UMass squeaks past Towson in OT
Smith provides game-winning goal for Minutemen
TOWSON, Md. - Sophomore Kyle Smith scored the game-winning goal 1:55 into overtime to give UMass a 9-8 comeback win at Towson. Smith picked up a loose ball and beat Tiger goalie Travis Love to cap a miracle rally. Senior captain Ryan Hantverk had tied the game at 8-8 with one second left in regulation. UMass stands at 7-3 overall, 2-1 in the CAA while Towson falls to 2-8, 0-3.
Sophomore Will Manny tied his career-high with four goals including two in the fourht-quarter rally.
UMass was down 8-6 in the final three minutes after Towson's Pat Britton scored his third goal in the fourth quarter. But UMass showed heart and hustle on both ends of the field. The defense created several turnovers to set up the offense.
Manny scored both of his fourth-quarter goals in transition off passes from Anthony Biscardi. Both goals cut two-goal Towson leads to just one as the Massapequa, N.Y., native scored with 5:01 left in regulation to make it 7-6 and 2:40 left in the fourth to make it 8-7.
Towson committed a turnover with nine seconds left in regulation giving UMass one last chance to even a game, which they had not trailed until the early fourth quarter. Hantverk dashed down the field and beat Love with time ticking away. It was a measure of revenge for Hantverk, who was stopped in the final seconds of an 8-7 loss to Penn State (March 19) on a similar play that would have tied the game.
In the overtime, Towson's Matt Thomas won the opening face-off to give the Tigers the first opportunity. Solid defense by Ryan Hollenbaugh, Tom Celentani and Jake Smith caused Andrew Hodgson to lose the ball one minute into the extra session.
The Minutemen cleared the ball leading to a Bisacrdi shot that hit the post with 2:09 left in overtime, but Smith grabbed a loose ball with a scrum in front of the net he deposited the ball setting off a frenzied celebration on the UMass sideline.
The game was rather methodical through three quarters with UMass holding a 5-4 lead thanks to a pair of Manny and goals by Art Kell, Hollenbaugh (first of his career) and Greg Rushing.
The fourth quarter saw seven goals as the Tigers took their first lead at 6-5 on Britton's first of his three tallies, 2:32 into the fourth quarter.
Love finished with 13 saves while Tim McCormack had 10 stops. Shots were even at 32-32.