Men's Lacrosse Defense Stymies Harvard In 8-4 Victory
Feb. 22, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - Spurred on by second-half offense and a stifling defensive performance, No. 14/15 Massachusetts men's lacrosse defeated Harvard in the home-opener for the Minutemen, 8-4 at Garber Field on Saturday afternoon. Attackman Nick Mariano earned his second consecutive hat trick as the freshman led both sides with three goals against the Crimson.
Grant Whiteway also earned three points alongside Mariano as the Billerica, Mass., native tallied two assists and one goal. Grant Consoletti, James Fahey, Connor Mooney and Andrew Sokol also earned one goal apiece.
Joe Calvello won 11 of his 16 faceoffs and scooped up 10 groundballs while dishing out his first assist of the year. Vincent Travaglini rounded out the UMass scorers with a helper, his first collegiate point.
Peter Schwartz led Harvard with three points on a pair of goals and one assist. Ian Ardrey and Brendan Newman accounted for the other two Crimson marks on the game.
Zach Oliveri backstopped the UMass defense, which caused 12 turnovers, with 14 saves, including eight during the pivotal second half.
The Minutemen tallied first only 88 seconds into the contest as Mooney notched a rebound goal at the crease after Matt Whippen's initial attempt was blocked by Harvard goalie Jake Gambitsky.
After 10 minutes, 30 seconds of even competition, Harvard answered with a strike from Schwartz; however, the Minutemen rallied in the closing seconds of the frame behind James Fahey's long-pole goal.
The Boxford, Mass., native gained possession near the midline following an Oliveri save, dished to Whiteway five yards from the left post before Whiteway sent the play back to Fahey near the goalmouth. Fahey caught the ball in front and, in one motion, placed it into the back of the net before Gambitsky could react.
Mariano extended the Minuteman lead to 3-1 with 13:45 left in the second on his seventh goal of the season and first of the contest. However, Newman and Ardrey responded during the final five minutes of the half to knot the score at three entering the break.
The defense limited Harvard to just one more goal over the final 30 minutes while the attack provided four straight tallies that turned the tie game into a 7-3 UMass advantage.
Starting close defensemen Bob Fahey, James Fahey and Kyle Karaska accounted for five groundballs and four caused turnovers while short-stick defensive midfielders Dylan Gruder, Ryan Izzo, Brendan Schroeder and Travaglini scooped up two more loose balls and forced a trio of turnovers during the game as the Crimson offense was unable to replicate success against the UMass backline consistently. On the strength of its defense, the Minutemen finished with a sizable lead in groundballs, 27-13 while the Crimson only totaled four caused turnovers to the dozen earned by UMass.
Mariano tallied for the second time on the day to open scoring in the third quarter at the 2:09 mark. After a Whippen shot was blocked in front, Mariano raced to the bouncing ball 10 yards from the cage, scooped it up while running on-goal and deposited an off-balance attempt into the back of the net.
Consoletti stretched the lead back to a pair, 5-3 with only four seconds remaining in the third quarter. Whiteway tracked down an errant Harvard pass near the midline and fed the ball to Travaglini as he rushed up field. Travaglini found Consoletti at the left post in transition and Consoletti converted over the left shoulder of Gambitsky for his second goal of the season.
Back-to-back goals from Sokol and Whiteway in the span of six seconds pushed the home advantage to 7-3 with 13:49 to play. Sokol earned his tally with a leaping try from 15 yards away following a pass from Whiteway with 13:54 remaining in the game. After Calvello won the ensuing faceoff he dished it to Whiteway, who used a sidearm shot from distance to beat Gambitsky and make it 7-3 Minutemen.
Schwartz got his second goal of the day with 11:29 to play but Mariano responded to complete his hat trick and reach the final score, 8-4, less than two minutes later.
The game marked Calvello's second consecutive with double-digit groundballs following his program record-tying 13 scooped up against No. 14/9 Ohio State during UMass' 12-11 overtime victory on Feb. 16. Mooney and Austin Spencer each caused a pair of turnovers while combining for six groundballs.
The teams tied in shots attempts, 32-32 while UMass finished 14-for-15 on clears and Harvard went 19-of-21 in the category. Neither side recorded a man-up goal as the Crimson finished 0-for-3 on EMO chances while the Minutemen went 0-for-1.
The Minutemen face their second consecutive Ivy League foe next as UMass heads to Providence, R.I., to challenge Brown at 1 p.m. on March 1.
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