The No. 5 Minutemen overcame the Pride in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament and advances to the quarterfinals where they will face UMD. Today's UMass performance achieved the 'W' but seemed off-pace by comparison to prior heavy hitting matchups. The No. 3 Team Offense in the nation did pull out a little razzle dazzle for the 2,031 fans in attendance from time to time, but the sharp shooting unit turned over the ball in front of the net more than the usual, had 35 shots on goal, and failed to convert on EMOs. The Dutchmen surprisingly were the first to light up the boards with a goal less than one minute into the game. The somewhat effective Pride ride did generate more looks on Schell down low, and kept the score tied at the half (4-4). UMass stepped up and compensated with GBC (UMass 43, Hofstra 24), faceoffs (UMass 13, Hofstra 6), and with the leadership of the relatively upperclassmen–heavy attack unit. The usual suspects led the scoring assault for UMass. Senior Kevin Leveille (Albany Academy, NY) and Junior Jeff Zywicki (Sir Robert Borden, Ontario) cashed in their chips for a cool hat trick combo (3g and 2g, 1a respectively). Sophomore Ryan Vilar (Southington, CT)led the way for the Pride with 2 goals. The usual suspects led the scoring assault for UMass. Senior Kevin Leveille (Albany Academy, NY) and Junior Jeff Zywicki (Sir Robert Borden, Ontario) cashed in their chips for a cool hat trick combo (3g and 2g, 1a respectively). Sophomore Ryan Vilar (Southington, CT) led the way for the Pride with 2 goals.
UMass was able to beat a weaker team even with a ‘B’-grade level performance. Having had high caliber wins against respectable teams like Syracuse and Georgetown UMass will need to be better prepared for game play where even slight margins of error aren’t forgiven.
Shots on goal: HU (32), UMass(35). Saves: HU (11), UMass (9), Faceoffs: HU (6/19), UMass (13/19), GBC: HU (24), UMass, (43), Clears: HU (18/24), UMass (21/25), EMO: HU (1/1), UMass (0/2).
UMass: Attack - Senior Kevin Leveille (Albany Academy), Junior Kevin Glenz (Lynbrook, NY), Sophomore Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, NY); Midfield - Sophomore Chris Doyle (Mahopac, NY), Junior Jeff Zywicki (Sir Robert Borden, Ontario); Defense - Senior Tom Fallon (Shaker Heights, OH), Freshman Jack Reid (Glastonbury, CT), Sophomore Matt Garcia (Lakeland, NY); Goal - Sophomore Bill Schell (Mahopac, NY).
Hofstra: Attack – Senior Jim Femminella (Bethpage, NY), Senior Joe Kostolansky (Corning East, NY), Freshmen Chris Unterstein (Corning East, NY); Midfield - Freshman John Keysor (Ward Melville, NY), Freshman Tim Treubig (Farmingdale, NY), Sophomore Ryan Vilar (Southington, CT); Defense – Freshman Brett Moyer (Ridley, PA), Sophomore Jon Edwards (Calvert Hall, MD), Junior Brian Zuchelli (Farmingdale, NY); Goal – Freshman Matthew Southard.
Today’s match up is the 27th meeting between Hofstra and UMass since 1974. Hofstra leads the series 14-12 and has won five the last eight meetings. However, UMass won their last meeting earlier this season in a 14-7 decision at Hofstra on 23 March.
The Pride are 11-5 overall with keys wins over Syracuse (8-6), Duke (9-8), and Notre Dame (9-8). Hofstra had an earlier-season six-game winning streak, which was punctuated by Towson last Saturday in the CAA Championship game 11-16.
Today’s game marks the 15th Tournament appearance for UMass. The Minutemen are 12-2 overall and lost their last regular season game against ECAC contender Rutgers (9-12) on 03 May 2003. Keys wins for UMass include Georgetown (11-8) and the classic against Syracuse (14-13 OT).
UMass carries the edge coming into today’s game given their prior results against Hofstra. However, despite the younger squad of the Pride, this group has been capable of surprises and given the nature of tournament play, the game should be closer than expected with UMass coming out on top.
At the top of the first quarter, UMass gained possession of the faceoff only to turnover the ball within the first 15 seconds. Face off man Freshman Dane Collins (Haverford, PA) overthrew a pass to Zywicki who was parked behind. Less than 40 seconds later, Hofstra banged out the first goal of the day as John Keysor charged in from the right side of the box and got by his defender and fired one past Schell’s left shoulder with a lefty crank (1-0) at 14:06. UMass snagged the faceoff and worked the ball down on O with Kevin Glenz behind and Fiore parked on the crease who got a good look in front and shot the ball wide.
Three minutes would go by as both teams traded possession. The Minutemen took several more shots on goal until Neil Lundberg was finally able to chime in with the equalizer. The 6’4, 230 lb. Lundberg was able to use his size to his advantage as he muscled through the double on the crease roll and shot keeper’s left hip (1-1) at 10:48. UMass’ Collins took the faceoff and Fiore took a SOG almost 25 yds. out at 10:12. Dutchman Ryan Vilar drove in from the top of the box on a 45-degree angle to the right moving Schell flush with the left post. Vilar whipped one in the lower right corner on the skipper (2-1) at 9:32.
