April 16, 2011

UMass' Smith Delivers Again, This Time in Triple Overtime

from press release

AMHERST, Mass. -- For the second straight week, Kyle Smith scored the game-winning goal in overtime, this time giving the UMass men's lacrosse team an 11-10 win over Drexel (6-6, 2-3 CAA) in triple overtime on Saturday afternoon on Garber Field. With both teams trading chances throughout the extra sessions, Smith gave the Minutemen (8-3, 3-1 CAA) the win with 2:37 left in the third session.

Massachusetts trailed the Dragons by as many as four on two occasions -- and 10-7 after the third quarter before a 3-0 run in the fourth quarter to force extra time. UMass scored the final five goals of the game to comeback from a 10-6 deficit with 51 seconds left in the third quarter.

It was the longest UMass game since March 30, 1988 -- Coach Greg Cannella's senior year -- when UMass knocked off Cornell, 8-7 in Ithaca. This was the longest game at UMass since April 4, 1974, when the Minutemen lost 10-9 to Cortland.

Will Manny lead all scorers with six points on the day (3g, 3a), including two goals in the fourth quarter. Kyle Bergman had three goals and added an assist for the Dragons, while Mark Manos made 11 saves between the pipes.

UMass' defense was sensational as Jake Smith pestered Drexel's top scorer Scott Perri (CAA-best 29 goals coming into the game) all afternoon forcing him to three turnovers and limiting him to just one goal. Robert Church (19 goals entering game), also only had one goal. Fellow close defensemen Tom Celentani, Greg Anderson, Travis Tripucka along with long-pole Ryan Hollenbaugh were stifling down the stretch as Drexel was held off the board for nearly the final 27 minutes of the game. The group forced the Dragons into 23 turnovers, with Hollenbaugh collecting four caused turnovers himself.
 
The Minutemen battled back from an early Drexel goal to take a 3-2 lead after the first quarter, thanks to a goal from Anthony Biscardi with 44 seconds left in the stanza. After the Dragons knotted the score at three just four minutes into the second quarter, UMass responded with back-to-back goals from Colin Fleming before taking a 5-4 lead into halftime.

The Dragons owned the third quarter, outscoring the Minutemen 6-2 to take a 10-7 lead as Bergman and Nick Trizano combined for two goals apiece, including a man-up tally from Bergman with 7:36 left in the quarter. Manny kept the Massachusetts hopes alive as he buried a buzzer beater off a feed from Biscardi with less than a second left in the quarter.

Manny stayed hot during the fourth quarter by potting two goals and adding an assist as the Minutemen outshot the Dragons 17-5 in the final frame. Art Kell nearly ended the game as time expired in the fourth quarter with a bounce shot off the right post to send the game into overtime.

It wasn't until the third overtime when Massachusetts began to take control, outshooting Drexel 3-0 before Smith ended it with a bullet past Manos for his second of the game and eighth of the season.

The Minutemen will be back in action at the ESPNU Warrior Classic next weekend in East Hartford, Conn. against Hofstra in a huge CAA battle


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