No. 1 Men's Lax Edges Hofstra, 14-13, To Earn CAA Regular-Season Title
April 21, 2012
FOXBORO, Mass. - A four-goal fourth quarter run and a caused turnover by Greg Rushing with 25 seconds left in regulation gave the No. 1 UMass men's lacrosse team a 14-13 win over Hofstra on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. With the win, the Minutemen capture the 2012 CAA Regular-Season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming CAA Championship Tournament. Kyle Smith, Art Kell and Colin Fleming paced the Minutemen with three goals each in the win.
UMass improves to a perfect 12-0 overall and 5-0 in the CAA, while Hofstra falls to 6-7 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Minutemen will close out the regular season next Friday at Delaware (7 PM) before returning to Garber Field to host the CAA Semifinals on May 2.
Smith added a pair of assists to go with his three goals, while Mike Fetterly added a pair of helpers as well. Tim McCormack made seven saves in goal to earn the win. Along with his caused turnover, Rushing added a team-best six groundballs, while long pole defenseman Jake Smith added five groundballs and a caused turnover.
The opening 15 minutes of play did not dictate what the rest of the game would entail for the Minutemen, as UMass scored four times in the first quarter. Fleming, Connor Mooney, Will Manny, and Kell combined to tally the first four scores of the contest.
Hofstra capitalized its strong interior defense by scoring four times in the second quarter, starting with a Mike Malave goal, just 33 seconds into the second frame. The Pride concluded the first half with two scores by Aaron Jones and Tyler Johnston to make it 8-5 heading into the break.
With momentum on their side, the Pride stepped up in the opening quarter of the second half, outscoring UMass 5-2, including the third quarter's final four goals make it dead even at 10 heading into the fourth.
Hofstra took its first lead of the game with 14:52 left in regulation, making it 11-10. That lead lasted just under two minutes as UMass outscored the Pride 4-2 beginning at 2:04 in the final frame. Lancer Yapor tallied the game's final goal, but the top-ranked Minutemen pulled away with the one goal victory, 14-13.
Andrew Gvozden stopped 14 shots between the pipes for Hofstra. Mike Malave and Mike DeNapoli recorded hat tricks in the Pride's 13 goal effort.
UMass outshot Hofstra 42-to-31, and beat the Pride on the ground 37-to-20 on ground balls. The Pride held the advantage in the faceoff circle winning 17-of-30 battles.