March 25, 2006
Amherst, Mass. - Eighth-ranked Massachusetts broke open a 4-4 tie with 10 second-half goals and went to defeat No. 17 Loyola, 14-9, on Saturday afternoon in Amherst. The Greyhounds, who suffer their first conference loss of the season, are now 3-3 overall while UMass improves to 6-1 on the year.
The Minutemen struck first when a turnover from behind the Loyola cage left senior goalie Michael Fretwell out of position. The Greyhounds quickly responded with a laser from Andrew Spack at 6:12, but it was excellent goalie play that prevailed in the first quarter, and after 15 minutes of action, the teams were knotted at 1-1.
UMass pulled out front in the early minutes of the second quarter, scoring back-to-back goals in a 32-second span to lead 3-1.The Greyhounds, who found themselves down three goals after a UMass score at 5:42, kept attacking the cage with little success against Minuteman goalie Doc Schneider, who had 11 saves in the first half.
A cross-checking penalty against Massachusetts the end the first half gave Loyola an extra-man opportunity to start the third quarter. Junior Ryan Rabidou took advantage, bouncing a shot past Schneider to cut the lead in half.
The Greyhound offense, which scored one goal in the game's first 30 minutes, won the ensuing face-off, and three passes later, Spack found Cory Coffman, who found the back of the cage. Loyola held on to its momentum with another win at the face-off x, and 1:29 into the second half, an unassisted goal from Paul Richards officially erased a 4-1 halftime deficit.
Just as quick as Loyola was able to tie the game at 4-4; however, UMass was able to pull ahead with a 5-0 run that gave the Minutemen a 9-4 lead with five minutes left in the third stanza.
Junior Patrick Kennedy stopped the run with his 11th goal of the season at the 4:52 mark, and in a quarter full of runs, the momentum turned back to Loyola. Kennedy's second straight goal cut the deficit to three, ending the third quarter with the scoreboard reading 9-6.
UMass took control of the fourth quarter with three goals in the first three minutes, pushing its lead to 12-6. The Greyhounds, unable to mount a formidable rally, drop to 2-1 in the ECAC while Massachusetts starts 1-0 in the conference.
Loyola returns to action next Saturday at Syracuse, playing its fourth straight game away from home. That game is slated for a 4 p.m. start from the Carrier Dome.