Umass vs. Georgetown
April 18, 2009
The Game Story:
AMHERST, Mass. - After falling into a 5-1 halftime deficit, the #15/12 UMass men's lacrosse team clawed all the way back to even the score at 6-6 early in the fourth quarter, but Georgetown scored four of the final five goals for the 10-7 final to hand the Minutemen their first ECAC loss of the season on Senior Day Saturday. Seniors Tim Balise, Evan Blum, and Jim Connolly each netted two goals in their final game at Garber Field. Fellow senior Doc Schneider was superb once again, making 18 saves, three shy of his career-high which he set last week. The Minutemen, who fall to 7-4, 4-1 in the ECAC, now look ahead to a critical matchup at Fairfield with first place on the line.

After allowing a season-high four first quarter goals, the Minutemen defense of Brennan Mack, Diogo Godoi, and Greg Anderson turned the tides in its favor by holding Georgetown off the scoreboard for a span of 26:55 to set the stage for the near comeback. The trio also held the Hoyas' three top scorers with only one point apiece.

The Hoyas used a four goal spurt bridging the first and second quarters to open up a 5-1 lead at 11:01 of the second quarter. Balise answered with rocket shot past Georgetown goalie Jack Davis for his second of the game to make it 5-2. Jake Samperton then scored his hat trick goal at 4:46, but Connolly netted his first of the game at 38 seconds to make it 6-3 heading into halftime.

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Goals by Bobby Hayes and Connolly in the span of 1:10 coupled with strong defense led to the 6-5 score after three quarters of play. Connolly made a beautiful behind the net fake then finished the play with a wraparound goal at 4:59.

Blum tied the score at six at 12:48 of the fourth quarter on an improbable angle shot down the right side, but Georgetown took advantage of a man-up opportunity for the go-ahead goal at 7:51 behind Scott Gocis' third of the game. Another goal by Andrew Brancaccio only 1:41 later made it 8-6. Ricky Mirabito took advantage of an open net with Schneider serving as an extra defender for the 9-6 score at the 1:40 mark.

The teams traded goals in the final 13 seconds, but it proved too little too late.

Final shots were 47-35 in favor of Georgetown while UMass had 14 turnovers to the Hoyas' 13. The Minutemen were 1-for-2 on man-up and Georgetown was 1-for-4. The Hoyas' Michael Shotwell was critical at the faceoff x, winning 12-of-16 draws. Schneider finished with 18 saves while Davis had 14.

The Minutemen travel to Fairfield on Tuesday for a huge ECAC tilt. The winner will come out of the game in control of their own destiny in hopes of a conference title and the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. UMass returns home next Saturday to host defending national champion Syracuse at 1:30 p.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. UMass is urging all fans to attend the game as it is looking to break the program's all-time attendance record of 12,143. For tickets call 1-866-UMASS-TIX.