Towson Men's Lacrosse Slips By Massachusetts, 6-5
April 5, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 11 University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team suffered a heartbreaking setback at home on Garber Field Saturday afternoon as the squad dropped a 6-5 decision to Towson. Zach Oliveri provided 13 saves in goal while Bob Fahey led the close defense with three caused turnovers and as many groundballs. Nick Mariano tallied twice on attack to pace the UMass offense.
Greg Cuccinello and Joe Seider had two goals each for Towson. Thomas DeNapoli and Ben McCarty added one tallied apiece while Justin Mabus had the lone assist for the Tigers.
Joe Calvello went 7-for-12 on faceoffs with a team-best five groundballs. Kyle Karaska added a caused turnover and three groundballs on defense while Mariano provided a pair of groundballs and forced one Towson turnover.
Whiteway opened scoring at the 11-minute, 36-second mark of the first quarter with a shot from the crease after Mooney found him open near the left post.
However, Towson (8-3 overall, 2-1 CAA) responded with the next three goals to hold a 3-1 advantage entering the second quarter. DeNapoli tallied first to even it at one before Cuccinello scored twice for the Tigers, including a goal with five seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Mariano broke the string of consecutive tallies by the visitors to start scoring in the second at the 12:35 mark. After McCarty answered for Towson with 10:40 remaining in the opening half, Mariano provided his second of the day following a pass by Consoletti to keep UMass with one, 4-3, only one minute, 34 seconds later.
The Tigers struck against with Seider's first of the day with 6:26 to play in the second quarter before Izzo scored a transition goal for the Minutemen.
Fahey caused a Devin Grimaldi turnover with 1:26 left in the half and Oliveri nabbed the loose ball near the cage. Izzo took possession in the midfield during the clear attempt and raced at the Towson cage from directly in front before he bested Tigers goalie Tyler White to pull the Minutemen within 5-4 with 48 seconds to play in the stanza.
Towson scored for the final time during the game at the 9:01 mark of the third and held a two-goal lead until George struck for UMass just over four minutes later.
Both sides exchanged empty possessions during the fourth as White made six saves and Oliveri answered with four of his own. Oliveri gave the Minutemen their final possession as he grabbed a Grimaldi shot with 1:23 left and sent the play ahead for UMass to clear with 59 seconds to play.
Massachusetts (7-3, 1-1) totaled three shots during the frantic final minute. George fired an attempt high with 36 seconds left before Rob Lynott bounced a shot over the goal when he was met by the Towson defense eight yards out from the cage.
After the Tigers took their final timeout with 20 seconds to play following Lynott's attempt, Mariano had the last look for the Minutemen. The freshman from Yorktown, N.Y., raced from X around the goal and send a low shot at the feet of White from 12 yards away, but White was able to drops his stick to the turf to keep the ball from rolling into the back of the net.
Towson led in shots, 35-33 while UMass picked up more groundballs, 24-22. The Tigers finished 13-of-13 on clears against an 11-for-13 finish by the Minutemen. Massachusetts turned the ball over more, 12-9 and both sides finished 0-for-4 during man-up chances.
The Minutemen continue CAA action with a trip to Drexel in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, April 12. First faceoff against the Dragons is set for 4 p.m.