Twenty seconds after the Pride’s goal, UMass called for a timeout at 9:11 as Hofstra continued to press on the clears. Zywicki lit up the offense with a highly technical demonstration on how to be smooth in the hole. Freshman Sean Morris was matched up with a shorty behind and as he was looking like he was going to goal, Morris dished to Zywicki who was parked in traffic at the top of the crease. Zywicki bumped and rolled and got the sweet underhand sweeper in the lower right corner leveling the score 2-2 at 8:43.
Both teams continued to make and failed to execute on some low/zero percentage shots. Over four minutes elapsed before Hofstra responded to Zywicki’s goal. It was déjà vu as Dutchman Vilar charged from up top driving to the right and this time unleashing the surface to air missiles getting by the small space exposed between Schell’s head and the left post at 4:32 (3-2).
Hofstra took the faceoff but was unable to control it. Both teams failed to convert on possession over the next four minutes. UMass would try to work the crease roll and dump to a player in the middle, but was unable to capitalize twice on a wide-open player in the middle.
UMass fired up the end of the first period as Lundberg scored with 10 seconds left in the period. Fiore who was doubled up top then dished off to Lundberg down low. The big man rocked the roll and shot past the keeper’s right hip to tie up the contest at 3-3.
Hofstra out shot UMass 10-8 in the second period and both teams only scored a goal a piece. The cumulative ground ball count for both teams in the second and third period equals 55. Minuteman Chris Doyle elevated UMass by one at 12:28 (4-3). Doyle flew in from up top and clipped the right corner with a laser-like shot. UMass was called for a double penalty at 9:59 with Steven Byrnes called for slashing (1:00) and Greg Scott called for pushing (1:00). The Pride converted on 2-man down nearly 20 seconds later. With everyone up front, Mike Morrison up high dished the ball off to Ryan Lucas who was parked stickside on the crease. Even if the defense could recover and work the triple time on the slide, it would have been a difficult goal to prevent. Lucas took Schell down low on a bouncer that hit lower right corner (4-4) at 9:40. Neither team converted for the rest of the period.
UMass outscored Hofstra 4-1 in the third period. The Minutemen had 12 SOG to the Pride’s 7 SOG. Hofstra controlled the faceoff for four seconds before losing it to UMass. It took four minutes of trading possession before UMass’ Kevin Leveille got the off-tempo low right bounce off a dish from Gene Tundo at 9:52 (5-4). UMass took the faceoff, but freshman Dane Collins overthrew the ball down low again.
Things got a little sloppy, but UMass was able to create more opportunities by controlling the rebound. UMass’ Sean Morris gave the goalie an easy read by shooting way out, but Zywicki was quick to snag the rebound and go past Southard’s right shoulder at 8:05 (6-4). Kevin Glenz finished the shooting spurt with a goal of his own at 5:33 (7-4). Glenz gave a sample of pure speed and blew by his defender for a nice crease greeting that took the keeper hip-high rightside.
Hofstra scored their only goal of the period at 2:41 as John Keysor fed Joe Kostolansky who shot opposite side as he was diving on the lefty shot at 2:41 (5-7). UMass responded with another offensive clinic put on by the lethal duo of Zywicki and Leveille. Zywicki who was behind threaded the needle to Leveille who had defenders on his back. Just when you thought Zywicki would release high, he dipped the stick and took it 5:00 to 11:00 and went right between the keeper’s dimehole at 1:06 (8-5).
The fourth quarter was marked with a similar output to the second. Each team scored a goal a piece. This time, Hofstra out shot UMass 6-4, and the ball didn’t hit the ground as much. Hofstra broke the scoring seal in the fourth with a goal from Jim Femminella off an assist from Chris Unterstein. Femminella fed Unterstein from behind and topped it off with a short release quick stick over the keeper’s right shoulder at 12:47 (6-8).
UMass snagged the faceoff but lost possession at 11:30 as Lundberg held the ball too long and coughed it up in a quadruple team. Hofstra wasn’t able to control the ball and UMass didn’t waste possession. Leveille off an assist from Fiore took the ball from left side up top and had a good look at the mesh. He worked the curler and seared the top left corner (9-6) at 9:30. Southard was flush with the post, but his back left foot was too flush and in the end didn’t cut off enough angle.
Hofstra had several decent looks at the cage and at times seemed young and disorganized. With less than 3:00 left, UMass was unable to convert on their two EMOs.
Final score: UMass 9, Hofstra 6.
UMass will need to play up to their potential in the Dome where they will face ACC-giant UMD next weekend. The team that played today would have a tough challenge against the Syracuse team they faced two weeks ago. Hofstra on the other hand, demonstrated some spark and for a young team shows a lot of promise for next year.
More photos in the morning.
|Kevin Leveille||(3, 0)|
|Jeff Zywicki||(2, 1)|
|Chris Fiore||(0, 2)|
|Neil Lundberg||(2, 0)|
|Chris Doyle||(1, 0)|
|Gene Tundo||(0, 1)|
|Sean Morris||(0, 1)|
|Kevin Glenz||(1, 0)|
|Bill Schell||9 (0.600)|