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 loses 14-12 to No. 15 Richmond on Senior Day

Minutemen crumble in third period, conceding seven goals
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team battled No. 15 Richmond, but a third-period collapse led to a 14-12 loss.

UMass (6-6, 2-2 A-10) conceded four goals during a 44-second span in the middle of the third quarter. The Minutemen went into the halftime locker room protecting a 7-5 lead, though Richmond (9-4, 4-0 A-10) quickly flipped the game in its favor.

The second and third periods of play were nearly identically mirrored. UMass took full control of the second, winning 6-1 in the allotted 15 minutes. Mason Bregman recovered his scoring form from the beginning of the season, netting five goals in the contest.

Bregman’s takeover included three consecutive goals to close the first half. A low bouncer as the game clock ran under five minutes began the scoring stretch. Less than a minute later, the senior attackman caught a difficult pass and sniped the ball into the top left corner.

With the minds of both teams already in the locker room, Bregman was not done yet. Midfielder Matt Caddigan took a ferocious hit that drew a penalty with a single second on the clock. Caddigan proceeded to make a heads-up play, guiding the ball back towards Bregman with the head of his stick whilst lying flat on the turf. Bregman scooped the ball and unleashed his lightning-quick sidearm shot to beat the buzzer. His performance set career-highs in both goals and points.

The Spiders boast the second-best scoring defense in the nation, and they backed up the numbers straight out of the break. Richmond deployed high pressure and energetic double teams to almost every UMass ball-handler.

“First off, they have a good goalie,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “He played very well, defensively they have a great scheme. They double-teamed and held the double, you don’t see that often. We handled it sometimes, sometimes we didn’t. When you score 12 goals in the game, you hope you can come out on top.”

The first-half run from UMass was matched by a blazing Richmond stretch of an even greater magnitude. The Spiders posted six goals prior to the under-eight timeout in the fourth quarter. The Gorillas defense simply had no answers for the halftime adjustments.

“It was just really one stretch in the third quarter where we kind of melted a little bit,” Cannella said. “We felt we had some momentum coming out of that first half, up 7-5. But obviously, good teams are [going to] make a run on you, and they did, unfortunately we couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to call timeout because we were getting close to the under-eight, and you kind of wasted a timeout there, but I had to do it. But if someone’s gonna make a run, you [have to] stop it at two or three. You can’t let them get six.”

UMass did find a late surge of momentum, but it proved to be too little, too late. A five-goal deficit was tightened to two, after three goals in rapid succession. Mike Tobin caught a pass from Bregman with less than a minute to go. He directed it straight into the back of the net, all in one motion. Caleb Hammett won the ensuing faceoff to keep the comeback dream alive, but a defensive stand from the Spiders slammed the door shut.

The Saturday afternoon matchup also represented Senior Day for UMass. A number of key players are currently playing in their senior years, though many of them are eligible to return for one more year. The current senior class is the last group of collegiate athletes that retain an extra year of eligibility as a result of the pandemic. Each senior was recognized for their contributions at the conclusion of the game. A season-high tally of 1,258 fans packed Garber Field for the A-10 clash.

“Senior Day in general is an emotional day for those guys,” Cannella said. “… But, it’s an emotional thing because, potentially, it could be their last game on Garber Field and last game at home playing in front of a great crowd.”

UMass will conclude its regular season on Friday, April 26 at High Point. Faceoff is set for 3 p.m. The final game will decide the Minutemen’s seeding in the Atlantic-10 Tournament, which will be hosted at Garber Field on May 2 and 4.

Cameron Pellegrino can be reached at [email protected].

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