Men's Lacrosse

FINAL FOUR BOUND: Miracle Minutemen Rally For 11-10 OT Win

Jim Connolly celebrates his game-winning goal.

Jim Connolly celebrates his game-winning goal.

May 20, 2006

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STONY BROOK, N.Y. - A miracle comeback sent UMass to its first-ever NCAA Semfinal in lacrosse with a 11-10 overtime win over Hofstra on Saturday afternoon at Stony Brook's La Valle Stadium. The Minutemen rallied from a five-goal deficit with 8:03 left in the fourth quarter with six consecutive goals capped off by freshman Jim Connolly's career-high fifth goal of the game with 1:53 left in overtime.

It was only fitting that Connolly, the third member of his family to play at UMass, scoring the winning goal off a feed from Brett Garber, the grandson of legendary coach Dick Garber - the father of UMass lacrosse.

No. 10 UMass (12-4) had previously lost 10 quarterfinal games in its quest for its first-ever lacrosse final four. UMass is just the third team from New England to reach the semifinals, joining Yale (1990) and Brown (1994).

No. 2/No. 3 seeded Hofstra finished the season at 17-2, suffering both losses to UMass. The first came back in the season-opener, an 11-7 UMass win.

UMass scored its fifth consecutive goal as Rory Pedrick ripped a shot from 20 yards out with 49 seconds left to tie the game at 10-10.

Senior captain Jake Deane was the other big hero as he won an amazing 20-of-25 face-offs in the game including all eight in the fourth quarter and overtime. He scooped up 12 groundballs in the win.

Goalie Doc Schneider made an amazing point-blank save on Hofstra's Mike Unterstein in overtime to give UMass the chance to win it.

The Minutemen made it 10-9 on a Andrew Recchione goal with 4:14 left off a feed from Rory Pedrick.

UMass ripped off three goals in 1:34 to get back to within 10-8 with 6:29 left in the fourth quarter. Senior Jamie Yaman began the run with a bounce-shot goal off a feed from Clay Stabert with 8:03 left. Morris took it on himself with a roll dodge around the left post to make it 10-7 with 7:27 left.

John Keysor scored on a bounce shot to make it 10-5 with 9:46 left in the fourth quarter.

The Pride built the lead back to four goals in the third quarter taking a 9-5 lead as Tom Dooley scored his second goal of the game to make it 8-5. Chris Unterstein returned from his first-half injury midway through the quarter and scored a man-up goal on a wraparound the left post to make it 9-5 with 6:48 left in the half.

Connolly scored his third goal of the game bringing UMass back to within 7-5 just 15 seconds in the half off a Jake Deane face-off win which was scooped up by Dan Whipple.

Hofstra made it 7-4 with 2:19 left in the half as Tim Treubig scored on a shot through Doc Schneider's legs.

Morris scored on long shot off a pass from Brian Jacovina with 7:51 left to make it 6-3. Connolly brought the Minutemen to within two at 6-4 also off a feed from Jacovina where he deaked and scored to the top right corner with 3:46 left in the half.

The Pride made it 6-2 as Mike Unterstein scored on a bounce shot into the right corner.

Hofstra scored two goals in the first 50 seconds of the second quarter to take a 5-2 lead as Chris Unterstein scored both goals, the first on a fastbreak inside the left post. The second came on a roll around Jack Reid and scored while falling to the ground. The play proved costly for Hofstra as Chris Unterstein was injured on the play and did not return for the half.

For the second week in a row, UMass rallied back from a 3-0 deficit in the first quarter with the final two goals of the period. Clay Stabert got UMass on the board off a quick passing play from Morris with 1:49 left in the first quarter. Jim Connolly made got UMass to within one with a great individual effort. The freshman grabbed a groundball and scored while falling down with 2.9 seconds left in the quarter on a bounce shot.

Hofstra jumped out to that 3-0 lead on goals by Tim Treubig, Chris Unterstein and Mike Unterstein all in the first 12:10.



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