UMass falls to Penn State in CAA men’s lacrosse semifinal
University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse coach Greg Cannella thought the final game of the 2013 season embodied the entirety of it.
The Minutemen missed opportunities and struggled to finish on offense as they fell 10-7 to Penn State, Wednesday in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in State College, Pa.
The Minutemen (7-8) led 6-5 late in the third quarter, but were outscored 5-1 down the stretch.
“It was a game we could have won,” Cannella said. “It was like our season. We were in it, but we didn’t get the productivity we needed. We won most of the statistics, but we didn’t win the scoreboard which is ultimately what counts. We didn’t struggle to get scoring opportunities. We struggled to finish them.”
Grant Whiteway led UMass with three goals, while Will Manny added a goal and two assists. Freshman goalie Zach Oliveri made 10 saves.
The game ends the careers of eight UMass seniors — Manny, Kyle Smith, Jake Smith, Colin Fleming, Ryan Hollenbaugh, K.R. Jurgelevich, Brett Tobin and Bobby Tyler.
“That’s a good group. We’re going to miss those guys,” Cannella said. “They did a good job down the stretch with their leadership keeping this thing moving in the right direction.”
Manny and Kyle Smith leave among the program’s career leaders on offense. Manny’s 107 goals are seventh in school history, while his 94 assists are tied for sixth. His three points Wednesday gave him 201, making him the fifth player to reach that milestone at UMass.
Kyle Smith, who led the Minutemen in scoring this year, finishes 23rd on the career points list with 125.
It was the Minutemen’s first losing season since 2008. Cannella hoped the returning players would be motivated by that.
“I hope they feel like it’s unacceptable to lose some of the games the way we lost them. We lacked energy in some games,” Cannella said. “You want them to be motivated to make themselves better.”
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