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 drops 13-12 thriller against Vermont

Fourth quarter collapse leads to Minutemen’s demise
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

The No. 20 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team fell just short against Vermont, losing 13-12 in an exhilarating matchup.

The Minutemen (4-2) held three separate three-goal leads and did not trail until the fourth quarter but ultimately couldn’t finish the job. The Catamounts (2-4) notched four consecutive goals in the final frame, which proved to be the difference.

Vermont snatched its first lead with 11:41 remaining on the game clock and never gave it up. UMass made several valiant efforts, trying to crawl back into the contest.

Grant Breyo and Shane O’Leary each scored late goals, cutting the deficit down to one with just under two minutes remaining. Desperate defending in the final minute of the game earned the Minutemen one last chance to equalize. UMass worked the ball around after its timeout, but the Catamounts did not allow as much as a shot on the final possession.

Penalties sabotaged the Minutemen all afternoon. Seven penalties for a total of seven minutes were called against UMass. Defenseman Owen Quinn was handed a three-minute penalty for heavy contact to the face, and the long extra-man opportunity helped kickstart the Vermont comeback.

“We defended well a man down, but that one that locked in gave them possession,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “It seemed like we didn’t have the ball from the middle of the third to almost the middle of the fourth quarter. If you foul that many times, and you win 10 out of 28 faceoffs, you’re not going to win a lot of Division I lacrosse games.”

Star attacker Mason Bregman had previously scored in every game this season, but the Catamounts had a clear plan to keep him off the scoresheet. Bregman still found a way to get involved, as he became a provider and registered three assists on the day.

“There’s five other guys on the field, so you go to those guys,” Cannella said. “[Mike Tobin] had a good day, [Caelin Lewis] had a good day. [Bregman] changed his game, if guys are going to slide to him, he’s going to move the ball and create for others, and that’s what we asked him to do.”

Lewis, who has been a constant standout since arriving from Syracuse ahead of the 2024 campaign, now leads the team in goals after scoring his second hat-trick of the season, with 12 goals total.

Tobin also posted a trio of goals in the game, including a sidearm snipe from distance in the middle of the third quarter, raising his own season total to 11 goals.

Despite the tight loss, the moment of the game for UMass took place at the halfway mark of the third. Once the defense gains possession of the ball, they must reach the midline within 20 seconds to avoid a violation. Goalie Matt Knote cradled the ball behind his own goal with just two seconds left to advance the ball to midfield. As a result, Knote launched the ball all the way towards the Vermont goal, where it took a quick bounce and nestled into the net for his first career goal.

In addition to his unfathomable tally, Knote saved a season-high 19 shots. The two sides finished dead even in the categories of both groundballs and turnovers, with 34 and 16 apiece. The Catamounts took the clear edge in shots and faceoffs. UMass climbed up to the No. 20 spot in the rankings this week, but the loss will likely make the Minutemen unranked.

UMass travels to Farmingdale, N.Y. for a neutral site matchup with No. 16 Rutgers in the Dalers Lacrosse Classic. The opening faceoff is set for Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m. The game can be watched on the Varsity Media YouTube channel.

Cameron Pellegrino can be reached at [email protected].

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