March 27, 2010

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The Princeton University men's lacrosse team missed the NCAA tournament last year after Mark Kovler and Rich Sgalardi suffered season-ending injuries. It wasn't a coincidence. The two midfielders proved their value, as they led the fourth-seeded Tigers (13-2) to a 10-7 win over Massachusetts (9-6) before a standing room only crowd at Class of 1952 Stadium. Kovler notched a career-high five goals and added and assist for a career-high six points. Sgalardi added three goals and one assist. The midfield accounted for every point of the Tigers' first eight goals. "To go out and do what we had to do to beat a really good team, that's what it's all about," Kovler said, "especially after last year when Rich and I weren't able to finish the season. We're just trying to make this one last as long as we can." © Kevin P. Tucker
The Princeton University men's lacrosse team missed the NCAA tournament last year after Mark Kovler and Rich Sgalardi suffered season-ending injuries. It wasn't a coincidence. The two midfielders proved their value, as they led the fourth-seeded Tigers (13-2) to a 10-7 win over Massachusetts (9-6) before a standing room only crowd at Class of 1952 Stadium. Kovler notched a career-high five goals and added and assist for a career-high six points. Sgalardi added three goals and one assist. The midfield accounted for every point of the Tigers' first eight goals. "To go out and do what we had to do to beat a really good team, that's what it's all about," Kovler said, "especially after last year when Rich and I weren't able to finish the season. We're just trying to make this one last as long as we can." © Kevin P. Tucker

UMass Topples No. 6 Hofstra in CAA Debut

from press release

AMHERST, Mass. -- The No. 18 UMass men's lacrosse team knocked off its second Top 15 team in a week as the Minutemen dumped No. 6 Hofstra, 11-9, at Garber Field on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. UMass outscored the Pride 4-0 in the second quarter and led the rest of the way in posting its biggest win of the season in the CAA opener for both teams. The Minutemen, who won 11-10 at No. 15 Brown on Tuesday, move to 6-2 overall with their third win a row. Hofstra sees its four-game winning streak end as the Pride fall to 4-2.

The win is UMass' first against a Top 10 team since the 2006 NCAA Semifinals, when the Minutemen downed No. 4 Maryland, 8-5 on May 27, on the way to the 2006 title game. It's the team's first regular-season over a Top 10 team since beating No. 7 Syracuse on April 30, 2005 and UMass' high against the highest-ranked team in the regular-season since knocking off No. 3 Georgetown, also in 2005, 13-12 on April 23.

Sophomore Art Kell led UMass with his fourth hat trick of the season along with an assist for four points. Freshman Will Manny had a goal and three assists as he also netted four points. Anthony Biscardi also scored twice for the Minutemen.

It was an all-around team effort yet again for the Minutemen as the defense was solid. Sophomore goalie Tim McCormack made 12 saves including six in the fourth quarter and two in the final minute to secure the win. The defense nearly shutdown the nation's leading scorer Jamie Lincoln, who was held to just one goal and one assist. Lincoln came into the game with 6.0 points per game.

UMass used a rotation of long-poles on the Pride's attack as senior captain and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Diogo Godoi captained the defense. Sophomore Tom Celentani, junior Travis Tripucka were also top-rate on close defense. Long-stick midfielder Casey Rahn forced several turnovers and had five groundballs. Short-sticks Stephen Zorkers and Kevin Wright were tremendous as well.

The decisive second quarter was keyed by the face-off prowess of Greg Rushing (12-of-20), who won all five second-quarter draws. Tied 2-2 after the first quarter, UMass ripped off two goals in 31 seconds as senior Bobby Hayes and Biscardi scored on back-to-back lasers for a 4-2 edge with 6:04 left in the second quarter. Senior Christian Hain and freshman Colin Fleming finished the half with two more goals and a 6-2 bulge. Manny set up three of the four goals in the second period.

The lead ballooned to 7-2 on Biscardi's second of the game off a feed from Kell, 1:05 into the second half. Hofstra ended the run with a back-to-back goals by Stephen Bentz (2 goals) and Kevin Ford (3 goals) to cut the deficit to 7-4 with 7:56 left in the third.

Another run of three goals proved to be too much for the Pride to overcome as Junior Ryan Liebel scored to begin a spurt of a trio of tallies in 3:10. Kell netted two more for the hat trick and 10-4 lead with 3:22 left in the third.

The Pride scored three quick goals to cut the UMass lead to 10-7 with 1:40 left in the third, but Manny supplied the back-breaker. The freshman sensation bounced home a ball between goalie Rob Bellairs (4 saves) legs with one second left in the third and an 11-7 edge heading to the fourth.

Hofstra scored the only goals of the fourth and UMass' defense was stout and the offense killed the clock. McCormack stopped Tim Holman and Dan Stein with seconds left to secure the win.


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