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The Mass Media

MIT engineers embarrassing loss to men’s lacrosse in their home opener

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Men’s lacrosse past home game. Image courtesy of Mary Jo Murphy of Beacon Athletics. 

The days are getting longer as springtime approaches, and men’s lacrosse reaped the benefits of it until their game against Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they likely felt that the day took too long to end. The Beacons faced the Engineers on March 1 and played catch-up from the get-go, allowing 16 first half goals, nine of which came in the first quarter alone. Despite the end result being 21–13, the team was able to outplay the Engineers in the second half after entering the break in a 16–3 hole. 

The Beacons came into the matchup with a 1–1 record, and riding the wave of an 18–12 win over Nichols College that took place on Feb. 22. Gavin Admirand had six goals and nine points for UMass Boston, while Merrimack transfer Matt Lucozzi was a face-off winning machine, winning 80 percent of the draws he had (1). Admirand’s efforts paved the way for him to earn Little East Conference offensive player of the week (2). 

The team, however, did not come prepared enough for the onslaught that the school from across the Mass Ave bridge would give them. The Engineers put together a quick 6–0 run within the first eight and a half minutes of the game and held the Beacons to just a single goal well into the second quarter. The cheers from MIT’s sideline were loud enough to make the ground shake, while the UMass Boston crowd and sideline remained silent.  

Connor Smith scored the second goal of the game with just over eight and a half minutes left in the half; the goal broke up what was another 6–0 run by MIT. The goal came only 26 seconds after MIT’s twelfth goal of the contest, but by the time the half was over, it felt like the game was a sealed win for the Engineers. They outscored the Beacons 4–1 in the final 8:32 to enter the half up 13. The Engineers’ 13th goal coincided with an illegal body check by the Beacons’ Sean Cullagh (3), who obliterated an MIT player with a hit behind the Beacons’ goal the same time that MIT scored. It was evident that tempers began to flare as the blowout continued.  

Charlie Chapman scored the third goal with a little over two and a half minutes left to make the deficit 15–3, but the Engineers almost immediately responded with a goal of their own less than a minute later (3). Despite the lopsided score, the Beacons did not go down without a fight, and they came out firing in the second half.  

Nolan Beauregard scored just 43 seconds into the second half to cut the lead to 16–4 with what seemed like a little bit of luck, as the ball looked like it was deflected in by an MIT player. Nonetheless, the Beacons scored two additional goals to cut the lead to ten with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter.  Luke Murphy and Gavin Admirand scored the fifth and sixth goals for UMass Boston (3). An MIT goal halfway through the quarter broke up the 3–0 run, but Beauregard scored his second goal a half minute later with 7:12 to go.  

By the end of the third quarter, the two teams would exchange mini runs; MIT scored two straight after Beauregard’s goal, but three UMass Boston goals in the final 4:17 brought the Engineers’ lead to within single digits at 19–10. Timothy Sullivan scored the first of the three; it was Sullivan’s only goal of the bout (3). The two goals that followed were at the hands of Admirand and Chapman, who scored 44 seconds apart (3). The Beacons’ sideline began to feel a shift; players both on and off the field celebrated their turnaround of play in the penultimate quarter, as the Beacons outscored MIT 7–3 in the third.

The end of the third, as well as two early fourth quarter goals for the Engineers, killed all the momentum the Beacons were holding. A 21–10 lead for MIT with 13:37 to go essentially put the game in the win column for them (3), but the Beacons didn’t back down and scored the final three goals of the game for both sides. It was a small moral victory for UMass Boston; they were able to outscore the Engineers in both frames of the second, netting three goals to MIT’s two in the fourth quarter to complete the feat (3). Had they played with the same intensity and grit in the first two quarters of play, the game could have had a much better outcome for the Beacons.

Another positive note from the loss was that both Chapman and Smith secured hat tricks for the Beacons to close out the scoring; Chapman led the team with four goals on the day. Chapman would get the first of the final three goals and made it 21–11 with 12:37 to go; Smith followed and got a hatty with 8:27 left, and to put the Beacons at a plus-one rating for the fourth quarter, Chapman got his fourth with 6:25 to go (3). 

Moving forward, the Beacons have to ensure they are confidently ready for teams to come out with the intention to put pressure on them early. The Engineers built up their chemistry relatively easily against the Beacons, and they surely proved that in the first half of the contest. It’s still early in the season, and the Beacons did indeed flaunt their potential with their second half resurgence, but now it’s time to take the next step and maintain the adjustments they made in their defeat. If they keep doing so, then there’s more than enough reason to believe that the potential men’s lacrosse possesses will soon turn into a staple of the way they play. Catch the Beacons this Friday against Norwich University at James Cotter Field; the game starts at 4 p.m., be there or be square. 

1.     https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/22/admirand-spearheads-mens-lacrosse-victory-over-nichols-college.aspx 

2.     .https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/27/mens-lacrosse-admirand-named-little-east-offensive-player-of-the-week.aspx 

3.     https://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-lacrosse/stats/2023/massachusetts-institute-of-technology/boxscore/5250 

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor