Balanced Attack Earns UMass 8-6 Win At Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 5 UMass men’s lacrosse had seven Minutemen notch at least one goal to secure an 8-6 victory at Harvard’s Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Junior midfielder Matt Whippen led the squad with a pair of tallies while classmate Connor Mooney and sophomore attack Grant Whiteway added a goal and assist each.

Senior attack Kyle Smith, senior midfielder K.R. Jurgelevich, sophomore attack Sean Cleary and freshman midfielder Andrew Sokol also contributed a goal each to the team effort. Redshirt-freshman Zachary Oliveri tallied eight saves in net while the Minutemen defense, led by starters Jake Smith, Ryan Hollenbaugh and Kyle Karaska, forced 17 Harvard turnovers.

Whippen scored his team-high seventh goal of the season at the 13:19 mark of the first following a pass from behind the Harvard cage by senior attack Bobby Tyler. Tyler found Whippen 15 yards from the goal, with the junior midfielder racing toward the cage before firing into the right side of the net.

Whiteway added to the Minutemen lead with his third of the season 1:03 later, wrapping around the left side of the goal before placing an attempt into the lower-right corner for the 2-0 lead.

Harvard answered with a pair of tallies to send the game into the second quarter tied at two. Jack Walker notched the first goal for the Crimson after scooping up a loose ball in front of the UMass net and placing a sidearm shot on-target with 6:16 to play in the first. Alex White added the second Harvard goal, doing so with 1:07 to play in the stanza.

The Minutemen added four tallies while holding Harvard scoreless over the second quarter to establish a 6-2 lead entering the halftime break. Cleary pushed UMass back in front on a long-distance attempt following a pass from Whiteway 2:40 into the second before Kyle Smith secured his fifth goal of the season 46 seconds later for a 4-2 advantage.

Jurgelevich added to the UMass margin as the senior created a play by dodging to the left before firing just inside the left pipe from an open shooting lane with 6:52 left in the half. Mooney followed at the 1:05 mark with a diving strike at the crease to push the margin to four.

Harvard notched a pair of tallies each in the third and fourth quarters; however, timely goals from Sokol and Whippen set the Minutemen lead to at least two goals throughout the second half.

After Ryan Stevens opened scoring for the Crimson 58 seconds into the third, Sokol answered for the Minutemen. The sophomore midfielder keyed in from 10 yards away, completing the play despite being checked to the turf during his attempt with 12:32 to play in the stanza.

Following a pair of tallies by White spanning the third and fourth quarters, Whippen notched his second of the day on a pass from Mooney with 5:36 to play, pushing the lead to 8-5 in the process. Henry Mumford followed with the final Harvard goal of the contest with 5:00 remaining; however, the Minutemen defense limited the home side to just one off-target attempt after the tally to secure the victory.

UMass outshot Harvard, 31-23 and earned more groundballs, 22-17. UMass was successful on 13 of its 14 clear attempts while Harvard finished 10-of-13. The Crimson were 1-for-2 on extra-man opportunities while the Minutemen ended the day 1-of-6 in the category.

Junior midfielder Joe Calvello won 10 of the 16 faceoffs during the contest while senior longpole midfielder Brett Tobin and Karaska tied for the game lead with four groundballs. Karaska also forced a pair of Harvard turnovers while Hollenbaugh scooped up a pair of groundballs and earned two caused turnovers.

The Minutemen face their second consecutive Ivy League opponent for their next contest, hosting Brown at Garber Field on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m.

Harvard Men’s Lacrosse Falls to No. 5 UMass in Season Opener, 8-6

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Harry Krieger made 13 saves in goal and classmate Alex White turned in a hat trick as the Harvard men’s lacrosse team dropped its season opener to No. 7/5 UMass Saturday afternoon, 8-6.

A crowd of 1,137 was in attendance at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium to see the clash between the in-state rivals. UMass (3-0) controlled the face off X, winning 10-of-16 on the day, and was successful on 13-of-14 clear attempts. Harvard, meanwhile, completed 10-of-13 clears and was 1-of-2 in extra-man situations. The Crimson defense, anchored by Krieger’s play, allowed the Minutemen to convert on just 1-of-6 extra-man opportunities.

White added one assist to his three goals to finish with four points on the day. Henry Mumford, Ryan Stevens and Jack Walker also found the back of the net for the Crimson with Devin Dwyer assisting on Mumford’s score. Robert Duvnjak was credited with four of the Crimson’s nine caused turnovers as Joe Petrucci collected a team-best three ground balls.

The UMass offense was led by Matt Whippen’s two goals. Seven different Minutemen registered a goal, including Connor Mooney and Grant Whiteway who added an assist apiece for two total points. Goalkeeper Zachary Oliveri recorded eight saves in net.

Krieger made a pair of saves in the opening 1:17 of play before Whippen and  Whiteway tallied back-to-back goals to put the Minutemen on top, 2-0. The Crimson defense tightened up following the scores, and a turnover by UMass led to Walker’s goal for Harvard’s first tally of the year. The Crimson was later able to kill off two penalties with Krieger making three more stops, allowing White to even the game at 2-2 with 1:07 left to play in the first quarter.

UMass picked up momentum early in the second with three straight goals, and added a fourth with 1:05 to play to take a 6-2 lead into the half.

Harvard returned from the break with a quick score as White found Stevens for an open look with just 58 seconds gone. UMass retaliated moments later to put the score at 7-3, but White then registered his second goal of the day with a man down to make it a 7-4 game.

White completed the hat trick with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter to pull Harvard within two, 7-5. Whippen’s second tally extended the UMass lead back to three, 8-5, before Mumford tallied the final score of the day with 5:00 to play.

The Crimson will host Holy Cross Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. before heading out on the road for the first time to face No. 19/20 Hofstra.

Photo courtesy Harvard Athletics