Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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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

Lacrosse Notebook: UMass mounts mammoth comeback, topping Hobart in Atlantic 10 opener, 13-12

Minutemen post nine goals in near-perfect final period
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team surged back from a six-goal deficit, defeating Hobart 13-12 in the opening game of Atlantic 10 conference play.

UMass (5-4, 1-0 A-10) appeared down-and-out when the scoreboard favored the Statesmen (3-6, 0-1 A-10) 10-4 entering the final frame. The Minutemen refused to disappear, leading to a nearly unthinkable late-game comeback.

UMass outscored Hobart 9-2 in the fourth quarter during its thunderous resurgence. As a result, the Minutemen have now played in five consecutive one-goal games for a total of six on the season.

The Gorillas crumbled in the second quarter, conceding five successive goals ending the period. Hobart did not stop there, extending the run to seven straight in the second half. UMass initially began the game with a 2-0 lead, but momentum flipped on its head. Hobart swallowed up each UMass attack while remaining efficient enough on the other end, maintaining a comfortable lead.

Hobart’s stifling defense kept the Minutemen off the board for a whopping 26 minutes in the middle of the contest. Hobart ranks among the bottom five teams in Division I in the category of caused turnovers, but on Saturday afternoon, the Statesmen forced nine turnovers, well above their previous average of 5.75 per game.

Conor Foley was the player that stepped up when UMass desperately needed an offensive revival. He notched two quick goals at the outset of the fourth period. Foley stayed aggressive and never gave up when all else went stagnant. The senior lowered his head into the defender and snapped a quick-trigger shot to score his career-high fifth goal of the game late in the fourth.

Mike Tobin fed off Foley’s relentless energy, scoring two clutch goals of his own during the most pivotal moments of the matchup. He corralled a high pass before cranking the equalizer into the upper portion of his target, tying the game with under two minutes left.

Caleb Hammett won the subsequent faceoff, earning UMass an opportunity to lead for the first time since it led 4-3. Tobin caught a pass from Shane O’Leary in the middle of the field with 50 seconds on the game clock. Tobin took one powerful step and proceeded to launch a missile into the net from 15 yards out. The game-winning goal marked the fulfillment of a six-goal comeback.

The home side outperformed UMass in almost every statistical measurement aside from the one that mattered most. Ground balls, turnovers, faceoffs and shots all went the way of the Statesmen. It was the Minutemen’s pure willpower and fight that drove them back in the end.

Matt Knote was, unsurprisingly, another crucial reason the Minutemen remained within striking distance throughout the game. The star goalie saved 18 shots, seven of which came in the third period, a period where UMass failed to record a single tally. Knote is a vocal leader for the Gorillas, and his presence in net allowed his team to stay engaged during a rough stretch.

One of the strangest instances of the game saw defenseman Owen Quinn receive three penalties on the exact same third period play. Yellow laundry littered the field as Quinn’s overeager play gathered him two separate pushing penalties, along with an illegal body-check call. Hobart scored on the ensuing man-up.

The result represents the largest blown lead for the Statesmen since head coach Greg Raymond was appointed back in 2013.

The Minutemen finally head home to Garber Field on Saturday, April 6. UMass continues A-10 play when it hosts the red-hot Saint Joseph’s Hawks. Faceoff on ESPN+ is set for 1:00 p.m.

Cameron Pellegrino can be reached at [email protected].

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