ECAC CHAMPS: Morris, Zywicki Lead No. 8 UMass To Title With 13-7 Win At Rutgers
May 7, 2005
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - No. 8 UMass captured its third ECAC Championship with a 13-7 win at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Yurcak Field as the Minutemen put themselves in great position for their 16th NCAA Tournament berth and a possible home game next weekend at Garber Field.
Junior Tewaaraton Trophy Candidate Sean Morris (Marshfield, Mass.) posted a career-high tying five goals as he had his eighth hat trick of the season as he led the Minutemen past the school where he began his collegiate career. Including one assist vs. Rutgers, Morris is among nation's leaders in both points (61) and goals (39) after Saturday's action.
Senior Jeff Zywicki (Napean, Ontario) had four goals. Zywicki now has 94 career goals to rank 11th all-time in UMass history. Sophomore Brett Garber (Avon, Conn.) had two goals while Brian Jacovina (Hicksville, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist.
Both teams went with goalies making their first-career starts as UMass sophomore Efosa Guobodia (Baldwin, N.Y.) and Rutgers freshman Lyle Farrar both drew the starting nods in the regular-season finale. Guobodia started as senior Bill Schell (Mahopac, N.Y.) was out with a hand injury while Rutgers' All-American goalie Greg Havalchak was suspended for a violation of team rules.
Guobodia made 14 saves while Farrar had 13 stops.
Zywicki scored his fourth of the game to make it 11-7 off Jake Deane's (Annapolis, Md.) second assist of the game on a fast-break with 7:21 left in regulation. Garber scored his second of the game for a 12-7 advantage off a pass from senior Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.). Morris scored his fifth of the game off an assist from senior Ryan Connolly (North Andover, Mass.) for the 13-7 lead.
The Scarlet Knights came back to within two at 8-6 and 9-7 in the fourth quarter as Sean Battoni and Brett Mooney scored for Rutgers. But Morris broke UMass' 20:47 scoring drought with 11:13 left in the fourth quarter for his fourth goal of the game and a 9-6 Minuteman lead. Zywicki scored UMass' 10th goal, his third of the game, to make it 10-7 with eight minutes left.
Rutgers tallied the only goal of the third quarter ending a scoring drought of nearly 17 minutes as Blomquist tallied to make it 8-5 with 6:43 left in the third quarter.
UMass scored four consecutive goals to break a 4-4 tie in the second quarter as Chris Doyle (Putnam Valley, N.Y.), Garber, Zywicki and Morris scored to make it 8-4 at halftime. Garber's goal came on a man-up opportunity off a quick pass from Morris. That was followed by a fast-break goal off an outlet pass by Guobodia to Deane who fed Zywicki with 2:58 left in the half. Just 58 seconds later Morris netted his third of the game with 2:00 left and gave UMass the commanding lead they would never relinquish. It marked Morris' eighth hat trick of the year.
Rutgers' Mooney tied the game at 4-4 after Morris tallied his second of the game with 8:20 left in the first half to make it 4-3. Leif Blomquist tied the game at 3-3 off a pass from Battoni with a goal on a sharp angle from the left side with 9:29 left in the first half.
After falling behind 2-0, UMass reeled off three consecutive goals in 1:29 as Morris, Zywicki and Jacovina to give UMass a 3-2 lead with 1:09 left in the first quarter, which they held into the second quarter.
UMass finally got on the board as Jacovina beat Farrar with 2:38 left in the first quarter. Farrar had made three saves on UMass' first eight shots.
Rutgers took a 2-0 lead as Robert Miller opened the scoring beating Guobadia low off a pass from Colin Checcio just 1:19 into the game and then scored again with 6:01 left in the first quarter.
The Minutemen await their fate in the 2005 NCAA Tournament as the bracket will be revealed on Sunday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. and televised on ESPNews. UMass is looking to make its 16th NCAA Tournament appearance and third in the last four years.