continued offensive prowl that set the tone for the remainder of the game, even when Drexel established a tempo of its own. Entering the second quarter, the Minutemen trailed 3-2. Less than two minutes into the next quarter, it was Procyck who lit the lamp once again; recording his fourth hat trick in thirteen games.

“The goals weren’t so much the difference, it was more of a team effort,” Procyck said.

Another key factor in the victory came from Logan Liljeberg. Liljeberg, a graduate student, became the second of three players to score three goals on the evening. Each goal came in the final three quarters of the game as the attacker was able to control possession and find his own openings on net. All of his goals being unassisted.

“Drexel is a team that likes to run, moving up the field to score when the ball is in transition and we feel like we need to take possession of the ball and take charge. The second half we did that,” Canella said.

The strong presence on the offensive end has been a theme for UMass all season, six of its players on roster have reached double figures in the goal column this year. The player at the top of that list, Kevin Tobin, only further cemented that place against Drexel.

Tobin completed UMass’ “hat trick of hat tricks” scoring consecutive goals spread between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter. The third goal came on the rush with the ball splashing into a wide-open net to make the score 11-6 in UMass’ favor.

“I know Kevin [Tobin] scored one off the ride which was a great goal for us,” Canella said. “Those guys, Logan [Liljeberg], Kevin [Tobin] are pretty tenacious down there, but we’re just happy that they were able to contribute the way they did today.

Though Procyk, Liljeberg, and Tobin were the three seniors to come up big on the scoresheet on Friday, they were far from the only upperclassmen to make significant impacts on the outcome of this game.

“[The seniors] will remember this game the rest of their lives,” Canella said. “They put a lot of time and effort into it every day. You pat everybody on the back and say good job because a lot of those guys, not just those three attackmen, but guys like Matt Weigand, Matthew Hill, Adam Towey, Sam Eisenstad were excellent today.”

UMass now looks ahead to discover its opponent for the postseason in the coming days. The CAA tournament takes place next week.

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