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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s lacrosse gears up for playoffs with final regular season games

Player+Luke+Murphy+drives+towards+the+goal+at+a+home+game.+Photo+by+Dong+Woo+Im+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.
Dong Woo Im
Player Luke Murphy drives towards the goal at a home game. Photo by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

There was a storm brewing on Earth Day, and Vermont State University Castleton caught the brunt of it. UMass Boston Men’s Lacrosse went into battle against the Knights and came out with a thunderous 24–6 win on their Senior night. A cluster of players scored, many of whom found the back of the net on multiple occasions. 

It was a tight affair in the first ten minutes of quarter one, but the Beacons pulled away rather quickly in the final five. According to Beacons Athletics, Sean Daly netted the game’s opening score 70 seconds in. However, Castleton hung in there and got to goalie Otto Kirleis early, knotting the game at one just two minutes after Daly’s net drive [1].

Liam Bowler responded with a goal to give UMass Boston a 2–1 lead with 9:19 to go, but once again, Castleton broke even, tying the game at two with 5:20 left. The 2–2 tie was the closest Castleton got to a win, and UMass Boston’s offense showed them that when it rains, it pours.

The Beacons went on to score eight unanswered goals in 14 minutes of game time. A second score from Daly gave them a 3–2 lead 51 seconds after the tying goal, and the Beacons didn’t hold back from there. In the second, six more goals went unanswered by the Beacons. Greg Wolff scored three of the six—bringing his goal total to four—helping UMass Boston extend the lead to 10–2.

A goal by Castleton with 4:33 left stopped the bleeding at 10–3, but the Beacons kept pushing forward with two more before halftime for a commanding 12–3 lead. Castleton cut the lead to 13–5 soon after, but the Beacons once again surged, scoring seven more unanswered. Zach Mann and Mic Flynn each scored two—Mann securing a hat trick in the process—while Wolff netted his fifth, en route to a 20–5 Beacon lead. In the fourth, Charlie Chapman scored twice, and Caesar Hendricks and Timmy Sullivan put the finishing touches on the 24–6 win [1].

The Beacons are at the top of their game right now; regarding their recent success, midfielder Luke Murphy shared some thoughts on team chemistry and how it helped them progress as playoffs near. 

“Our play style is to push the ball in transition as much as possible, and to do that successfully, we need to be on the same page,” he said. “We are connecting on a lot more passes and finishing the ball much better than we were earlier in the season.”

Daly chimed in on the matter, providing insight on the groups’ team-first mentality, remarking, “We are a group of guys that want to accomplish the same thing, and we play unselfishly.” Daly also shared how the team’s preparation has helped in building upon success. “I think we have prepared by competing hard in practice against one another and making each other better there, which translates into games.”

For Murphy, he sees their strides in a similar light.

“We are clicking much better now than we were at the beginning of the season,” Murphy said. “We are still going 100 percent and competing at practice against each other. We know that if we get better every day—even this late into the season—it will give us the edge for the conference tournament.”

Daly and Murphy’s thoughts came to fruition in the final regular season game—a home battle against Keene State University Friday, April 26. A gutsy 11–9 win was highlighted by the teams’ resilience, not to mention the sensational goaltending by James Boldy, who stopped 19 shots and allowed just nine goals, per Beacons Athletics [2]. 

Daly was also a key factor, scoring three, including a momentum-shifting buzzer beater to help the Beacons tie the game at five just one second before halftime; moments prior, UMass Boston had blown a 4–1 lead, the Owls cruising in the driver’s seat. From there, the offense took control of the wheel. 

Two goals by Wolff and another by Daly gave the Beacons an 8–6 lead after three, and the fourth blew wide open with three unanswered goals in four minutes. The spurt gave them an 11–7 lead with five minutes left, sealing the game shut. Despite being outshot, outdrawn and committing more turnovers, the Beacons found a way to win. 

With their win over the Owls, men’s lacrosse now holds the second seed in the Little East Conference tournament. Their journey to the postseason has been an arduous one, and despite the uncertainty of what will unfold in the tournament, one thing’s for certain: The road to the Championship goes through UMass Boston.

 

  1. Men’s Lacrosse vs Vermont State University Castleton on 4/22/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/sidearmstats/mlax/play-by-play
About the Contributors
Nick Collins, Sports Editor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer