(Amherst, MA) The No. 9 UMass Minutemen (6-1, 1-0 ECAC) banked a solid first-time ‘W’ against the No. 20 Loyola Greyhounds (3-3, 2-1 ECAC) after dropping nine of their previous meetings. Senior UMass all-star Sean Morris continued his Tewaarton crease campaign leading the Minutemen with two goals and four assists.
UMass served up a mixed assortment of two sporadic five-goal fast-break tantrums with a sober and more-disciplined offensive main course. Freshman goalie Doc Schneider came up big for UMass with a 19-save day boosted by the support of Loyola’s shot selection and offense, which at best seemed anemic at times.
A strange and quieter, more gentle Zoo lacked the usual sense of conference-play occasion. The absence of the raucous and restless sideline antics did not distract the Minutemen from staying focused on task capturing their first-ever win against the Greyhounds. With 80 percent of the campus migrating south to some exotic Nascar locale for sun and game, the fan fare of parental decorum and restraint was strangely mirrored on the field.
Five different players contributed two points each to the UMass bottom line (Sean Morris, Pat Larmon, Brian Jacovina, Jim Connolly, Andrew Recchione) and a freshman goalie demonstrated a hardened poise well beyond his years coming up with 19 saves on the day. The Greyhounds helped to seal their fate committing costly defensive errors, poor shot selection (Loyola had 41 SOG to UMass’ 42), and sacrificing possession off of grounders (24 to UMass’ 36).
The two teams came off a close split at the face-off x with UMass out-raking Loyola 14-12. Loyola converted on 2-3 EMOs while UMass cashed in 1-3. UMass took more time and risk on possession and their 16 to Loyola’s 10 turnovers stat was easily converted into write-off line item. Ryan Rabidou led the Greyhounds with two goals and an assit. UMass jumps to 6-1 and 1-0 in the ECAC play while Loyola drops to a 3-3 record and 2-1 in the conference.
The first period was a well-matched effort for both teams. The score at the end of the quarter was tied at one goal a piece with UMass out shooting Loyola 13-7. Each team committed a handful of turnovers. While each team was looking to find an offensive rhythm, there also seemed to be a lack of urgency and purpose on possession.
The starting lineup for UMass on offense consisted of freshman Jim Connolly (North Andover, MA), senior Clay Stabert (Lower Merion, PA), and senior captain Sean Morris (Marshfield, MA); junior Brian Jacovina (Holy Trinity, NY), junior Brett Garber (Avon Old Farms, CT), and junior Pat Larmon (Desmet Jesuit, MO) in the midfield; sophomore Sean Krygier (Daniel Hand, CT), senior captain Jack Reid (Glastonbury, CT), and sophomore David Von Voigt (Shoreham Wading River, NY) on defense; and freshman Doc Schneider (Massapequa, NY) in goal.
The starting lineup for Loyola on offense consisted of junior Ryan Rabidou (Somers, NY), junior Dan Bauers (Oakton, VA), and junior Patrick Kennedy (St. Anthony’s, NY); junior Cory Coffman (Riverside, NC), junior Greg Leonard (Marple Newtown, PA), and junior Andrew Spack (Lafayette, NY) in the midfield; junior Steven Hess (Hillsborough, NJ), junior Michael Graham (LaSalle, PA), and sophomore Eddie Graham (LaSalle, PA) on defense; and senior Michael Fretwell (St. Mary’s, MD) in goal.
Long stick senior captain Jake Deane faced-off against Jordan Rabidou with UMass winning the first possession. UMass got off several shots on goal within the first minute and half of the game. Both teams traded turnovers until 8:26 when UMass was first to strike. Loyola defender Hess turned over the ball and Morris scooped up the loose ball quickly finding Connolly who had an open net with the Loyola keeper behind (1-0). UMass won the ensuing face-off and rattled off two shots on goal. Loyola finally posted up a response with a goal at 6:12. Coffman found an open Spack up top who capitalized on the late slide going past Schneider’s top left evening out the score (1-1). At the end of the first period, the score was tied 1-1.
UMass outscored Loyola 3-0 in the second period. The Greyhounds out shot the Minutemen 9-6. Sean Morris powered his way in using his signature style getting up close and personal with the goalie and managing an overhand lefty shot scoring his 11th goal of the season (2-1) at 11:06. Federico and Jacovina followed with two unassisted goals. Federico pulled out a crazy shot from topside left going top left with the keeper nearly flush to the left post. Jacovina used the screens on the right side to get the low shot (4-1) at 5:42.
The third quarter had the highest combined scoring output for both teams. Loyola out shot UMass 13-11 and both teams notched five goals apiece. Loyola came out of the half strong scoring three consecutive. Rabidou got the EMO in the first 30 seconds of period from up top using the screens in front on a bouncer that hit lower left side (2-4). Teammate Coffman put the Greyhounds within one beating the slide and finding the back of the net at 14:00 (3-4). Richards evened up the score on the right side roll shooting over the defense banking the top left corner (4-4) at 13:31.
A minute and a half later UMass responded with one of two five-goal outbursts with a goal from Jacovina off an assist from Morris (5-4). UM started to work the wheel more smoothly. The next goal started with Morris at X, who dished off to Recchione up at top.
Recchione found the lower right side of the cage at 11:07 (6-4). Connolly snagged the interception of the defensive clear sinking a lefty shot into open net at 10:46 (7-4). Pedrick continued the scoring assault with a lefty off pace shot over the defender going top left (8-4). Pat Larmon closed out the third period scoring for the Minutemen with an overhand lefty shot off of fast ball movement taking the keeper top left yet again (9-4). Loyola responded with two goals to close out the period, but it was clear the momentum was in favor of the local hosts.
The Minutemen used the fourth period to extend and cement their lead. Both teams managed 12 shots on goal each while UMass outscored the Greyhounds 5-3. UMass started the fourth quarter strong with another five-goal scoring outburst starting with an EMO-goal from Yaman at 14:10 off an assist from Morris (10-6). Morris scored off the crease roll going past the keeper with a strong righty shot (11-6). Larmon, Recchione, and Garber each notched a goal for the Minutemen giving UMass the 14-6 lead with six minutes left in regulation.
Loyola was able to cobble together a hat trick in the remaining minutes to narrow the gap 9-14. Loyola’s Crimmins found precious alone time with the goalie throwing several fakes until finding the back of the net (7-14). Leonard capitalized on EMO and scored on the lefty riser (8-14) going past the back up UMass goalie. Rabidou go the last goal of the game on a low side arm (9-14) at 1:43. Final score UMass 14 Loyola 9.
Loyola will face Syracuse on 01 April at 13:00 in NY while UMass will travel to Penn State on 01 April and face-off against the Nittany Lions at noon.
Massachusetts vs. Loyola