Feb. 12, 2010

Courtesy of UMass

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - After seeing a five-goal halftime lead evaporate early in the fourth quarter, UMass scored four of the game's final five goals to knock off Sacred Heart, 15-12 in the season opener for both teams. Senior Bobby Hayes notched a career-high four goals as five different players had multi-goal efforts, all signifying career-bests. Sophomore Art Kell had his first hat trick and added an assist for four points. Juniors Ryan Hantverk and Ryan Liebel along with sophomore Anthony Biscardi all tallied a pair.

Sacred Heart's tenacious comeback was keyed by Timmy Katz and Matt Ferrino, who each had three goals.

UMass outshot the Pioneers, 55-32 and outgroundballed them, 39-31. Both teams were aggressive as the game saw a combined 19 penalties and eight man-up goals (five by Sacred Heart). Hayes had all three of UMass man-up tallies,

With the game tied at 11, Kell scored his third goal of the game on a wraparound the left post to regain the lead for UMass at 12-11 with 8:50 left in the fourth and they would lead the rest of the way. Liebel notched the first of his UMass career to give the Minutemen a 13-11 advantage with 7:00 left in the fourth.

Ferrino tallied his third of the game with 5:58 left to cut the UMass lead to 13-12. Freshman Will Manny scored just inside the right post with 4:40 left to take a 14-12 lead then Liebel scored his second in a 3-minute span off a Manny feed for a 15-12 win.

Down by five at halftime, Sacred Heart tied the game at 11 on Katz third goal of the game, on a man-up, with 10:15 left in the fourth. They had gotten back to within one at 11-10 as Ferrino scored on a man-up opportunity where the Minutemen had three players in the penalty box with 10:43 left in the fourth.

The Minutemen took early control of the game midway through the second quarter scoring six of the final eight goals of the quarter to lead 9-4 at halftime. Hayes notched three goals in the second quarter as he started the scoring with a top shelf shot 53 seconds into the quarter and finished the tallying with a man-up goal with 26 seconds left in the second.

In between the Hayes' initial and final goal, he also scored on a pretty quick stick off a pass from Manny on a man-up opportunity with 2:39 left in the quarter. UMass' specialty teams were strong with Hayes' two man-up goals in the quarter. Biscardi also scored his second of the game on a man-down situation with 6:53 left in the second on a fast-break chance off a pass from Stephen Zorkers.

The prettiest goal of the quarter came from Christian Hain as he scooped in a low backhand off a pass from Biscardi with 1:02 left in the quarter.

Sacred Heart made a nice comeback in the third quarter with the final four goals of the quarter. Katz netted back-to-back goals and Chris Casey added another to cut the deficit to 10-9 with 2:02 left in the third.

Hayes ended the bleeding with his third goal of the game less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, giving the Minutemen an 11-9 lead.

UMass returns home for its Garber Field debut next Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Hartford at 1 p.m.