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 UMass Lowell 10-7 in home opener

Faceoff and groundball wins guide Minutemen towards victory
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team thwarted a flying start from UMass Lowell en route to a 10-7 victory in its home opener.

Mason Bregman shook his defender behind the net and raced towards the crease to pull a goal back for UMass (1-1) as the opening quarter waned. Bregman was not done there, as he scored a nearly identical goal on the opposite side just two minutes later, which equalized the game at two.

UMass weathered the storm prior to the conclusion of the first quarter, despite the slow start with minimal scoring chances. The River Hawks (0-2) have not won a game since the final game of the 2022 campaign. That stat was difficult to tell through the first 10 minutes.

The Minutemen found most of their success in the second period. Midfielder Shane O’Leary’s drive to the net snatched the Gorillas their first lead of the matchup early on. UMass Lowell responded immediately, though it was all UMass the rest of the way.

Bregman added an assist to his resume when Matthew Cargiulo corralled his pass and ripped a shot into the upper netting. The goal kick-started a run of three unanswered goals for the Minutemen. The turf provided some assistance to the Minutemen too, as River Hawks defenseman Josh Adey took a spill, allowing Mike Tobin to slot home his second of the afternoon on an odd man rush.

Groundballs and faceoffs were both on the side of UMass in the second quarter. A total of 13 groundballs were scooped by the Minutemen, while UMass Lowell recorded just four.

“The momentum shifted with the groundballs,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “It starts with the [groundballs] and always ends with the [groundballs].”

FOGO Caleb Hammett won six of his seven attempts during the quarter. He finished the game with a 71.4 percent win rate in the faceoff circle.

“In a close game like this, [faceoffs] matter, especially when Lowell was kind of creeping,” Cannella said. “Anytime you can get possession on the offensive end that helps you and [Hammett] did a great job today.”

UMass carried a two-goal lead into the halftime break, which served as an opportunity to thaw on a frigid day at Garber Field. Caelin Lewis restored the three-goal edge with a laser of a shot, planted into the top right corner at the outset of the second half.

The River Hawks refused to give up. Goals were few and far between in the latter half of the game, as over ten minutes separated Lewis’ tally and UMass Lowell’s answer. The scoreline tightened to 8-7 with 14 minutes left to play.

Lewis is making his presence with his new team known after arriving from Syracuse. His long-range shooting ability has aided the UMass attack greatly. He took a stick to the chest whilst rifling the dagger through the hearts of the River Hawks, and UMass captured its first win of the season, 10-7.

The area of discipline is one battle that the Minutemen did not win on Saturday. UMass Lowell earned three extra man opportunities on four total penalties, while it was never being penalized.

“We were going after guys, swinging our sticks, pushing guys,” Cannella said. “You have to be really disciplined in those situations and just continue to play the way that you’ve been asked to play. We’re not asking anyone to take the ball away from anyone, we’re asking people to play with controlled aggression.”

While UMass was not always convincing, it secured the win in the home opener.

“Wins are very hard to come by in division one lacrosse,” Cannella said. “We tightened up a little bit on the defensive end, only let up two in the second half. We had plenty of opportunities in the third to push the lead up and didn’t finish the ball very well. [Knote] made some timely saves late and we hung in there and won.”

The Minutemen have little time to revel in the win, as they continue their five-game home stand against the Marist Red Foxes on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Cameron Pellegrino can be reached at [email protected].

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