Thursday, April 10, 2014
AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team used a 10-goal second half and much-improved defense to defeat Providence, 16-11, Tuesday at Garber Field.
After giving up 25 goals at home on Saturday to Albany, the 14th-ranked Minutemen (5-1) tightened up on defense and limited the Friars (3-3) to four first-half goals.
“Our guys are prideful. Their egos were bruised a little bit,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said. “We buckled down a bit today.”
While the 11 goals allowed was an improvement on Saturday, it matched the second-most given up by the Minutemen this year.
The offense, led by Grant Whiteway, helped compensate and earned UMass the victory.
Whiteway had seven goals and one assist, while Connor Mooney had three goals and four assists. Andrew Sokol also netted two goals, while four players scored one apiece.
Whiteway gave the Minutemen a quick 2-0 lead, and the team held a 6-2 advantage after the first. Providence, however, shut them out in the second and pulled within 6-4 at halftime.
“We didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the second,” Cannella said. “We took three shots, and when you do that, you’re not going to capitalize too much. They switched the goalie up and he made up couple of good saves. In the second half, our guys were sharing the ball a little bit. We made some plays.”
Those plays led to a much more productive offense as UMass outscored the Friars 5-3 in the third to take an 11-7 lead into the final quarter. Senior Joe Calvello won 7-of-9 faceoffs in the third, while Whiteway scored four of his seven goals.
Providence hung around in the fourth, and cut the Minutemen lead to three with just under eight minutes left.
UMass answered and took a 15-11 lead with 2:24 left on Brendan Schroeder’s tally. Calvello won the following faceoff, raced down the field and threw in the game-clinching tally six seconds later.
“He’s done a really good job facing off all year,” Cannella said. “He’s the guy that gets us the possessions. If we lose faceoffs, and continue to lose faceoffs at 13-10, it could have been a different story.”
Calvello won 21-of-30 faceoffs. Zach Oliveri made 12 saves in the win.
UMass quickly forgot about the loss to Albany.
“We tried to forget about Saturday,” senior defensemen Bob Fahey said. “We’re going to forget about this in 30 minutes and move on to next Saturday. We have to get back to our basics. We were playing great before (Albany). We’ve got to continue this momentum into Saturday and for the rest of the season.”
UMass will play at No. 7 Penn State (3-2) on Saturday.
Northampton native Jarrod Neumann had two ground balls and caused three turnovers on defense for the Friars.