UMass Continues Red-Hot Start
March 23, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass jumped out to a 7-2 halftime lead, then held off a Hofstra charge to grab a 14-7 victory over No. 15-ranked Hofstra on Sunday afternoon. The win moves UMass' record to 7-0 heading into next weekend's ECAC contest against Penn State.
The Minutemen held possession for much of the game's first five minutes and took a 1-0 lead when Neil Lundberg (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) found the back of the net at the 9:45 mark. UMass went up 2-0 when Jeff Zywicki (Napean, Ontario) scored from in close at the 5:58 mark off a long feed from freshman Steven Byrnes (Mahopac, N.Y.). Coach Greg Cannella's squad made it 3-0 when freshman Sean Morris (Marshfield, Mass.) split two Hofstra defenders and fired a low shot into the cage at the 3:36 mark. Hofstra scored a late goal to cut the UMass lead to 3-1 after the initial 15 minutes.
The Minutemen squelched any early Hofstra rally with two goals in the first 3:35 of the second period. Zywicki and Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.) scored goals with assists credited to Morris and Kevin Glenz (Merrick, N.Y.) respectively. After Hofstra trimmed the margin to 5-2, the Minutemen scored two goals in the final 13 seconds of the second quarter to take a 7-2 lead into the halftime break. Chris Fiore (Freeport, N.Y.) scored first with a 30-foot blast into the top right corner, then Zywicki secured his hat trick with just two seconds left in the half, as he scooped up a ground ball and sent a low shot past the Hofstra keeper for a 7-2 cushion.
UMass continued the offensive pressure early in the second half, as Chris Doyle (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) scored just 49 seconds into the second half for an 8-2 UMass lead. Tundo gave the Minutemen a 9-2 just a minute later with an assist from Zywicki. Hofstra, however, scored four of the next five goals, two coming in a 45-second span to cut the UMass lead to 10-6 with four minutes to play in the third quarter. Zywicki stopped the UMass bleeding with his fourth goal of the game at the 2:25 mark for an 11-6 lead.
After Hofstra cut the lead to 11-7 with an extra-man goal early in the fourth quarter, Fiore and Kevin Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) scored 13 seconds apart to push the UMass advantage back to six at 13-7 with 11 minutes to play. Zywicki tallied his fifth goal of the day at the 7:17 mark off a Fiore rebound to give the Minutemen a 14-7 cushion. The Minutemen then ran out the clock in the fourth quarter to win their seventh straight game to start the season.
UMass is in action next on March 29 when it returns home for an ECAC game against Penn State. Face-off is at noon at Garber Field.