On To The NCAA Quarterfinals: UMass Tops No. 6 Cornell, 10-9
May 13, 2006
ITHACA, N.Y. - No. 10 UMass won its first-ever road playoff game downing No. 6 seed /No. 3 Cornell, 10-9, on Saturday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y. The Minutemen advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years as they will face the winner of Hofstra/Providence next Saturday at Stony Brook, N.Y. All-American Sean Morris (Marshfield, Mass.) had two goals three assists for five points. Junior Andrew Recchione (Mahwah, N.J.) scored the game-winning goal with 2:34 left in regulation.
The game was back-and-forth with six ties. UMass rallied from a 3-0 deficit early in the game to win its seventh all-time NCAA playoff game.
Recchione would score from the left wing off a pass from Clay Stabert (Wynnewood, Pa.) to put UMass ahead for good. Despite having the ball for the final minute of the contest, the Big Red were stopped by UMass' great defense headed by goalie Doc Schneider (Massapequa, N.Y.) along with senior Jack Reid (Glastonbury, Conn.) and sophomore Sean Krygier (Madison, Conn.).
Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Max Seibald was had two goals, both of which came late in the game, and two assists. Junior David Mitchell was Cornell's only other multi-point scorer, as he tallied a game-high three goals.
Recchione's game-winner was his second tally of the day and Stabert added a goal and an assist for the Minutemen.
Between the pipes, junior Matt McMonagle made seven saves in loss, while Schneider stopped 10 to get the victory.
Mitchell got the Big Red on the board first, running from the right sideline to the center of the field, and ripping a low shot that bounced past Schneider.
In a battle of Tewaaraton Trophy nominees, senior Joe Boulukos made it 2-0, despite having Reid on his shoulder, as he took a feed from Mitchell and found the back of the net with 9:48 to go in the opening stanza.
It was the only goal Boulukos would score, as Reid limited all day, as he took 10 shots.
Cornell would convert its first and only of four extra-man opportunities in the game, getting its third-straight goal when Mitchell converted from close range off a pass from Seibald.
The Minutemen would claw their way back in to the contest, getting back-to-back goals two minutes apart on nearly identical plays to cut the home team's lead to one goal. The first would come from Morris, while the second was off the stick of Jim Connolly (North Andover, Mass.). On both plays, the UMass player ran from behind the right side of the cage, and then rolled back to his left, slipping past his defender to take a point-blank shot on goal.
UMass would tie the score midway through the second period as Pat Larmon (Chesterfield, Mo.) would score off a pass from Morris to knot the game at three each with 8:55 to go before the break.
Senior Derek Haswell would give Cornell back the lead just over one minute later when he slipped his man and scored on a high shot from just outside the crease.
The score was short-lived however, as Recchione would get a pass from Rory Pedrick (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) directly in front of the cage, and one-timed it into the back of the net, making it 4-4 with 6:45 to go in the half.
Despite outshooting the Minutemen 23-14 in the first half, including a last second rocket shot from junior Casey Lewis that was saved by Schneider, the teams went into the locker room deadlocked at the intermission at 4-4.
Morris would break the tie with a goal just 1:19 into the third period when he muscled his way to just outside the crease and scored from 4-yards out.
Cornell nearly tied the game just two minutes later when a shot by Boulukos hit the cross bar and looked as though it had broken the plane, but was not ruled a goal by the officials.
On UMass' next trip down the field, a point-blank shot by Connolly was kick saved by McMonagle to keep the home team within striking distance.
McMonagle would come up with another brilliant save on yet another shot by Connolly when the attackman found himself all alone directly in front of the crease and faked low, then tried to go high, only to find the junior netminder's stick.
Just 41 seconds later, Lewis would reward McMonagle for his efforts by knotting the game at 5-5 with 7:09 to play in the third quarter.
The Minutemen would get two quick tallies in a span of 1:29 to take their largest lead of the game, 7-5 at the 5:36 mark. Morris would assist on both goals, first feeding Stabert, and then Jamie Yaman (Cortland, N.Y.), who each scored from close range. The Yaman goal was the slickest of the game starting with a caused turnover by Krygier leading to a fastbreak which was finished by the native of Central New York.
Seibald would bring the home team back within one, scoring an unassisted goal with 3:33 remaining in the third period and Mitchell would tie the game early in the fourth as he drove to the left wing and rocketed a shot from 20-yards out to make it 7-7.
UMass would get back on top when Brian Jacovina (Hicksville, N.Y.) charged towards the net and scored while diving just outside the crease but Cornell would answer as Seibald won the ensuing face off and ran to the 30-yard line before dishing to Eric Pittard. Pittard, who was stationed just outside the crease, would put a nice stick fake on Schneider and score up high to make it 8-8 with 5:47 to play.
Seibald would return the lead to Cornell for the first time since midway through the second quarter when he scored 23 seconds later, making it 9-8.
The game would be tied for the sixth time when Fred Federico (Madison, Conn.) would register an unassisted goal on his first and only shot in the contest with 3:46 left on the clock, setting up Recchione's heroics just over one minute later.
Cornell held the slight edge in shots, 38-32, and forced 19 turnovers, while turning the ball over 10 times. However, UMass won the ground ball battle, 38-27, and dominated face-offs, as senior Jake Deane (Annapolis, Md.) won 17-of-23.