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 Hobart 13-9 in regular-season finale

Matt Knote’s 11 second half saves guide Minutemen
Kayla Wong/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team closed out the regular season with a win over Atlantic 10 opponent, Hobart. With a lot on the line, UMass (8-5, 3-2 A-10) was able to pull away from Statesmen (5-8, 1-4 A-10) in the second half and secure a spot in the A-10 tournament.

UMass and Hobart both came out extremely aggressive, trading goals left and right. Before the fourth quarter, the largest lead that took place was a two-goal gap by the Minutemen in the first 15 minutes.

“Every time it seemed like they scored, we were able to respond,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “Hard fought game. Hobart’s a very good team, very good offensively.”

A three-goal run by Hobart and a scoreless six minutes put UMass in a tough situation. However, the Minutemen’s hot hand on offense, Mike Tobin, pulled the team back into the game with back-to-back goals to take the lead. This rush of energy pulled the team back into it, and Hobart only scored three more times for the remainder of the game.

Tobin led the offense with a total of five points on the day, scoring three goals and two assists. Right behind Tobin, attacker Mason Bregman scored twice and earned one assist. Although Tobin and Bregman were the only players on the day to score more than once, the whole offensive unit was able to get involved in the scoring game, with eight other players knocking one into the net.

With the offense clicking and keeping up with Hobart’s 13 goals per game unit, gameplay changes were much needed on the defensive end.

“Coach [Noah] Fossner made some adjustments … they changed a couple of things there, and he did a really great job with it,” Cannella explained.

Following the second half, the defense came out much stronger than earlier in the game, and it showed. After seven goals were allowed in the first half, Hobart was held to only two more scores for the remainder of the game. Cannella noted how the team “settled down defensively.”

One of the most notable improvements made during the game was goalkeeper Matt Knote’s performance. Normally a rock for the full 60 minutes, Knote started off the first half struggling, as he allowed seven goals and only saved five shots. A huge turnaround by Knote, where he recorded 11 saves, aided in the second half, which allowed the Minutemen to pull away.

“[Knote] had a great second half…that’s a big part of it,” Cannella said.

Knote made 16 total saves and allowed nine goals, good for a .640 save percentage. Coming into Friday he boasted a .593 save percentage, the best in Division I men’s lacrosse.

It was a big night for the Minutemen as they secured a spot in the postseason tournament, but it was also senior night, where the UMass lacrosse team honored their 19 senior and graduate students.

“Those 19 guys out there … work so hard day in and day out. You almost feel like they deserve to win [on senior night], but you still have to earn it,” Cannella said.

Seniors Matt Caddigan, Carter Castillo, Jake Dulac, Matt Knote, Anthony Sericolo, and Mike Tobin are all planning to return for a fifth year with the team. However, Cannella still has to say goodbye to 13 players.

When asked about the senior group leaving the team, Cannella only had good things to say about them.

“Great effort, great leadership from all those guys,” Cannella said. “To win their last game on Garber field, they’ll never forget that.”

As the regular season concludes, the Minutemen move on to the A-10 conference tournament in Richmond, VA. UMass currently sits at the three-seed and is tentatively slotted into the second game of the semifinals at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.

Samantha Sands can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @samanthasands__.

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