Umass vs. Sacred Heart
February 14, 2009
The Game Story:
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass lacrosse team began the 2009 season with a rousing 15-6 win over Sacred Heart at a chilly Garber Field on Saturday. Senior captain Tim Balise scored three goals and added two assists for five points while four others scored two goals for the Minutemen (1-0). Senior Evan Blum, junior Bobby Hayes, sophomore Ryan Marcus and senior Rory Pedrick all scored twice. Marcus was one of four Minutemen to score their first-career goals along with senior Joe Reale, sophomore Casey Rahn and freshman Anthony Biscardi.

UMass avenged last season's 9-7 loss to the Pioneers (0-1) and the Minutemen pumped up 50 shots for the second year in a row against Sacred Heart. On Saturday, UMass outshot SHU, 51-22. Senior captain Doc Schneider made seven saves for the Minutemen in the nets.

Sacred Heart's Timmy Katz had a hat trick for the Pioneers in the defeat.

With the game tied 3-3 early in the second quarter, UMass ripped off the final four goals of the second period to take a commanding 7-3 halftime lead and led the rest of the game. Redshirt senior Pedrick, playing his first game in two seasons after a knee injury forced him to miss all of last season, scored back-to-back goals. Pedrick ripped a shot to the high right corner to give the Minutemen a 4-3 lead with 9:23 left in the second quarter. He then took a feed from Jim Connolly and cut down the middle for a 5-3 edge with 5:58 left in the second. Marcus and Connolly (on an extra-man goal) added tallies to close out the quarter with a four-goal bulge.

Sacred Heart did score the first two goal of the third quarter to cut the lead to 7-5, but UMass scored seven unanswered goals bridging the third and fourth quarter. UMass was up 14-5 until Pioneer Timmy Katz broke up the scoring run with 6:34 left in the game.

During the 7-0 run in the second half, Balise scored all of his three goals in the game. Balise also set up senior captain Reale for his first-career tally with 6:24 left in the third quarter. That goal gave UMass a 9-5 lead. After that goal, Balise scored the next two goals in the span of four minutes for an 11-5 lead. Hayes took a feed from Pedrick for an extra-man goal with 24 seconds left in the third.

Biscardi scored his first-career goal to open the fourth quarter and Balise got the hat trick with 7:19 left in the fourth for the 14-5 lead. Sophomore long-pole Rahn scored his first career goal and full-field rush with 6:25 left in the fourth.

Sacred Heart and UMass played an even first quarter with Evan Morgan opening the season's scoring 3:42 into the game. Hayes and Blum scored consecutive goals to give UMass a 2-1 lead on a 3-yard dunk shot.

UMass continues its season next Saturday Hofstra against the No. 13 Pride on Long Island at 1 p.m.