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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s Lacrosse Closes Season With Scorefest

Photo by Kory Vergets

Photo by Kory Vergets

Coming off of back-to-back losses (one game a 18-3 blowout against Keene State), the team had a lot of picking up to do. It was the last game of the regular season for the UMass Boston men’s lacrosse team and without a win it would have meant an end to any hopes for a playoff spot. With the Colonials of Western Connecticut State facing the end of their own season, it was do or die for both teams.

UMass set the tone for the game immediately, scoring three unanswered goals in the beginning of the first period. Mike Parker (#13) scored unassisted in less than two minutes from the start of the game. Following that first goal, Mike Forns (#3), assisted by Christopher Hanafin (#8), scored a second goal, giving the team two points in the first three minutes of play. Hanafin gained another assist as Jon Marino (#6) took his turn at scoring, putting the Beacons up 3-0.

Western Connecticut State did come back with a goal about a minute later but the rookie Hanafin put in his first goal of the game with an assist by Mac Burns (#10). Western Connecticut State would get another goal in the last minutes of the period.

Coming into the second period with a 4-2 lead, Hanafin opened with a goal in the first 45 seconds of play. Thirty-five seconds later he came back up the field and scored UMB’s sixth goal of the game and his third for a hat trick.

Western Connecticut came back with a goal after a botched pass by UMB’s goalie, Dan O’Neill, and the Beacons’ lead went down to three. Not long after the Western Connecticut State goal, Forns intercepted the ball off a poor pass and scored his second goal of the game.

The Beacons dominated the first half of the game with great shots on goal and constant pressure on the Western Connecticut State net, out-shooting their opponents by 28-12. The Beacons’ defense was also extremely aggressive, showing both more hustle and better ball handling than their opponents. On face-offs, Rowley came out the victor more often than not, giving the team constant control of the ball.

Western Connecticut State opened up the second half with a goal in the first minute of play, but perhaps UMB just wanted to let them get that out of the way as the Beacons took control and scored five unanswered goals.

The first of the five goals was scored by Rowley, unassisted. Hanafin, assisted by his right hand man Forns, then rocketed his fourth goal of the game into the net. Minutes later Hanafin returned the favor to Forns and assisted him in scoring his hat-trick shot. Getting his own piece of the pie, Jeff Flanagan (#12) scored on an assist by Parker. To close the third period scoring-fest, the man who started it all, Rowley, assisted Hanafin in scoring the team’s fifth goal of the period and his own fifth goal of the game.

Heading into the final period of the game down 12-4, Western Connecticut’s Nick Iodice tried to get his team back into the game, scoring two unassisted goals at 10:08 and 8:38. Unfortunately for the Colonials, the Beacons’ sticks could not be tamed, despite having an eight-point lead going into the last period of play.

Assisted by Trevor Craven (#23), Forns came up with his fourth goal of the day. Hanafin chased that goal with his own unassisted shot one minute later as he took the ball coming off from the sidelines after a Colonial power play. Hanafin then scored his final goal of the day with an assist by Craven.

The last play of the game (and perhaps the most fun to watch) was Rowley’s run up the field from the UMB goal with the long stick and hammering an overhand shot into Western Connecticut State’s net for the final score of 16-6.

After losing an important one-goal game to Southern Maine and losing by a large margin to Keene State, a 16-6 blowout victory may have been just what the men’s lacrosse team needed. Hanafin racked up a total of 10 points in the game (seven goals, three assists). Forns had five points with an assist on top of his four goals, and Rowley totaled three points with an assist as well as two goals. O’Neill posted another win for himself as he stopped 11 shots during the game, keeping the UMB net secure once again.