Minutemen Advance to National Quarterfinals
May 11, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 5-ranked University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team outscored 10th-ranked Hofstra, 4-1, in the third quarter to propel the Minutemen to a 9-6 victory over the Pride in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. UMass improves to 13-2 overall heading into next weekend's NCAA Quarterfinals at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The 13 wins ties a school record, set in 1981 and 1989. Hofstra's season ends at 11-6.
The two teams traded goals for the first quarter. Hofstra's John Keysor got the Pride on the board first with a netters just 54 seconds into the game. Neil Lundberg (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tied the game at 1-1 at the 10:48 mark, but Ryan Vilar scored the first of his two first-quarter goals at the 9:32 mark for a 2-1 Pride advantage. Jeff Zywicki (Napean, Ontario) tied the game at 2-2 with his 40th goal of the season, off a pretty feed from freshman Sean Morris (Marshfield, Mass.) at the 8:43 mark. However, Vilar gave the Hofstra the lead back with a low grounder at the 4:32 mark. But Lundberg tied the game again at 3-3 with just 10 seconds left in the quarter with an assist from Chris Fiore (Freeport, N.Y.). Fiore was in trouble with the ball at the top of the zone, but dropped off a low bounce pass to Lundberg, who fired the ball into the back of the cage.
UMass then took its first lead of the game when Chris Doyle (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) sniped a 20-foot rocket past Hofstra goalie Matthew Southard at the 12:28 mark of the second quarter for a 4-3 UMass advantage. The lead was short-lived as Ryan Lucas found the back of the cage at the 9:40 mark with an EMO goal to knot the score at 4-4. The teams then turned to their defense, as both squads put on the clamps. Hofstra had the best chances to score in the quarter, but UMass sophomore goalie Bill Schell (Mahopac, N.Y.) made four saves in the quarter, including one from point-blank range in the waning seconds to keep the game tied.
The Minutemen then went to work in the third quarter. The Minutemen went on a 3-0 run over a span of 4:19 to break the game open. Senior All-America candidate Kevin Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) gave UMass the lead for good with the first of three second-half goals at the 9:52 mark. Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.) assisted on the goal. Zywicki scored his second goal at the 8:05 mark off a Morris shot that Southard originally saved, but couldn't corral. Zywicki scooped up the ball and sent a low shot into the cage from just outside the crease for a 6-4 advantage. The Minutemen stretched their lead to 7-4 when Kevin Glenz (Merrick, N.Y.) lifted a shot just under the crossbar at the 5:33 mark. Hofstra halted the run at 2:41 when Joe Kostolansky notched his 29th goal of the year with an assist to Keysor. The Hofstra goal was its first in 21:59 spanning the middle two quarters. Leveille then stopped any Hofstra momentum, notching his second goal of the quarter at the 1:06 mark, with an assist from Zywicki, to give the Minutemen an 8-5 lead after three periods.
Hofstra then crawled to within two again at 8-6 when Jim Femminella scored at the 12:47 mark off a give-and-go with Chris Unterstein, but Leveille secured his hat trick at the 9:30 mark for a 9-6 lead. The Minutemen tightened up their defense and ran out the clock for a 9-6 victory and a berth in next week's NCAA quarterfinals.
UMass dominated statistically, outshooting the Pride, 35-32. The Minutemen scooped up 43 ground balls to Hofstra's 24. Dane Collins (Ridley Park, Pa.) won 13-of-19 face-offs, and is now a combined 27-of-42 (64.3 percent) in the last two games. UMass was also 21-of-25 on its clearing attempts. Schell made nine saves in the cage for the Minutemen.
The Minutemen will now battle third-ranked Maryland, who defeated Ohio State in the first round, 8-5, in the NCAA quarterfinals next Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y, at a time to be determined. For ticket information, call the University of Massachusetts ticket office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.