BOSTON, Mass. – A 6-1 run to close out the final 16:34 of regulation gave lacrosse the push they needed as they defeated the University of Southern Maine by the final of 14-9 Friday evening at James Cotter Field in a Little East Conference contest.
UMass Boston 14, University of Southern Maine 9
UMass Boston (8-7, 5-2 Little East Conference)
Southern Maine (6-9, 3-4 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With Friday's victory, and a Keene State College win over Eastern Connecticut State University, the Beacons locked-up the two-seed, and a first-round bye in next week's Little East Conference Tournament. The second-place finish to close out the regular season marks the best finish for the Beacons in Little East Conference play. UMB will face the winner of the No. 6 Western Connecticut State/No. 3 Plymouth State University game on Thursday, May 4 at 8 p.m. at James Cotter Field.
Leading the way for the Beacons were their two senior members in Calvin Lee (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Anthony Tortora (Medford, Mass.). The duo played perhaps their best lacrosse in the huge win, as Lee finished with one goal and three assists, while Tortora went-off for two goals, two ground balls, and two caused turnovers. Prior to the start of the contest both players were honored by their teammates for the incredible careers at UMB.
UMass Boston got their night off to a great start as they scored a pair of goals in the first 1:12 of the contest. The Beacons then added two more goals over a four-minute span to jump out to a commanding 4-0 lead. Sam Matton's (Sturbridge, Mass.) goal, which was the fourth of the first quarter, was assisted by Lee, giving the senior attackman his 100th career point on the harbor campus.
Southern Maine would manage just one goal in the opening frame, but was quickly countered by a Beacons goal with 2:13 left to take a 5-1 lead into the first break. In the second, Southern Maine cut the deficit to three with an early goal. However, a quick 2-0 run by the Beacons push their lead back to five with 3:51 to go before the break. Lee and Clay Arnold (Syracuse, N.Y.) each registered a tally in the second quarter. However Southern Maine would get the final word before the intermission as they scored a pair over the final 1:16 to make it a 7-4 ball game.
After the break, the Beacons attack struggled to build-off of their early momentum, which allowed the Huskies to take control in the third. USM outscored the Beacons 4-2 to make it a one-goal game with just 15 minutes to play in regulation. They actually tied the game at 8-8 on a goal by Tristan Dundas with 3:15 to play in the third. A Josh Holmes (Weymouth, Mass.) goal with 1:34 to go before the break proved to be the spark the Beacons attack was missing.
Now leading by one heading into the fourth, the Beacons remerged as the dominant team and rattled-off five straight goals to take a 14-8 lead with less than four to play. Conor Smith (Kingston, Mass.) netted three of the five tallies in the fourth, with Tortora and Jack Dillon (Barrington, R.I.) also registering crucial goals. The Huskies mustered just one more goal, a man-up score, with 2:13 to play, but their late rally was too little too late.
Smith led UMass Boston's attack with four goals, while Holmes netted three. Between the pipes Alex Surette (Medford, Mass.) managed 10 saves as he improved to 6-6 on the year. Zach Bessette finished with 15 stops in the conference loss, and made six stops in the second quarter.
Four different Huskies recorded two goals, while Jeff Urmston also tallied three assists to complete a five-point day.
Matt Murphy (Watertown, Mass.) was once again solid at the face-off "X" as he went for 16-for-27. He also collected a career-high 14 ground balls and had one assist. Kroy Arnold (Syracuse, N.Y.) finished with a team-best three caused turnovers and had an assist and two ground balls.
BY THE NUMBERS
- On the night UMB outshot the Huskies 48-38, 29-19 in shots on goal
- The Beacons were 0-for-1 on the man-up attempt, while Southern Maine finished 1-for-6
- UMB finished 21-for-23 on clear attempts, while the Huskies were 17-for-25
- Lee became the 22nd player in program history to record 100 points, and the first since Donny Delpha, who finished with 173 career points (6th most in program history)
- UMass Boston is now 12-5 all-time against Southern Maine, and have won five straight
- The Beacons home playoff game will mark their first since the 2006 season when they hosted UMass Dartmouth in a first-round game; The Beacons defeated the Corsairs 9-3 under head coach Myles Berry
- The Beacons will be making their seventh appearance in the Little East Conference Tournament semi-final round, and their first since 2007
- UMass Boston has never hosted a Little East Conference Tournament semi-final game since joining the conference in 2001
The Beacons will host either Plymouth State or Western Connecticut next Thursday at 8 p.m. in the LEC semi-final round at James Cotter Field.