Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Carter Castillo shines in UMass’ season-opening win over Army

Castillo records a hat trick in win
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

Carter Castillo was instrumental in the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team’s season-opening victory over Army West Point on Saturday. Castillo made his first start at attack in the 2023 season and did not disappoint, scoring a career-high three goals on an efficient three shots as UMass (1-0) beat the Black Knights (0-1), 10-8.

“Our guys put me in position to be successful, a lot of those goals were off receptions, I was just finishing off,” Castillo said. “They did the dirty work for me, credit to those guys.”

He started his career day with a goal that came with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter to put UMass up 3-1. Castillo snuck out from behind the goal and finished a pass from Gabriel Procyk right into the net.

Castillo did most of his damage in the fourth quarter, when the Minutemen needed him the most. With Army surging and coming back to tie the game at 5-5, Castillo scored two consecutive goals to help UMass stop the bleeding and take a 7-5 lead. With 12:33 left in the fourth quarter, Castillo got the last pass on the play from Arrant after a series of passes offensively for the Minutemen and performed a beautiful fake move before scoring into the right side of the net.

“Credit to all the guys around me, they find me in great spots, and I think we have a group that really shares the ball well,” Castillo said.

Castillo earned the starting spot in the first game of his senior season after not starting a game in the 2021 or 2022 seasons. Over the course of his first three seasons with the Minutemen, Castillo played sparingly. He saw action in six games last year as a junior scoring two goals, and as a sophomore only played in two games as a reserve.

With the departures of starting attackmen Kevin Tobin and Logan Liljeberg, two spots opened in the starting lineup alongside graduate attack Gabriel Procyk. In the first game of the year, Castillo and Dillon Arrant filled those spots and played exceptionally well.

“Throughout my freshman, sophomore, junior year, I had great guys in front of me. Just watched how they operated both on and off the field,” Castillo said. “It really stuck with me. And just to see that translate and start the year off with a win, a huge win against Army means a lot to me.”

Castillo made a statement towards the end of last season, after not playing for the majority of the year, he received playing time in the final five games of the 2022 season. He scored two goals in the Minutemen’s final three games including a goal in the CAA tournament against Towson.

“Carter came along at the end last year and played well,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “This is the first time he’s been healthy for a long period of time. I think he played well off the ball, not just with the ball in the stick. He was on the end of a couple feeds that were really good coming around the cage. We were happy that he was aggressive there and again we’re happy that he’s playing, playing well, and with confidence.”

Three different Minutemen assisted Castillo in the game, Procyk, Arrant, and Zach Auble, feeding him in the best game of his collegiate career and putting him into a position to succeed.

“He’s a hard worker,” Cannella said of Castillo. “He’s a really mature kid, bright kid, I think it’s been building for some time.”

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].

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