Frosh Leads UMass Over Hens on Senior Night
from press release
AMHERST, Mass - Freshman Connor Mooney stole
the show on Senior Night as the rookie tallied a career-high five
goals to lead No. 19 UMass to a dominating 11-5 win over Delaware
under the lights at Garber Field. With the win, UMass will travel
to Penn State in the CAA Semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The
seeding spots are unknown, but based on tie-breakers UMass will
play at PSU as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed.
The Minutemen are now 9-4 overall and finish the CAA season at 4-2. Delaware is also 4-2 in the league and 9-6 overall. The decisive game for determing the CAA standings takes place at Hofstra tomorrow as Penn State plays at the Pride. The winner of the Hofstra-PSU game cliches the league regular-season crown with a 5-1 record while the three others (including UMass and Delaware) would tie for second at 4-2. In a three-way tie with Penn State for second, the standings finish: PSU, UMass and Delaware. With Hofstra in the trio it would be: Hofstra, Delaware and UMass based on tie-breakers.
On Friday night, the Minutemen took over the game in the third quarter as Mooney tallied three of his five goals in a 6-2 stanza for UMass. The Minutemen led 3-1 at halftime thanks to goals by Art Kell, Mooney and a man-up goal by Colin Fleming.
The second half saw UMass explode as Mooney tallied back-to-back goals in a 33-second span to give UMass a 6-2 lead with 7:38 left in the third. Delaware's Nick Elsmo ended a 27:35 scoreless drought for the Blue Hens. UMass came right back for more ripping off the next three goals as Kyle Smith, Mooney and face-off man Anthony Toresco scored.
Toresco was another major story of the night. In addition to his first-career goal, the junior won a career-high 13-of-15 on face-offs as the Minutemen dominating the "X" taking 15-of-19.
Mooney polished off his night with his fifth -- the most goals by a UMass player this season -- with 9:57 left in the fourth. Will Manny netted his 20th goal of the season to wrap the scoring for the Minutemen off a pretty pass from Art Kell with 2:33 left in the fourth and an 11-4 lead.
Manny also handed out three assists for a four-point night. Mike Fetterly returned from injury to assist a pair of Mooney goals as well.
Defense was a major story in addition to the offensive outburst as the top three Delaware goal scorers (who came into the game tallying 48 goals were held to a single goal by Eric Smith -- the first of the game. Goalie Tim McCormack made 10 saves including several show-stoppers.
The defense was stellar including close defenseman Travis Tripucka, Jake Smith, Tom Celentani and Greg Anderson. D-Middies, many playing their final regular-season game at Garber Field were strong as well including seniors Casey Rahn, Stephen Zorkers, Mael Walkowiak and Brett Newgaard.
Greg Rushing also had six groundballs as he was key on the face-off wing next to Toresco.
The last UMass player to score five goals in a game was Art Kell vs. Providence on March 16, 2010.
Again, UMass will play Penn State on Wednesday night in the CAA Tournament Semifinals at 7 p.m. The game will be carried on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass.