April 18, 2009

Courtesy of Hartford

WEST HARTFORD, CT – The University of Hartford lacrosse team pulled off a stunning upset over sixth-ranked UMBC on Saturday by a final score of 10-8 on senior day at Alumni Stadium.

Hartford (2-10 overall, 1-3 America East) picked up its first conference win of the season and handed UMBC (9-3 overall, 3-1 America East) its first conference loss. It also marked Hartford's first conference victory since the 2007 season; the Hawks have now won consecutive games for the first time since 2006. The Retrievers, whose only other losses this season have come against Johns Hopkins and Princeton, hadn't lost a conference game since 2007.

The Hawks got a stellar performance in goal from freshman Scott Bement, who tied a career high with 19 saves while holding the nation's fifth-best scoring attack in check. The Retrievers came into the game averaging just over 12 goals per game but were held to their second-lowest scoring output of the season.

Eight players scored a goal for the Hawks. Leading the way on the offensive end was freshmen Aidan Genik, who finished with two goals and an assist. Sophomore Michael Cudmore also netted a pair of goals while senior Jacob Eustice added two assists.

The Hawks got off to a great start, taking a 1-0 lead in the opening minute off the stick of Cudmore on a feed from junior Justin Bearse. Hartford then added a man-up goal with 7:35 to go in the quarter when Genik found freshman Ryan Compitello for a goal. UMBC bounced right back, however, to tie the game with a pair of goals in the final five minutes of the quarter.

The Retrievers took their only lead early in the second quarter on a score from Matt Latham, who led the team with three goals on the day. The Hawks then shut down the Retrievers' attack for the final 13 minutes of the half and took back the lead behind three straight goals. Genik tied the score at 3-3 and freshman Carter Bender put the Hawks up for good with an unassisted goal with 8:00 to play in the half. Bearse added a goal on a bang-bang play in front of the net to give Hartford a 5-3 lead heading into the halftime intermission.

Hartford increased its lead in the third quarter, outscoring UMBC by a 4-3 margin. The Retrievers started the second half with a man-up goal from Kyle Wimer, but the Hawks answered with three straight scores to pump the lead to 8-4. Genik, Cudmore and sophomore Vinny Pellizzi all scored during the stretch as Hartford took its biggest lead of the game.

After a goal by sophomore Leif Abrahamson put Hartford up 9-5, UMBC picked up some momentum at the end of the quarter when Latham netted his third goal of the day. The Retrievers then cut the deficit to 9-7 with a quick score to start the fourth quarter, as Alex Hopmann scored just 12 seconds into the stanza.

On the ensuing face-off, sophomore Tim Fallon made a game-changing play. After winning the face-off at midfield and scooping up the ground ball, he raced to the net and beat UMBC goalie Jeremy Blevins to swing the momentum back to Hartford's side.

The Retrievers furiously tried to claw their way back into the game in the final 10 minutes. Bement made the play of the game with 8:11 to play, stonewalling UMBC's Peet Poillon on a one-on-one attempt after he picked up a loose ball in front of the Hartford goal.

UMBC scored its final goal with 3:02 to go but couldn't rally all the way back. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Hawks celebrated the victory as fans rushed the field.

Hartford's defense was solid throughout. UMBC entered the game with the top man-up offense (.568) in the country but went just 1-for-6 on extra-man opportunities.

Hartford will close out the regular season at Binghamton University on Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. The Hawks are still in the running for the final spot at the 2009 America East Championship.

* * * *

Score by Period       1  2  3  4  Tot
-------------------------------------
UMBC................  2  1  3  2 -  8
Hartford............  2  3  4  1 - 10
 
UMBC SCORING:
GOALS: Latham, Matt 3; Poillon, Peet 2; Wimer, Kyle 1; Hopmann; Alex 1;
       Smith, Ryan 1.
ASSISTS: Grimm, Rob 2; Jones, Chris 1; Kimbles, Jamie 1; Wimer, Kyle 1.
 
Hartford SCORING:
GOALS: Aidan Genik 2; Michael Cudmore 2; Ryan Compitello 1; Carter Bender 1;
       Justin Bearse 1; Vinny Pellizzi 1; Tim Fallon 1; Leif Abrahamson 1.
ASSISTS: Jacob Eustice 2; Justin Bearse 1; Carter Bender 1; Ryan Compitello 1;
         Aidan Genik 1.
 
SHOTS BY PERIOD       1  2  3  4  Tot
-------------------------------------
UMBC................ 15  7 22 10 - 54
Hartford............  5  9  6  4 - 24
 
GROUND BALLS BY PRD   1  2  3  4  Tot
-------------------------------------
UMBC................  5  6 14  8 - 33
Hartford............  7  6  6  7 - 26
 
FACE-OFFS BY PRD       1     2     3     4     Total
----------------------------------------------------
UMBC................  2-5   1-5   4-8   0-3  -  7-21
Hartford............  3-5   4-5   4-8   3-3  - 14-21
 
CLEARS BY PERIOD       1     2     3     4     Total
----------------------------------------------------
UMBC................  4-5   4-4   4-4   7-7  - 19-20
Hartford............  3-3   5-6   3-3   6-6  - 17-18
 
EXTRA-MAN OPPS         1     2     3     4     Total
----------------------------------------------------
UMBC................  0-2   0-0   1-3   0-1  -  1-6
Hartford............  1-1   0-0   0-0   0-1  -  1-2
 
SAVES BY PERIOD       1  2  3  4  Tot
-------------------------------------
UMBC................  2  2  1  0 -  5
Hartford............  4  4  6  5 - 19
 
TURNOVERS BY PRD      1  2  3  4  Tot
-------------------------------------
UMBC................  3  3  3  4 - 13
Hartford............  6  5  4  9 - 24
 
PENALTIES - UMBC 2/1:30; Hartford 6/5:00.