Minutemen Rally to Edge No. 20 Hofstra
from press release
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Trailing by four in the second quarter, UMass men's lacrosse used a second-half offensive surge to rally past No. 20 Hofstra, 9-8 at James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday evening. Senior attack Colin Fleming tallied the game-winning goal with 13 seconds to play on Will Manny's single-game career-high sixth assist of the night.
Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway led the squad with three goals while Fleming and junior attack Connor Mooney added a pair of tallies. Bobby Tyler produced one goal and an assist for a pair of points, Kyle Smith totaled one mark and Brendan Schroeder helped out on one tally.
The UMass man-down defense kept Hofstra to just one goal in seven extra-man opportunities spanning 6:30 of game action. Zach Oliveri finished with 13 saves against eight goals for a .619 save percentage on the contest while Joe Calvello won 13-of-19 faceoffs and tied for the game high with five groundballs scooped up.
With 1:52 remaining in the game and the scored tied at 8-8, the Minutemen caused a Hofstra turnover and cleared the play into the offensive zone. Following a timeout, Manny earned possession behind the cage and sent the play to Fleming in front, with Fleming firing a high attempt by goalie Chris Selva to push UMass ahead, 9-8 with time winding down in regulation.
The Minutemen (6-7 overall, 1-4 CAA) opened scoring with Smith tallying his team-leading 23rd goal of the year only 38 seconds into the game. Manny fed Smith from the right post, with Smith bouncing a shot at the edge of the crease. Torin Varn recorded back-to-back goals for Hofstra (7-6, 2-3) to push the home side into a 2-1 lead with 3:57 to go in the first. Varn added a man-up tally at the 1:22 mark of the opening stanza to notch the hat trick, using the Pride's fourth man-up opportunity of the quarter to do so.
After Brian von Bargen secured Hofstra's fourth goal on a rebound shot to close scoring in the first, Adrian Sorichetti connected to give the Pride a 5-1 advantage with 12:48 remaining in the half, the largest lead of the contest for either side. The Minutemen countered with consecutive tallies from Mooney and Whiteway to pull within 5-3, scoring the pair only 1:11 apart.
Mooney added the second UMass goal of the day with 4:55 left in the second, scooping up a loose ball in front and planting a rebound shot into the left side of the net while being checked to the ground from behind. Whiteway followed with his 19th goal of the year to drop the deficit to two. With Fleming screening the Hofstra defense in front of the cage, Whiteway caught a pass from Manny and fired an attempt into the top-left corner to convert.
Whiteway tallied his second of the day and 20th of the year to move the Minutemen within 6-4 at the 10:08 mark of the third. Schroeder found Whiteway in front for the goal, marking Schroeder's second helper of the season. Tyler added UMass' fifth goal on Manny's third assist of the contest. Manny sent a pass to Tyler near the left post, with Tyler flicking an attempt by Selva at the crease with 5:08 remaining in the third.
After Mike Malave recorded a goal for the Pride to extend Hofstra's lead to 7-5 at the 1:53 mark in the third, Whiteway connected again to earn his fourth career hat trick. Using a man-up opportunity following a cross-checking penalty on the Pride, Whiteway secured his third goal of the day following a feed from Manny with 23 seconds left in the third.
The Minutemen evened the score only 48 seconds into the final stanza on a Fleming strike from distance. Tyler sent a pass from behind the net to Fleming eight yards from the cage, with Fleming depositing a hard shot over Selva's right shoulder to make it 7-7.
UMass took its first lead of the contest since going ahead, 1-0 with Mooney's second goal of the day. To give the Minutemen the 8-7 advantage with 8:47 to play, Manny found Mooney in front, with Mooney converting a shot while being checked to the ground.
The one-goal UMass advantage was erased by von Bargen with a strike five yards out from the left post to notch play at 8-8 with 1:52 remaining to play. However, Fleming's first game-winner of the season kept UMass' CAA Tournament hopes alive as the Minutemen required a win over Hofstra to stay in the race for the fourth and final seed in the upcoming postseason.
Varn led Hofstra with three goals, all in the first quarter. von Bargen followed with two tallies while Sam Llinares, Malave and Sorichetti recorded one each. Selva made 17 saves for the Pride while letting in nine tallies.
UMass outshot Hofstra, 42-33 overall and 26-12 in the second half. The Minutemen also led in groundballs, 27-24 while committing fewer turnovers, with 10 against 11 given up by the Pride. UMass went 15-for-18 on clears while Hofstra finished 17-of-18. The Minutemen finished 4-for-8 in extra-man opportunities as Whiteway converted twice and Mooney and Tyler notched one man-up goal each.
UMass hosts its senior day against the Delaware Blue Hens (5-9, 1-4) with a 7 p.m. contest at Garber Field on Friday, April 26.
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