Let's face it: Hofstra too quick on the draw for UMass men's lacrosse
Published: Saturday, April 23, 2011, 7:15 PM Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2011, 7:30 PM
He was the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse faceoff specialist who took control of the game and led the Minutemen to their amazing come from behind 11-10 overtime win over Hofstra in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in 2006. It was his repeated faceoff wins that enabled UMass to overcome a 10-5 deficit with 8:03 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But the name of Jake Deane is tucked away in the record book and pleasant memories of UMass alumni. And now it will be Hofstra's faceoff man John Antoniades whose name will come up when Pride supporters talk about the 2011 Warrior Classic, and the continuing rivalry with UMass.
Antoniades, who came in having won 67 percent of his draws, won 15 of 20 Saturday, and methodical Hofstra almost always had the ball and thus scored almost all of the goals. The Pride routed UMass 14-5 to improve to 12-1, 4-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association standings while dropping the Minutemen to 8-4, 3-2 in the first game of the doubleheader played before 4,748 at Rentschler Field.
Three UMass faceoff men tried to challenge Antoniades, starting with regular draw man Greg Rushing. But between the second and third quarters, the Minutemen lost 11 of 12 draws and were outshot 28-5.
"We were outplayed in every facet of the game," UMass coach Greg Cannella said. "We didn't have the ball."
Antoniades, only a sophomore, was not a surprise to Cannella.
"He's been great, he's won 67 percent of his faceoffs, and that probably went up today," Cannella said. "He was just quicker to the ball."
And when the Minutemen did have the ball, they pressed, knowing that Hofstra has the nation's leading defense, now allowing 6.08 goals per game.
Hofstra won the groundball battle 32-20.
During the first half, the Minutemen suffered through their longest scoring drought to start a game since April 26, 2008 at Syracuse as they did not score until 3:19 of the second period Saturday. At Syracuse, they trailed 9-0 and went 30 minutes and seven seconds before getting on the board in a 16-3 loss. Anthony Biscardi broke a scoreless string of 26:41 Saturday after the Pride had registered the first seven goals.
On a final rush before the half, Stephen Zorkers fired a shot that went off Hofstra goaltender Andrew Gvozden and rolled behind him to cut the deficit to 7-2.
But there would be no Minutemen momentum to carry over into the third period. In fact, things got worse. The Pride dominated territorial play in the third, scoring all five goals and taking 17 of 19 shots. The Pride also won all six faceoffs, and picked up 10 of the 12 groundballs.
Art Kell scored twice within a 53-second span of the fourth quarter, and then Colin Fleming added another as the Minutemen attempted to make the score more respectable, narrowing the spread to 12-5.
But Hofstra scored the final two goals to wrap up the debacle.
"We didn't execute today," UMass defender Tom Celentani said. "We had a game plan, but we didn't show up."
Will Manny, who had recorded at least one point in all of his previous 25 career games, was held without a point Saturday. He also had six turnovers.
Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said that Antoniades doesn't get as much credit as he should.
"John's a warrior, and I guess that's appropriate for this day (Warrior Classic)," he said. "He's a machine when he gets on a roll."
UMass closes its regular season Friday night at home against Delaware. Delaware handed Hofstra its only loss of the season , 7-6, March 19.
Games At Rentschler Field Special To State Lacrosse Players
By MATTHEW CONYERS, email@example.com
8:27 PM EDT, April 23, 2011
EAST HARTFORD --
About 25 minutes after his UMass men's lacrosse team lost 14-5 to Hofstra on Saturday, Ryan Hollenbaugh needed to collect himself in the hallway outside the locker rooms at Rentschler Field.
The sting of defeat couldn't last long for the sophomore defender from Glastonbury. Hollenbaugh still had work to do -- important work.
Hollenbaugh, who played lacrosse and soccer for Glastonbury High before graduating in 2009, was set to go talk to a group of eighth-graders from the Glastonbury youth lacrosse program.
"Every time I get a chance to be home I try to go to a practice or two to get with the kids and teach them something here or there," Hollenbaugh said. "I know it is important to give back. I know the kids really look up to everyone."
For the second straight year, several state players got a chance to return home, playing before 4,748 in the ESPNU Warrior Classic. Hofstra took the first game of the doubleheader, and Syracuse, ranked fourth in the nation, beat Rutgers 12-2 in the nightcap.
Both games played out in similar fashion. No. 8 Hofstra and Syracuse, both 12-1, jumped to big early leads. Hofstra took a 7-0 lead before No. 15 UMass (8-4) got on the board, and Syracuse led 6-1 at halftime against Rutgers (5-7).
"I just think we were focused from the get-go and it started with the warmup," said Hofstra attack Jay Card, who scored four goals.
