Videos, Recaps Of Men's Lacrosse's 3OT Win - UMass Athletics

Videos, Recaps Of Men's Lacrosse's 3OT Win

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Kyle Smith of Longmeadow does it again: Minutemen slay Dragons in triple OT

Published: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 3:58 PM     Updated: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 9:08 AM

UMass Men's Lacrosse vs Drexel
EnlargeUMass #29 Art Kell, drives the ball in towards the net as Drexel's #34 Frank Tufano uses his stick to push him away. photo by J. Anthony RobertsUMass Men's Lacrosse vs Drexel gallery (10 photos)
AMHERST - It may be one of the most common surnames, but for the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, the name Smith is producing uncommon results. 

Kyle Smith of Longmeadow scored the game-winning goal in the third overtime, and defender Jake Smith did an exceptional job on All-America candidate Scott Perri as the Minutemen overcame a four-goal deficit to overtake Drexel 11-10 in a Colonial Athletic Association game before 1,827 Saturday at Garber Field. 

It was arguably one of the most spectacular finishes in program history as the game was the longest in 23 years. The Minutemen defeated Cornell 8-7 in five overtimes March 30, 1988, when coach Greg Cannella was a player here. 

Kyle Smith also scored the winning goal in overtime the previous Saturday in a 9-8 victory at Towson, so he's gained a new sense of confidence in overtime encounters. 

"Certainly now I am," Kyle Smith said. "For it to happen one time, it could be a one-time thing, but now I'm confident going into overtime that I can score. 

"I really don't remember that much (about the goal)," he said. "I just remember Will Manny had it from behind, and he was coming up the right. I just backdoored my man, caught it, and I was running out of room, so I just tried to get it off as quickly as possible." 

His shot went under the right ankle of 6-foot-2, 170-pound goaltender Mark Manos. 

The Minutemen, who improved to 8-3, 3-1, imploded in the third quarter after Drexel's Kyle Bergman scored his first of three goals with only 14 seconds remaining in the first half. That cut the Minutemen's lead to 5-4, and gave the Dragons the momentum going into the second half. 

Drexel scored five straight goals to start the third quarter to take a seemingly safe 9-5 lead. But Ryan Hantverk finally broke the string with 1:39 remaining in the frame, only to have Drexel's Nick Trizano score 48 seconds later to widen the advantage back to 10-6. 

But the turning point of the game came at the third-quarter horn. With the clock counting down, UMass senior midfielder Mike Wilus made a long pass to Manny, who swept a shot in as time ran out. And just as Drexel benefited emotionally from its late second-quarter goal, Manny's tally did the same for UMass. 

In the fourth quarter, the Minutemen scored three unanswered goals to tie the game. Manny added another goal only 30 seconds into the period, Anthony Biscardi made it 10-9 with 12:45 left, and Manny tied it with 3:46 to play. UMass nearly won it when Art Kell took a shot off the top of the right post as the regulation horn sounded. 

The four-minute overtime periods were a free-for-all with every possession greeted with gang-attacking by the defenders and the subsequent races for the ground balls leaving bodies piled on one another. 

"This is just a part of the season where it's a must win," Manny said. "We're proving right now that even if we're down, we might bend, but we're not going to break. We're going to come right back at you. It's a very special thing, and going into the Hofstra game next week, it's going to be a great feeling." 

Jake Smith held Perri to one goal and two assists. Perri had entered the game as the leading scorer in the CAA with 29 goals and 21 assists in 11 games. 

"Fantastic job," Cannella said. "We put him out on an island a bunch of times, even in overtime, and Jake was as steady as he's been all year." 

For second straight week, Kyle Smith rescues UMass with overtime goal

Kyle Smith, front, scores the game-winning goal for the University of Massachusetts past Drexel goaltender Mark Manos in the third overtime Saturday at Garber Field. UMass won 11-10.

AMHERST - If the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team returns to the NCAA Tournament this season, the Minutemen will look back on an unforgettable two-week stretch by Kyle Smith as a key reason for their success.

For the second straight week, the sophomore attackman delivered a game-winning goal in overtime as the Minutemen came from behind to beat Drexel 11-10 in three overtimes Saturday at Garber Field.

Smith was attacking the net when he took a pass from Will Manny, who was behind the cage. Smith was hit as he unleashed his shot from point-blank range, and as he fell to the turf the ball eluded Dragon All-American goalie Mark Manos inside the right post, 1 minute, 23 seconds into the third overtime.

"The ability to put that one away, you can't coach that. That's in him," UMass coach Greg Cannella said. "That's a great play. I'm so happy."

Smith had barely gotten off the turf when his teammates returned him to it at the bottom of a celebratory pile. It was a familiar spot for the Longmeadow native. He scored the game-winner last week 1:55 into overtime against Towson.

"For it to happen one time, it can be a one-time thing," Smith said. "Now I'm confident going into overtimes that I can score."

A loss either last week at Towson or Saturday against Drexel would have been a big setback to the Minutemen (8-3, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association).

Instead, they will bring plenty of momentum into next week's game against No. 8 Hofstra (3 p.m., East Hartford), a contest that will have implications on the seed for UMass in the CAA Tournament and its chance of making the NCAA Tournament.

"Winning two games like this and three in a row is really big going into Hofstra," Smith said. "Hopefully we'll come to play for that, too."

A UMass celebration seemed unlikely late in the third quarter. After the Minutemen led 5-4 at halftime, the Dragons scored five straight goals in the third quarter to take a 9-5 lead with 5:26 left in the period. Ryan Hantverk scored an extra-man goal for UMass to cut the deficit with 1:41 left, but Nick Trizano answered for Drexel less than a minute later to regain momentum and a four-goal lead.

But with less than 10 seconds left in the period, Minuteman Mike Wilus scooped a long rebound and slung it toward the net. His shot was deflected, but Manny alertly scooped the ball and flipped it past Manos to make the score 10-7 going into the final period.

The play seemed to ignite the Minutemen, especially Manny, who had been quiet until that point. The sophomore scored again 30 seconds into the fourth quarter and the previously nervous UMass crowd of 1,827 came to life. With Greg Rushing controlling three of the four fourth-quarter faceoffs, the Minutemen grabbed momentum.

With just under 13 minutes left, Anthony Biscardi fooled a defender by faking a shot from the perimeter, allowing him to cut into the Drexel zone and get about 15 feet closer. There, he ripped a shot past Manos (18 saves) to make it 10-9.

If not for UMass goalie Tim McCormack (12 saves), who made three big fourth-quarter stops, the Minutemen might not have completed their comeback.

"Timmy and the defense were great all day," Cannella said. "We shut them down for 25 minutes. Once they scored their 10, they didn't score again. That enabled us to come back."

McCormack and the defense kept the game close until Manny tied the score with 3:47 left by threading the ball through a small opening between the 6-foot-2, 270-pound goalie and the right post.

"This is the part of the season where it's a must win," Manny said. "We're proving right now even if we're down, we might bend, but we're not going to break. We're going to come right back at you,"

The Minutemen nearly won the game in regulation as Art Kell's shot hit the post at the buzzer.

Both teams had chances and costly turnovers in the first two overtimes before Smith's heroics ended the longest UMass lacrosse game since March 30, 1988, an 8-7 win at Cornell. The Minutemen had not played that long a game at home since April 4, 1974, a 10-9 loss to Cortland.

"He's a great crease attackman," Manny said of Smith. "I saw him because he had room. I got it to him and he's one of the best finishers on the team. It's a great feeling."

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