Umass vs. Fairfield
April 22, 2008
The Game Story:
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass junior attacker Tim Balise scored all five of his goals in the fourth quarter to rally UMass back from a four-goal deficit, but it was not enough as Fairfield's Ryan Mulford scored with 36 seconds left in regulation to give the Stags their first-ever win against UMass, 10-9 at Garber Field on Tuesday. Fairfield, which led 7-3 late in the third quarter saw its lead disappear as Balise took over scoring all five UMass goals in the final period as tied the game at 9-9 with 1:41 left in regulation.

The Minutemen fall to 5-7 overall and 3-3 in the ECAC before heading to No. 1 Syracuse for a Saturday match-up at the Carrier Dome. The Stags ended an eight-game losing streak as they moved to 4-8 overall, 2-4 in the league.

UMass freshman Zach Rodgers had his first-career hat trick and added an assist for his second four-point game in a row. Evan Blum had UMass' other goal. For Fairfield, Nick Lattimore had his first two goals of the season and Todd Baxter also scored twice the Stags' only multi-goal scorers.

Fairfield scored six goals in a row bridging the second and third quarters to build that 7-3 lead as they dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Minutemen 5-1 in that stanza. Shannon Sturz tied the game at 3-3 just 2:22 into the third quarter. The run continued with goals by Lattimore, Dan Boudreau, Baxter and Chris Ajemian, who ended the run of six with a sensational goal with 5:06 left in the third.

UMass' Rodgers ended the Stags' spurt and began UMass' comeback with a rip with 2:24 left in the third, as UMass was outshot 13-4 in the period. Balise then found his offense in the fourth quarter scoring 1:58 into the fourth on a man-up to make it 7-5 Fairfield. Doug Kuring's goal gave Fairfield back a 3-goal edge with 10:38 left in regulation. Balise then scored four of the game's next five goals sandwiched around Baxter's second tally of the afternoon for Fairfield.

The Minutemen jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Rodgers and Blum in the first quarter before Lattimore's first of the season registered the Stags' first goal.

UMass goalie Doc Schneider was strong once again with 11 saves. Fairfield's Jeff Cilente, making just his third start of the year made eight saves.

Bobby Hayes was key to UMass' comeback winning 8-of-10 face-offs mostly late in the action. Brian Danvers and Stephen Zorkers each had four groundballs. Diogo Godoi had five caused turnovers, the most of any player this season.

UMass travels to No. 1 Syracuse for a Saturday meeting at 2 p.m. The game can be heard on 100.9 FM WRNX.