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 routs St. Bonaventure 14-3 at home Saturday

Mason Bregman leads Minutemen offense with five points
Shilpa Sweth/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team dominated every aspect of its home tilt against St. Bonaventure to the extent that, at one point, the Minutemen (7-4, 2-1 Atlantic 10) had more goals than the Bonnies (1-11, 0-3 A-10) had shot attempts.

Surrendering a goal 15 seconds into the game was one small blemish on the day, but in the end, UMass won 14-3, marking the third time this season that Matt Knote and the Minutemen held an opposing offense to four or less goals.

“It’s a huge impact on our team,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said of the defense. “When you’re not scoring and you continue to make stops, it’s good for the offensive guys to feel less pressure on them.”

Knote finished the day with eight saves and two goals allowed and didn’t allow a single goal in the second half before he was pulled with four minutes to go.

Offensively, UMass had trouble solving St. Bonaventure goaltender Cristofero Cucciuffo, who weathered the storm and made 22 saves while allowing 14 goals. The Minutemen smashed through their season-high in shot attempts with 66 Saturday, but only 35 were on goal.

“[Cucciuffo] was outstanding … good day for him, not a good day for us shooting, so that has to get better,” Cannella said. “It’s a lot of shots just to score 14 goals … if you’re going to win a shootout or you’re going to win a game on the road you have to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Mason Bregman put himself on the score sheet early and often, leading UMass with four goals and tying Gabriel Procyk for a team-high five points. Bregman alternated between coming out of the box as a midfielder and playing attack, but nothing prevented him from finding openings and capitalizing on them.

“[Bregman] has given consistent effort … he’s earned the opportunity,” Cannella said. “That’s what’s most important to us is to earn it, and then when you get out there to take advantage of the opportunity. He’s done that.”

Mike Tobin continued his string of dominant performances in A-10 play, posting his third straight hat trick in the win. He attempted 12 shots on Saturday and played the entire game with confidence.

“He’s beating every guy, drawing the slides, getting people open, making great looks and finishing the ball,” Bregman said of Tobin. “He’s playing great all around.”

Caleb Hammett also had a stellar performance that went beyond just winning face-offs. The redshirt sophomore scored his first career goal on Saturday after winning a draw to himself and carrying it all the way into the box. Hammett cradled down the field on his backhand before swinging his stick back to his right shoulder and firing a shot at Cucciuffo’s feet.

“I’ve been trying since my junior year of high school to put one in the back of the net,” Hammett said. “I was talking to coach Smith [on Friday] about how I wanted to go to the net, and I kind of just experimented with it on that play instead of going right down the middle.”

On face-offs, Hammett went an impressive 10-for-15, but nothing matched the energy he brought to the entire team after his goal.

“Any time a face-off guy [or backup] scores the guys are thrilled because these people work so hard, [Hammett] works his butt off every day,” Cannella said. “When he shows up in a goal stat or an assist stat, that’s like gravy for those guys.”

The Minutemen hope to carry momentum from the win into a tough conference matchup against St. Joseph’s on the road Saturday, April 22. Opening face-off is set for 3:30 p.m. in Philadelphia, Penn.

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

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