AMHERST, M.A. — Playing on the road for the first time this season, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team visited #15 UMass, the Danes’ longest-running rival, on Tuesday for its 2020 road opener. After hanging with the Minutemen through three quarters, UMass pulled away in the fourth to clinch a 17-12 victory.
“It was a game I thought we let get away,” said Head Coach Scott Marr after the loss. Take no credit away from UMass, but we had too many self-inflicted wounds that we couldn’t overcome. Our effort was excellent, we just need to clean up fundamental mistakes.”
Freshman Graydon Hogg struck first for UAlbany, putting the Danes on the board after a setup from Conner Fingar less than two minutes after the opening faceoff. One minute later, Tehoka Nanticoke gave UAlbany a 2-0 lead with a no-look, back-to-the-goal scoop shot. Jakob Patterson assisted Nanticoke on the score, marking the sixth time the pair had connected in the last two games.
UMass responded with four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead with 6:48 left in the first. Hogg broke the Minutemen’s run before Chris Ryan tied the game at four just 52 seconds later.
The teams combined to score three times in the final two-and-a-half minutes of the first quarter, including another Nanticoke-Patterson connection, and UMass took a narrow, 6-5 lead into the second. Including their final goal of the first quarter, the Minutemen bookended the quarter break on another four-goal run to take a 9-5 lead with 7:49 to go before halftime.
Ron John broke the run with a goal with 4:41 left in the second, sparking a three-goal run for UAlbany to cut the UMass lead to one, 9-8, at halftime. UMass had won six of seven faceoffs in the second quarter, and 14 of 19 in the first half. Further, the Minutemen scored twice on man-up opportunities in the first half, the first two such goals UAlbany has surrendered all season.
More than four minutes elapsed in the third quarter before UMass took a two-goal lead with 10:51 to go, interrupting UAlbany’s brief run to close the first half. Hogg scored his third goal of the game one minute later to keep UAlbany in contact with the Minutemen.
UMass scored the next two to go up 12-9 with 7:54 left in the third. Nanticoke scored twice in the final six minutes of the quarter, his fourth and fifth goals of the game, but the Minutemen managed to extend their halftime lead by one and head into the fourth up 13-11.
The Minutemen pulled away from UAlbany in the fourth quarter, scoring four-straight goals to lead 17-11 with 4:00 to go. The Great Danes would have been held scoreless in the final quarter if not for one final goal from Ron John with 12 seconds remaining. UMass went on to win 17-12.
Nanticoke finished with five goals for the second straight game, once again matching his single-game career-high. Hogg scored three goals, and Patterson recorded four assists, including two to Nanticoke. UMass held a sizeable advantage on the faceoff X, winning 26 of 33 overall, including 12 of 14 in the second half, and all six in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Minutemen won 38 ground balls to UAlbany’s 22.
Next: UAlbany visits #7 Maryland on Saturday, March 7.