SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Despite a career-best 21 saves from Henry Bristol (South Hadley, Mass.) and a late fourth quarter rally, lacrosse was unable to take down Division II American International College (AIC) Wednesday afternoon in the 2013 season opener for the Beacons at Abdow Field.
For AIC, Wednesday's match-up marked the third of the year for the Yellow Jackets and their first win of the 2013 campaign as well. The Beacons, playing in perhaps their earliest season opener in recent memory stand at 0-1 on the year.
After a very quiet first two quarters by the Beacons attack, UMB came alive in the second half to outscore AIC 4-3. However a six goal run in the opening two frames proved to be the deciding factor in the Yellow Jackets victory.
UMass broke the scoreless draw less than three minutes in when the reigning Little East Conference Rookie of the Year, Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.) fired home his first goal of the new season. Picking-up the then go-ahead assist was Ryan McGoff (Charlestown, Mass.).
Unfortunately it took AIC just 34 seconds to tie the game at 1-1. They then notched five straight goals to push their lead to 6-1. IT was not until the 5:52 mark of the second that UMB was able to end their scoring drought. Junior Thomas Petitti (Quincy, Mass.) got the Beacons attack back on track with his first goal of the season on an unassisted play.
Through the first 30 minutes of play, AIC led UMB in total shots 19-12. The Beacons did lead the first 9-7, but were unable to capitalize on their early chances. The Yellow Jackets also managed 10 more groundballs than UMB (22-12) and were 6-for-9 on the face-off "X".
After the break, things got a little more interesting as Dom Fichera (Scituate, Mass.) started the third frame off with a huge goal. Ed McDonald (Waltham, Mass.) picked-up his first helper of 2013 less than two minutes in. Despite a pair of AIC goals during the middle of the third, the Beacons closed out the quarter with a big score from McGoff. Newcomer John Powers (Marshfield, Mass.) earned his first point as a Beacon with just 36 seconds remaining. It would not take long for Powers to earn his second point of his very young career, this time in the form of a goal at the 9:10 mark of the fourth.
His tally marked the second of the fourth as Petitti earned his first multi-score game of the year 23 seconds earlier. The duo cut the Yellow Jackets lead to two with plenty of time on the clock. Unfortunately, the Beacons attack could not finish, and with an AIC goal late in the quarter UMB was handed their first loss of the year.
The Beacons attack dominated the final 30 minutes of play as they outshot the Yellow Jackets 33-20 to end the contest with a +6 advantage in total shots (45-39). AIC did win the battle on the ground however picking-up 17 groundballs as compared to the Beacons 13. They also won the battle in the face-off circle.
In the cage, Bristol had a strong game as he finished with 21 stops and a team-best nine groundballs. For the Yellow Jackets Alexis Buque earned the victory after totaling 15 saves. Sean Kelleher and Nick Amendt led the AIC attack with three goals each, with Kelleher also earn an assist.
Lacrosse returns to action on Saturday when they face Maine Maritime Academy at 1 p.m. at Regis College in Weston, MA.