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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Testament of Hope

Photo by Tony Naro
Photo by Tony Naro

Every week it seems that UMB’s lacrosse team plays in an amazing game that usually comes right down to the wire. Unfortunately for UMass Boston fans, the last two of these games have been close one-point losses for the team. Saturday afternoon the UMass Boston Beacons faced the Plymouth State Panthers in what UMB lax veterans watching the game called a “close and hard match every year.”

At the start of the game the Beacons took the ball up the field and appeared to immediately set the bar for the game’s play. But after their first drive things seemed to go haywire for the team. Passes were being dropped left and right and the shots on net seemed to be coming every other minute from Plymouth State. “We were a bit sloppy in the beginning. I really didn’t think they should have been in the game with us,” said coach Myles Berry after the game.

Plymouth opened the scoring up in the first period of play with three minutes left to play.

The Beacons would not let the Plymouth goal go unanswered. In a great run up the field by UMass’ offense, the Beacons’ Mac Burns (#10) was able to get the ball to Jason Mohre (#30) in front of the net for the shot that would tie the game.

The Beacons weren’t done yet in the period and Christopher Hanafin (#8), with his golden stick, rifled in the net UMB’s second goal of the game, putting the Beacon’s in the lead.

Amazingly enough, the cheers of UMass fans were muffled by the die-hards from Plymouth State, mostly parents from the sight of the crowd, who howled angry remarks at anything and everything moving. “What the hell are you thinking!” directed at a player from Plymouth not passing the ball and missing a shot. “Hit him in the head!” advised one parent. Last but not least, my all-time favorite, “Lady, you’re in the way!” as a UMass mom reached to grab a program and find herself a seat. This writer is all for getting into the game and cheering, but these fans put a negative spin on the term “sports nut.”

The fire for UMass was temporarily put out, however, as Plymouth was able to put another goal into the UMB net, tying things up again.

The second half of the game opened up with a hat-trick goal for Plymouth State’s Jon Gagon (#7), bringing the lead back for his team 3-2. Following this go-ahead goal for Plymouth, the Panthers came back with a fierce offensive play to score their fourth goal of the game.

The aggressive man-to-man playing of the Plymouth defense shut down the Beacons’ offense, so the team’s “superman” Andrew F. Rowley (#14) stepped up his game. Coming up the field from defense, Rowley fired a shot with the long defensive stick and put the team within one.

Rowley then won the face off and the Beacons’ Trevor Craven (#23) took the ball up the field in a great run to score and tie things back up again. Plymouth however did comeback, following the retched back and forth pace of the game, and took their lead right back.

The fourth period opened with a goal by Plymouth, making the score 6-4. Yet what may look like a bleak situation for the average lacrosse fan is nothing but a small bump in the road for UMass Boston lacrosse fans.

With 1:04 left in the game, Hanafin broke through three Plymouth players and tossed the ball into the Plymouth net for a score, bringing the team within one of tying. As the clock trickled down, UMB looked to Hanafin for some magic, but the Plymouth defense had him triple covered. Shutting down one player on the Beacons’ offense, however, will continually prove to be ineffective for other teams, as it did for Plymouth. With seconds left, Rowley took the ball in from out of bounds and fired a shot into the net with .01 on the clock, tying the game up and sending both teams into overtime.

“Dan has been our ‘iron-man,’ on both offense and defense,” said coach Berry.

Rowley also almost won the game for the team in overtime as he put a shot into the net with two-minutes on the clock. Unfortunately, he landed in the goalie’s crease and the score was taken back.

As overtime wore on, Plymouth made some great plays and had some really hard shots on net. Thankfully, Dan O’Neill, defensive player of the week last week, kept up his end and blocked everything that came his way. O’Neill had three saves during overtime and a total of 13 saves for the game.

With 1:03 left in overtime play, Hanafin came up big with a game-winning, hat-trick goal.

This win is a big one for the Beacons as it is their first conference win this season and it is their first close win since the beginning of the season.

“This was a good win for us, especially with all the one point losses to teams like Wentworth and UMass Dartmouth,” stated coach Berry. “It could mean home for the playoffs if we win our next couple of games too!”

The team will have faced Southern Maine on Tuesday, April 20 at home, Keene State on Thursday, April 22 away, and Western Connecticut State on Saturday, April 24 at home for their last regular season game.