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 fails to find tying goal, falls 11-10 to Saint Joseph’s

Minutemen now 2-2 in Atlantic 10 play
Kalina Kornacki/ Daily Collegian (2023)

In a matchup between two of the Atlantic 10’s top three squads, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team (7-5, 2-2 A-10) came away with a loss Saturday, falling to Saint Joseph’s (9-4, 4-0 A-10) 11-10.

Both teams traded blows the entire game, with neither team ever having a lead larger than three. Finally, during a fourth quarter that saw the Hawks turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, the Minutemen called timeout with 17 seconds remaining and the ball in their possession.

After working their way around the net, a pass found its way to junior Grant Breyo on the perimeter with about 10 seconds to go. From there, Breyo tried to play a two-man game with senior Mike Tobin, but time just wasn’t on the duo’s side. A high press from Saint Joseph’s flustered Tobin, resulting in him initially dropping Breyo’s pass and then scrambling farther away from the net. With a double-team arriving, Tobin attempted a pass back to Breyo. However, by the time the ball settled into Breyo’s pocket, the final buzzer had already sounded on the Minutemen’s chances.

“[We were] just [looking for] some ball movement,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “We didn’t make the right read. They came off of Shane [O’Leary] and [we] shoot the ball back to Mike where we should’ve taken the ball forward … just a little bit of lack of execution.”

For UMass, Saturday was a tale of two halves with its offense and defense each taking a turn to shine. In the first half, it was the Minutemen offense that stepped up. UMass got on the scoring sheet just over a minute and a half into the game, with Shane O’Leary scoring his 13th goal of the season unassisted. From there, after a slight lull towards the end of the first, the Minutemen blitzed the Hawks in the second quarter, scoring five goals.

The only problem with UMass’ first half offensive performance was that Saint Joseph’s did just as well. The game went into halftime deadlocked at seven, in part thanks to a three-goal run from the Hawks in the middle of the first quarter. Saint Joseph’s then tallied on three more scores in the second, including one from junior Carter Page, who’s tied for seventh in the nation in goals (40).

After halftime, the game seemed to turn on its head. The high-scoring offenses both squads boasted in the first half were suddenly nowhere to be found. After 14 first half goals, the second half saw just seven, in large part due to the Minutemen defense. Players like Chris Campbell and Matt Caddigan helped close lanes for Hawk attackers, causing turnovers and creating havoc in general.

Despite the improved second half defensive showing, UMass could not replicate their earlier offense. 29 first half shots turned to 16 in the second half for the Minutemen, 12 shots on goal turned to seven and 10 won faceoffs turned to just two. This led to a three-goal third quarter for UMass followed by a fourth that saw the Minutemen completely shutout of the scoring column.

For UMass, Breyo and redshirt sophomore Mason Bregman led the way in scoring with two goals apiece. Bregman, specifically, had an impressive goal to open the second half, as he picked up a ground ball at the top of the crease and immediately fired it past Saint Joseph’s goalie Shayne Ryan to give the Minutemen an 8-7 lead. Mike Tobin also scored, extending the senior’s goal streak to four games.

Caleb Hammett played a key role in UMass’ first half success, as the redshirt sophomore went 10-of-16 on faceoffs over the game’s first two periods. Similarly to the rest of the offense, though, the second half brought struggles, as Hammett went just 2-of-7 over the final two frames.

Moving forward, Cannella said his message to the team for the rest of the season is to “just be intense and get yourself ready the right way.”

For Saint Joseph’s, senior Matt Bohmer and graduate student Stephen Dwyer led the team with two goals each. Bohmer also added an assist bringing his season total up to 19, first on the Hawks.

Next up for the Minutemen: the regular season finale, where they’ll host a Hobart squad that has lost three straight. That game will be Friday at 5:00 p.m. at Garber Field.

Dean Wendel can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @DeanWende1.

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