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 men’s lacrosse bounces back with 9-6 win over UAlbany

Gabriel Procyk records hat trick, Matt Knote makes 15 saves
Kalina Kornacki/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team snapped its two-game losing streak on Tuesday, March 7, defeating University at Albany 9-6 on the road.

Defense ruled the day for UMass (3-2) as it has all season long. The Minutemen defense and goalkeeping kept Albany off the scoreboard for over 14 minutes to start the game, and the Great Danes (1-3) never scored more than twice in a quarter.

“That was a grind out game, [Albany] is a tough place to play,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said. “Matt Knote was very good again in goal and defensively as a group we were strong.”

Knote held it down between the posts for UMass, posting 15 saves in the win. He’s made more than 10 saves in 29 of his 36 career games for the Minutemen. On top of making key stops, Knote also played a key role in UMass’ clearing game, an area that was greatly improved against UAlbany, in comparison to the Minutemen’s previous games against Boston University and Yale.

UMass cleared the ball successfully on 21 of its 24 attempts on Tuesday, and only had one failed clear heading into the fourth quarter.

“That’s a collective thing,” Cannella said of the success clearing the ball. “Their skill level, their willingness to run by somebody and I thought we did a really good job with it.”

The Minutemen had firm control of the game for the first three quarters, but the Great Danes turned up the intensity in the final frame and dominated much of those 15 minutes. UMass only registered one shot on goal and turned the ball over five times during that time span, while UAlbany peppered Knote with shots. The Minutemen’s goaltender made seven saves during that quarter alone.

Even with the increased sense of urgency by the Great Danes, UMass only allowed two goals in the frame; one of those came in the final 90 seconds, when the Minutemen were already up four goals.

On top of UMass’ defense continuing to play well, the midfielders worked hard on the defensive end to keep UAlbany at bay. Matt Caddigan caused two turnovers and Mike Tobin, from his attack position, also caused two turnovers while adding an assist.

“[Tobin] rode really hard … he’s an effort guy and a glue guy for us,” Cannella said. “[Caddigan]’s been solid all year long in terms of defending, those short sticks get attacked all the time.”

Chris Campbell has been a welcome addition to the defensive group since he transferred from Long Island University, and he picked up five ground balls while adding a caused turnover of his own.

“He’s a really solid defender,” Cannella said of Campbell. “He was covering their best guy and he has all year with every team we match up with, and he did a nice job today.”

Offensively, Cannella is still looking for more out of his group. UMass did a good job creating scoring chances but failed to utilize those opportunities, which resulted in a closer game than it could have been.

“We had some transition opportunities that we didn’t finish, their goalie made a couple saves, that’s the way it goes,” Cannella said. “Just have to keep shooting, keep believing in each other on the offensive end and when the opportunities come, they have to put them away.”

In the face-off circle, the Minutemen and Great Danes were virtually even, but Caleb Hammett did finish the evening winning 10 of his 18 draws.

UMass will be back in action on Saturday, hitting the road to take on Vermont at 1 p.m.

“That’s a tough place to play, they’re a very good team,” Cannella said. “That’s going to be a good game for us. We have to recover and get ourselves ready.”

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

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