Unlike last year, when Connecticut players figured prominently on the score sheet, no state players found the back of the net Saturday. There were eight Connecticut players listed on the rosters of the four programs, and four others who played at state prep schools. Simsbury's Bobby Eilers had scored four goals in Syracuse's previous two games.
Still, the Connecticut players' impact was felt in other places, which was evident in the case of Hollenbaugh.
The former Glastonbury standout doesn't take for granted his role at the local level. He is proud to help the sport continue to grow in the state and is eager to give back.
"The sport has grown a lot in the state -- we have Glastonbury youth programs all the way to the first grade now," Hollenbaugh said. "When I was playing we just started out in fourth, fifth grade. I really like seeing the youth programs grow."
Hollenbaugh played sparingly for UMass last season but a year of experience has made him more comfortable with the speed of the college game and he is now a key defender for the Minutemen.
"I've just been more aggressive, trying to get out on the ball and cause more turnovers," Hollenbaugh said. "We want to dictate what we want their offense to do."
That maturity was also evident Saturday in defeat. Hollenbaugh talked like the role model he is striving to be when asked what he would take away from the loss.
"Personally, I need more mental preparation -- maybe a little more watching of film," he said.
And like the rest of the Connecticut players, Hollenbaugh is hoping to get another chance to play at the Rent.
"Coming back home is a treat," Hollenbaugh said. "Just being here is special."
Hofstra Harnesses 'Dislike' of UMass to Win Big
Hofstra attackman Jay Card (3g, 1a) kept his 41-game scoring streak alive and the Pride defense kept UMass attackman Will Manny scoreless for the first time in his career, as the Pride defeated the Minutemen 14-5 at Rentschler Field.
© Joe Rogate
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- As would be expected any time league rivals play each other as often as these two, the Hofstra University men's lacrosse team harbors a little animosity toward the University of Massachusetts.
"Dislike," Pride coach Seth Tierney said, taking the politically correct route.
At a team dinner Friday before the ESPNU Warrior Classic, Tierney read a series of inspirational letters written by former Hofstra players and had a few there to speak directly. Some played for the 2006 team that blew a five-goal lead late in an NCAA quarterfinal and asked themselves "what if" when the Minutemen reached the national championship game.
The motivation appeared to work, as Hofstra used a dominant third quarter to take a 14-5 Colonial Athletic Association victory over UMass at Rentschler Field in the 20th straight regular-season meeting between the clubs since 1992.
"It's great to hear from people from the past who have played on the team and how they feel about UMass and the rivalry," said Hofstra freshman attack Lance Yapor, who scored his first two collegiate goals. "It just gets you pumped up a bit to hear what they have to say about UMass."
After UMass scored twice late in the second quarter, Hofstra made sure the momentum didn't go very far in the third. The Pride dominated every statistical category and scored five goals to take a 12-2 lead after 45 minutes.
No. 15 UMass (8-4, 3-2) looked like it had stolen the momentum away when senior midfielder Steve Zorkers careened a shot off Hofstra goalie Andrew Gvozden, which trickled behind the goal line as time expired in the second quarter. It was Zorkers' first goal since the 2008 season and second of his career.
However, No. 8 Hofstra (12-1, 4-1) outshot UMass 17-2 in the third, won all six faceoffs, held a 10-2 edge in groundballs and a 7-0 cushion on the scoreboard. By the time the Minutemen opened the fourth quarter with three consecutive goals, the damage was more than done.
"To be honest with you, what spurred that quarter is what happened at the end of the half," Tierney said. "We went into halftime disappointed that it wasn't 7-1. When you've got 18-to-22 year-old kids, you want to keep it rolling."
Senior attackman Jay Card extended his points streak to 41 consecutive games by recording four points and an assist. John Antoniades won 15 of 20 faceoffs for the game.
More importantly, the Pride defeated one of the two teams it entered the day tied with for second place in the CAA. Hofstra hosts the other team, Penn State, next Saturday in Hempstead, N.Y.
While Card's points streak continues, the same can't be said for UMass sophomore Will Manny, who was held off the scoresheet for the first time in his college career (25 games) while commiting a game-high six turnovers. Tierney credited senior longpole Mike Skudin for shutting Manny down.
By going scoreless for the first 26:41, the Minutemen endured their longest scoring drought since a 30:07 skein nearly two years ago to the day. In that game, UMass fell behind 9-0 at Syracuse before losing 16-3.
"It's great to see that our defense stepped up against a great offensive team," said Hofstra middie Adrian Sorichetti, who had three goals.
UMass' Art Kell was also held pretty much in check until he scored the first two goals of the fourth. Colin Fleming also tallied, as the Minutemen started the quarter on a 3-0 run but could not find the back of the cage again.
"We were outplayed in every facet of the game," UMass coach Greg Cannella said. "We lost every faceoff, it seemed, and we never had the ball. A lot of the credit goes to Hofstra."
Final: Hofstra 14, UMass 5