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 comeback falls short against Richmond, 13-12

Mike Tobin records second consecutive hat trick
Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian (2021)

With just about half a minute left in the game and down by one goal at Richmond, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team had a chance to send the game into overtime with one last possession.

In an attempt to clear the ball, a pass from Jack Wittmaack was picked off by Lance Madonna, sealing the fate of UMass (6-4, 1-1 Atlantic-10), who lost its first game of conference play against the Spiders (6-4, 1-1 A-10) on Saturday afternoon.

The Minutemen started off strong in their first-ever meeting against the Spiders, starting the first quarter with a 3-1 lead. Shortly into the second quarter however, Richmond took a 4-3 lead and never again relinquished it.

“Hard fought game against a good team, got off to a good start, hung in there, didn’t let it get too out of control throughout the first half and the third quarter,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “In the fourth quarter they stretched it to four, so guys showed some composure in fighting back. We did a good job but obviously not good enough.”

The usually lethal UMass defense struggled against Richmond on Saturday, giving up 13 goals, the second most goals allowed by the team all season. Coming into the game, the Minutemen boasted the sixth best scoring defense in the country, allowing just nine goals per game. Goalie Matt Knote, the leading goalie in the nation in terms of save percentage only saved 35 percent of Richmond’s 20 shots on goal, his worst mark of the season.

The Spiders fired up a barrage of shots on the UMass defense, taking 47 shots compared to the Minutemen’s 31. Richmond also led in shots on goal, 20-17.

“They’re a very good shooting team, they’re well coached on offense, and they got a tremendous amount of talent on their attack,” Cannella said.

On offense, Mike Tobin had his second consecutive hat trick, scoring three goals and two assists after scoring three goals and one assist against High Point last week. Tobin helped to fuel UMass’ comeback late in the fourth quarter after the Minutemen trailed 13-9 with under four minutes left.

With 3:24 left in the game, Tobin scored an incredible shot low to the ground while falling down that went right through the Richmond goaltender’s legs and into the net.

Shane O’Leary quickly scored another goal to bring the Minutemen within two with 2:50 remaining to put UMass within two. Then, with 2:02 left Tobin would score a magnificent deep outside shot while taking contact from a Richmond defender. The Minutemen were unable to score again after Tobin brought them to the doorstep of a comeback.

“[Tobin’s] done a really good job for us. Not only the last couple of games but the entire season as a very strong leader as well. He brings a lot of toughness and a lot of leadership on the offensive side of the field,” Cannella said.

Another bright spot on offense for UMass included the play of Zach Auble. The freshman from Burlington, Mass. scored his first collegiate goal with 5:47 left in the second quarter and finished with two goals in the game. The defensive midfielder hasn’t carved out a two-way role yet but took advantage of transition opportunities to make an impact on the offensive end.

The Minutemen will continue A-10 conference play with a matchup against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, April 15 at Garber Field. Face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].

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