Albany upends No. 5 UMass
Great Danes beat top 10 team for first time since Feb. 2007
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Freshman goalkeeper Edmund Cathers made 17 saves and stopped Mike Fetterly’s shot with 11 seconds remaining, as Albany upended Massachusetts 9-8 on Tuesday afternoon at John Fallon Field. The previously unbeaten Minutemen entered the contest ranked No. 5 in both the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse national polls.
UAlbany (2-1) took a 9-7 lead midway through the final period when Brian Caufield collected a ground ball at midfield during a clearing attempt and passed ahead to Scott Raffensperger. The senior defenseman found Joe Resetarits on the left side of the crease and he sent a blast into the cage.
Resetarits, a junior attackman, who had three goals and one assist, made two hustle plays late in the fourth quarter, including a back check of Tom Celentani, that caused a turnover and preserved his team’s two goal advantage with less than two minutes to play.
However, Massachusetts (4-1) would still have an opportunity to force an extra period. Ryan Hantverk sliced the deficit in half with 30.2 seconds remaining when he drove from the left side and fired a shot high into the net. After Greg Rushing won the following face-off, Cathers stopped Fetterly’s attempt and sent the ball high into the UMass’ offensive end to help run out the clock.
“That was the kind of game you live for,” said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose squad beat a top-10 club for the first time since Feb. 24, 2007. “We never gave up the lead and it was a heckuva effort. Those two plays Joe (Resetarits) made were about effort and that just radiates through the whole team.”
The Great Danes, who were coming off last Saturday’s two-goal win against Delaware, built a 6-2 halftime cushion. Matt Johnson, who had a career-high four points, tallied two of his three goals in the second quarter. He moved in from the left wing and scored from the middle of the zone, his first of day, and then split two defenders to score using a high-to-low motion with 12 seconds left before the break.
UMass used a four-goal third quarter to get back into the contest. Freshman Connor Mooney converted Will Manny’s bounce pass and Hantverk went between two defenders with goals 48 seconds apart. After UAlbany regained a 7-4 advantage, attackman Kyle Smith caused a turnover on the subsequent face-off and hit an empty net. Art Kell drew his team within one goal when he bounced a shot into the cage after rolling around a defender from right of the crease.
The Great Danes, who defeated the highest-ranked opponent in the program’s Division I history, stayed ahead after Cathers made two saves in the same sequence, including Anthony Biscardi’s rebound shot, with less than 12 minutes remaining. Resetarits gave his team an 8-6 lead one minute later by hitting the top left corner off a feed from Johnson. UMass answered when Mooney spun to his left shoulder and connected around a defender from the left side.
“We knew it was going to take a lot of heart to win the game,” explained Resetarits, who missed all but five games last season with a foot injury. “We played for sixty minutes and that was a big reason we won.”
Manny, a second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection as a freshman last year, finished with three assists. Goalkeeper Tim McCormack made 10 saves for the Minutemen, who had defeated three national top-20 opponents in their opening four games. The UAlbany-UMass series has been decided by one goal in six of the last eight seasons.
“I am fortunate to play on a line with Brian Caufield and Rocky (Bonitatibus),” Johnson offered. “Caufield always draws the pole and it allows me to have some one-on-one opportunities. It’s a win we can build upon because we play another great team on Saturday (Ohio State).”