Top 12 of 2012: #7 Men's Lacrosse Upsets In-State Rival (4/14)
This is the sixth in our Top 12 of 2012 series. Every day for the rest of 2012, we will count down the Top 12 moments/games of the year with each program represented. With two Little East Conference Champions, a handful of wins against nationally ranked teams and several program firsts-2012 was quite the year.
Sometime it's hard to realize how monumental an event is without context. While there are tons of surprising upsets ranging from the annual Cinderella stories in March Madness to the once-in-a-lifetime 1980 U.S. Men's Hockey Olympic Team, it's hard to categorize how each upset stacks up with all the others.
Thanks to LaxPower.Net there's no questioning the fact that UMB Men's Lacrosse's win over UMass Dartmouth was the biggest upset in Division III Men's Lacrosse in 2012.
On the one side was a Beacons squad that had lost 27 consecutive Little East Conference matchups dating back to 2008. UMass Boston had won just 13 matches during that four-year span and sported a 1-8 record and seven-game losing streak coming into the contest.
UMass Dartmouth stood on the other side of the field; a year after finishing second in the LEC, the Corsairs owned an 8-1 record coming into the game and looked to be on their way toward competing for their first ever Little East Conference Championship.
But despite the mismatch on paper, the two rivals stepped up on the field at the Clark Athletic Center and played an extremely even and exciting game in front of a partisan Beacons crowd.
The two teams traded the lead throughout the first quarter with UMass Boston grabbing leads of 1-0 and 3-2, before the Corsairs tied it at 3-3 with eight seconds to play in the quarter. Second quarter play would be more of the same, as UMass Boston grabbed a 6-4 lead behind back-to-back goals from Nate Staples (Salem, Mass.), before the Corsairs one again found a way to even the game before the period ended.
With the Corsairs bearing down in the second half looking to down the Beacons for a fifth-straight year, UMass Boston found a pair of heroes in Anthony Fitti (Havertown, Pa.) and Donny Delpha (Walpole, Mass.).
Fitti the team's senior goalie was looking for his first career conference victory after serving as the team's primary keeper for four years. The senior from Haverford, Pa. proved to be a wall in net, making a season-high 20 saves and scooping up three ground balls. Offensively, Delpha was just as good. The Little East Conference Rookie of the Year registered a game-high four goals and three assists to lead the Beacons attack.
Delpha set the tone in the second half with two goals in a two-minute span in the third quarter to give the Beacons a 9-7 lead with 20 minutes to play. But UMass Dartmouth would have a response for each UMass Boston rally.
The Corsairs quickly cut the deficit to 9-8 and after Leo Ajemain (Walpole, Mass.) gave UMB a two-goal cushion once again, the Corsairs made it 10-9 with 14:15 to play.
Delpha and Cam Hanlon (Hanson, Mass.) scored in quick succession to increase the lead to 12-9 but the game was far from over. UMass Dartmouth cut the lead to 12-10 with 3:59 to play and continued to pressure Fitti and the Beacons until the final second. The Corsairs recorded three shots in the waning minutes that went just wide and dominated the ball possesion as they flirted with the comeback.
It was only when the final horn sounded that Fitti and his teammates could finally enjoy the biggest lacrosse upset in 2012.