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The Mass Media

Men’s lacrosse won’t let snapping of historical winning streak rain on their parade


Players on the field at a recent men’s lacrosse home game. Photo courtesy of Beacon Athletics.

Men’s lacrosse has a reputation for defeating Little East Conference teams on a near daily basis, and this tradition dates back to many years ago. Although, with what has happened in their recent slate of games, the results caused the tradition to go on layaway for a little bit.

The Beacons had a prolonged winning streak against their conference foes, and it stretched across many seasons. Prior to their match against Keene State College Saturday, April 15, the Beacons had been undefeated against LEC opponents for nearly four years. Their last loss was against Plymouth State University in the LEC tournament semifinals May 3, 2019 (2). To put that into perspective, a considerable number of seniors enrolled at UMass Boston were seniors in high school, the dorms had been open for only a year (3) and “Breaking Bad’s” movie adaptation “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” hadn’t even released yet (4).

With their game against the Keene State Owls on the cards, it looked inevitable for the Beacons’ winning streak to carry on for one more game, but the Owls had different plans. Regardless of the outcome being a seven-goal Owls’ victory at 15–8, one of the positive takeaways was that the Beacons were neck and neck with Keene State in statistics. The group outshot the owls 45–44 all game, while also edging them out in face-offs, 14–13 (2).

However, turnovers galore for the team proved costly, not to mention a slow start offensively. Jacob Banks’ goal halfway through the first quarter was the only score of the first half for UMass Boston, and going into the latter half of the game, the team had to chip away at a 9–1 Owls lead (2).

There was optimism after the Beacons fought back with three goals to begin the first half of the third quarter; Connor Smith netted two and Gavin Admirand added another to the scoreboard to make it 9–4. A buzzer-beater by Banks at the end of the third, and a Charlie Chapman goal to begin the fourth quarter brought the deficit to five at 11–6. Despite Banks and Smith’s hat trick conversions, the Owls pulled away with a victory (2).

The first half of the game was certainly a portion the Beacons want back, but with their matchup against the Owls now on the backburner, it was time to move forward and improve on what went wrong. Their LEC matchup against Western Connecticut State was a perfect opportunity to do so, but the Beacons were unable to capitalize.

Initially, the team struck lightning in a bottle when Chapman opened the game up with two goals in the first minute and a half. However, the lead did not last long, and the Wolves tied the game up at two goals apiece with just under 10 minutes to play in what was an action packed first quarter.

Only half a minute after knotting things up, the Wolves took a 3–2 lead, but a goal by Admirand tied things up once again. The Wolves quickly responded to break the tie once more, but two goals scored by the Beacons at the hands of Banks and Zach Mann gave the team momentum with a 5–4 lead. History repeated itself, and by the end of the first, it was a tie game at 5–5 (5).

The second frame presented a tale of two quarters for the Beacons. The teams went back-and-forth to begin the quarter after Banks scored a sixth Beacons’ goal that succeeded a score by WestConn. The Wolves were able to breakaway from the even score, rampaging the Beacons for six goals in nine minutes. The Beacons were able to bury two goals of their own in that span with Banks and Smith finding the back of the net, but even after Banks got his third goal of the quarter, the Beacons entered halftime down 12–9 (5).

UMass Boston hoped to come out of the break firing on all cylinders, but were unable to duplicate their first quarter performance. The Beacons wound up only scoring four goals in the second half, and with the Wolves going on a 3–0 run in the third, a Chapman goal with five minutes left in the quarter kept the game from being completely out of reach. Now trailing 15–10, the two teams would trade blows to end the quarter, as two goals by WestConn and a goal by Mann with 3:33 left gave the Wolves a 17–11 lead heading into the fourth (6).

The two teams reached a scoring stalemate in the fourth quarter before Admirand erupted for two goals in 24 seconds. Even so, with time winding down in the game, fate fell short this time for the Beacons, who came out on the losing end, 18–13.

Whether it was coming soon or not, it was inevitable for men’s lacrosse’s historic streak to come to an end, but it was unfortunate that it was coming at a crucial point in their 2023 campaign. Like their other performances, there isn’t much to stress about for the Beacons as they rumble toward the LEC tournament.

While the offense may be quieter than usual at this point in time, and the Beacons dropped two straight to conference opponents, they are still killing it in other statistical categories. It may be frustrating coming away with two straight defeats, but if the Beacons come out with the same offensive firepower they did earlier in the year, their rivals in the LEC should be on the lookout before they get lit up in the tournament.

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-lacrosse/schedule

  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/4/15/mens-lacrosse-drops-matchup-with-keene-state-historic-winning-streak.aspx

  3. https://www.umb.edu/the_university/masterplan/residence_hall_1#:~:text=Construction%20began%20in%20fall%202016,the%20design%20for%20the%20project.

  4. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Camino:_A_Breaking_Bad_Movie

  5. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/4/19/mens-lacrosse-falls-to-westconn-on-the-road.aspx

  6. Men’s Lacrosse vs Western Connecticut State on 4/19/2023 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor