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 suffers 12-7 loss to Saint Joseph’s

Minutemen’s slow start leads to first loss in A-10 play
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team fell 12-7 to Saint Joseph’s in its second game of conference play at Garber Field. Saint Joseph’s (7-3, 2-0 Atlantic 10) held its compact defensive shape intact for the entire game, which proved difficult for UMass (5-5, 1-1 A-10).

After a promising opening to the conference season at Hobart, this was a fall from grace for the Minutemen, as they were completely outclassed from the first faceoff. UMass found the net seven times, while only firing 28 shots. Both tallies are season lows, a testament to how strong the Hawks stood on defense.

“Their defense was excellent, and it didn’t seem like we could ever get in a groove on offense,” head coach Greg Cannella said. “And again, we didn’t win faceoffs as well. So, it’s hard to really rally when you’re not doing that.”

Shane O’Leary was the lone offensive bright spot for UMass in the loss. With two goals and two assists, O’Leary played with energy throughout the game. He has been one of the top scoring threats for the Minutemen as of late, with seven goals in his last three games.

“[O’Leary’s] a competitor and a tremendous athlete with great speed,” Cannella said. “He plays with an edge, and that’s the difference. You saw a lot of guys [from Saint Joseph’s] play with an edge [Saturday]. [He’s] the one guy I thought [on UMass] that played with a really strong edge.”

The Hawks forced the Gorillas to waste the clock, looking for the best opportunity early in the game. With just six seconds left on the shot clock, O’Leary received a pass at the restraining line and stepped up to the left. He released an underhand shot that snuck just past the Saint Joseph’s goalie and dribbled across the goal line for his first of the game, right as the shot clock expired.

In the middle of the first period, O’Leary cradled the ball, but couldn’t find a lane to the net. He regrouped and surveyed the field for an open pass instead, and he picked out Carter Castillo in front of the crease as he broke to the right. Castillo, who stood relatively alone in front of the net, calmly placed it over the shoulder of Hawks goalie Tommy Gross, putting UMass up 2-1.

Halfway through the second, O’Leary received a pass from Grant Breyo. He took a couple of steps before ripping it on net, bringing UMass back within three, and in the process, breaking up Saint Joseph’s five-goal run. The rest of the offense had clear issues, being shut down in transition, not finding quality shots and recycling the ball due to the Hawks’ defensive shape and slides.

“We have to shoot a little bit better,” Cannella said. “We shot the ball right into the goalie’s stick a few times. And we had opportunities, we missed the cage and didn’t shoot the ball well enough.”

Saint Joseph’s stayed dominant in the faceoff realm, winning 13-of-21, and scoring a crucial faceoff goal in the second quarter. The Hawks also won the groundball duel 30-24. Goalie Matt Knote made ten saves, eight of which came in the first half.

The Minutemen are back in action on Saturday, April 13, when they travel to the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

Cameron Pellegrino can be reached at [email protected].

Dylan Shalom can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @dylan_third.

Myles Donato can be reached at [email protected].

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