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 defeats High Point 12-10 Saturday

Mike Tobin records season-high three goals
Kalina Kornacki/ Daily Collegian (2023)

In its first Atlantic 10 matchup of the season, the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team beat High Point University in a close 12-10 game that came down to the final minutes.

The Minutemen (6-3) opened the game strong offensively, scoring seven straight goals in the first half, setting UMass up 8-4 at halftime. The eight goals scored in the first half were scored by six different offensive players, with attackmen Carter Castillo and Mike Tobin doubling up with two each.

The commanding 8-4 lead would not last for long as High Point (6-5) gave UMass’s defense some trouble, outscoring UMass 3-1 in the third quarter and adding three more in the fourth. With five minutes left in the game, the scoreboard was even.

With a comeback brewing for the Panthers, senior Mike Tobin took the reins and scored an unassisted goal, putting the Minutemen up one with only a few minutes left in regulation.

“It was great for us … to see our team face the adversity and just push forward and not panic,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “We did have to grind it out.”

A critical penalty by the Panthers gave UMass a two-minute-long extra-man opportunity, which aided in the Minutemen’s ability to hold off the comeback and maintain the lead. During the penalty, attack/midfielder Anthony Sericolo put one in the net and set UMass up two goals. With a more comfortable lead, the Minutemen were able to ride the final minute out until the clock hit zero.

This game came down to the very end for the Minutemen, who relied on the experience of their captains and grit as a collective unit. Mike Tobin, one of the three captains this year, took command of the offense, scoring a hat-trick and one assist on the day.

“[Tobin] works as hard as anybody and he’s a tremendous leader,” Cannella said about Tobin. “We needed him.”

Captain goalkeeper Matt Knote also was crucial in Saturday’s game, recording 14 saves, nine of which came in the second half. “We needed Matt to be Matt,” Cannella said. Knote’s consistency in the net and the energy he brings to the field are always a huge help to the other players on the field.

“He absolutely gives us confidence on that end,” Tobin said about Knote. “He’s an unbelievable player and leader, it’s been great to share captain with him.”

The Minutemen’s defense had quite the task of preparing for High Point’s electric offense. The Panthers have scored 14 or more goals in seven of their games so far this season, and with UMass holding them to only 10, it was a strong showing by defense and Knote to hold them off, especially at the end when it mattered most.

“We’ve definitely been battle-tested all year and it showed today,” Tobin said.

The Minutemen were also able to come out on top in faceoffs, with redshirt sophomore Caleb Hammett winning 15 of 23 draws and recording an assist. Hammett, who has played in all nine games of the season for UMass, continues to be the top face-off taker and has shown improvement as the season progresses.

“We needed every save [Knote] made, every faceoff [Hammett] won, and every stop that our defense made,” Cannella said.

The Minutemen continue with their Atlantic 10 opponents on April 8 when they travel to Richmond, VA to take on the Richmond Spiders. Faceoff is set for 11:30 a.m.

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

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