UMass knocks off Penn State
Minutemen advance to its first-ever CAA Championship
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Junior Anthony Biscardi scored 1:37 into overtime to cap a furious comeback by the No. 16 UMass to give the Minutemen a 10-9 win at Penn State. UMass will host the CAA Championship game with a berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line on Saturday.
The game had so many twists and turns. Perhaps the biggest play of the game came in the final seconds of regulation as freshman Reed Goodhue made his first save of the season with just seconds remaining after starter Tim McCormack (15 saves) was penalized. That came shortly after UMass had been penalized twice with 1:46 left in regulation.
The Minutemen rallied back with nine goals in the second half and overtime, including a season-quarter-best seven in the third quarter. Art Kell had three of his game-best four goals in that third quarter.
The thriller improves UMass' overtime record to 3-0 on the season, all coming in the last month. The prior two matchups came against Towson on Apr. 9 (9-8) and Drexel on Apr. 16 (11-10) when Kyle Smith scored the game-winner each time. Overall, the Minutemen have won eight of their last nine overtime games dating back to 2005.
The Minutemen came out of halftime firing, scoring seven of the nine third-quarter goals to turn a 4-1 halftime deficit into an 8-6 lead. Kell scored his first of the night at 14:19 while Smith and Connor Mooney followed with goals at 11:35 and 10:38. Penn State's Danny Henneghan answered only six seconds later, but UMass responded with three of the quarter's final four scores, capped off by Ryan Hollenbaugh's second of his career with two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Penn State responded with three of the first four in the fourth to even the score at nine after a Jack Forster goal at 6:37. Both teams continued to have chances down the stretch, including one golden opportunity with 1:46 remaining in regulation after a pair of penalties were assessed to the Minutemen. One was to McCormack, forcing Goodhue to come in for only his third appearance of the season.
After UMass killed off the initial 30-second push, Goodhue denied Matthew Mackrides on the doorstep with 43 seconds remaining for the clutch save to keep the score knotted at nine. The Minutemen had a final chance at the buzzer, but a Biscardi shot went wide to force overtime.
The Nittany Lions won the opening draw of the extra session, but Tom Celentani forced a turnover after McCormack made a save. That gave UMass its first offensive opportunity. It was Biscardi who was the hero this time, making a move to the center of the field and unleashing a bounce shot which went high past Kaut and into the back of the net.
Jake Smith and Celentani were sensational defensively, holding Penn State's two leading scorers Shane Sturgis and Mackrides to a combined two points. Sturgis had a goal while Mackrides posted an assist.
Penn State jumped out to a 4-1 lead at halftime and it could have been worse if not for McCormack, who made 12 saves in the first 30 minutes. Tom Lacrosse, Kyle VanThof, Nick Dolik and Sturgis gave PSU the three-goal bulge. Ryan Hantverk extended his 14-game point scoring streak with UMass' only goal of the first half, coming with 2:23 left in the first quarter. The Minutemen were blanked in the second quarter - only the fourth quarter this season UMass didn't score in.
UMass led the final shot count, 45-36 and in groundballs, 33-32. The Minutemen won 11-of-22 faceoffs, led by 10-of-18 from Anthony Toresco. McCormack finished with 15 saves, across Kaut's 20. That marked Kaut's second 20-save performance against the Minutemen this season after he made an NCAA-best 25 in the regular season meeting.
With the win, UMass advances to its first-ever CAA Championship Game and will look to become the third straight No. 3 seed to win the CAA Tournament. The Minutemen will rematch with fourth-seeded Delaware.