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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Lax Roundup

Photo by Tony Naro
Photo by Tony Naro

Though UMass men’s lacrosse was bumped out of the Little East Conference tournament by third place Keene State, the team had a very strong season.

Finishing 2-4 in the LEC and 6-7 overall, the team’s greatest strength, its youth, was possibly also its greatest weakness. Losing several one-point games, conference and non-conference alike, the team may have been able to pull out victories under the immense pressure had its core been playing with a couple more seasons under its belt.

Nevertheless, the LEC conference is also stacked with fierce competition with its top three teams playing at .600 or above and the rest of the conference playing at only .333 or below.

Despite this tough competition, UMB only faced two major blowouts during the regular season, one against Keene State and one against Eastern Connecticut. In the semi-finals of the playoffs both Keene and Eastern outscored their opponents 28-10. The two teams not surprisingly also faced each other in the finals of the LEC tournament as Eastern came out on top by a score of 12-9. Eastern Connecticut’s victory in the tournament made for its fourth consecutive conference championship.

Overall in the LEC, however, UMB was at the top of the ranks.

Proof of the team’s incredibly strong defense, UMB was first in groundballs per game with an average of 49.67, sixth out of seven in turnovers, and second in goals against average. Freshman Andrew Rowley led the LEC in groundballs with an average of 8.33 per game and a total of 100 for the season. Pat McNulty Jr. ranked second in that standing with his average at 5.75 and 69 total groundballs for the season. Standing as the third UMass player in the top five of this category was Trevor Craven.

Dan O’Neill, the team’s goalie, led the team to being second overall in the LEC under saves per game with 15.08, and second in save percentage with an average of .646. Rowley helped bring the team to the top of the conference charts in face-off percentage, leading the league with .558.

Offensively the Beacons were also ranked high with Christopher Hanafin and Mike Forns leading the way.

As a freshman, Hanafin ranked sixth in goals per game with an average of 2.06, 12th in assists, and tied for fifth in points scored per game with an average of three. Forns, a senior, ranked fourth in assists with 1.67 per game average and tied for 16th in points per game with 2.33.

Losing only a few players to graduation next season, the Beacons will be coming back with great strength. With another season under the belts of the freshmen and sophomores, UMass Boston lacrosse will undoubtedly be a force to recon with in the next two LEC seasons.