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

UMass defeats Army West Point 10-8 in a season opening thriller

Matt Knote records 19 saves in the win
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team put on a strong offensive and defensive stance in a wild back-and-forth scoring game, to defeat Army West Point 10-8 in its season opener.

The first half was all Minutemen (1-0) with goals from Grant Breyo, Dillon Arrant, Carter Castillo, and Anthony Sericolo to push UMass up 4-1 over Army (0-1) heading into the second half. The solid offensive performance paired with goalkeeper Matt Knote’s strong stance in the net, where he only allowed one goal out of 15 shots, allowing UMass to take a strong lead.

“Defense was stellar,” head coach Greg Cannella said about his team’s performance. Cannella also credited Knote’s total of 19 saves on the day as something “we needed him to have”, given how close the game got, especially at the end.

Despite a strong first half by UMass, the Black Knights pulled together a comeback in the second half, scoring seven goals through the third and fourth quarters. UMass kept pace with Army’s quick-scoring offense with four goals, two from Castillo, giving Castillo a hat trick on the day and two from Shane O’Leary, leaving the game tied at 8-8 with 6:07 left in the fourth quarter.

However, the Minutemen never trailed in the game and were able to regain the lead with a strong offensive push and goals from their midfielders Tim Hoynes and Mike Tobin, which put UMass up 10-8 with about 3 minutes left.

Ultimately, the Black Knights’ second-half comeback fell short, and a solid defensive sequence paired with Knote’s last save with 2 minutes left in the game allowed UMass to maintain position and outrun the clock. This crucial point in the game kept Army from having another chance to score and awarded UMass the tough-fought win.

Knote, who is also a 2023 team captain credited “the resiliency we had throughout all 4 quarters,” as how this team was able to come together and fight for the win.

Another shining moment of Saturday’s win came from junior faceoff specialist Ryan Henry who was able to come off the bench and make an immediate impact. Although UMass only won 9 out of the 21 faceoffs, Henry went 7-10 as he subbed in for Caleb Hammett who went 2-11. Cannella said Henry’s performance was “impressive”, especially how he was able to come off the bench and be ready to go.

Overall, the atmosphere at Saturday’s home opener was ecstatic. Cannella acknowledged the “great energy” from his players that helped fuel the win. The sideline was very loud, which only hyped the crowd in the packed stands up more, resulting in a high-energy atmosphere and a fun watch for the season opener.

“Great win for our guys, proud of them”, Cannella said.

The Minutemen look forward to Friday, Feb. 17 for their next matchup where they will travel to Lowell Massachusetts to take on the UMass Lowell Riverhawks.

Samantha Sands can be reached at [email protected].

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    Bruce GobiFeb 13, 2023 at 8:03 am

    such a clear and complete report – well done, Samantha