AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse defeated the No. 1 nationally ranked team in the country for the first time in recorded program history with a 13-10 upset of top-ranked Yale at Garber Field on Saturday. Redshirt senior midfielder Billy Philpott scored a career-high four times in the win while freshman goalie Matt Knote made a dozen saves between the pipes.
United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national rankings are available dating back to the 1973 season. Previously, the highest-ranked opponent UMass defeated in program history was No. 2 Hofstra, 11-10, in overtime during the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on May 20, 2006.
Philpott added an assist for a team-high five points on the day. He nearly had more as Philpott rattled two shots off the goal piping as well.
Senior midfielder Jeff Trainor added four points via two goals and as many assists, while sophomore attack Gabriel Procyk and junior midfielder Kevin Tobin scored twice each. Sophomore midfielder Jack Geiger, senior midfielder Charlie O'Brien and freshman midfielder Mike Tobin each tallied one goal. Junior attack Chris Connolly and freshman face-off specialist Zack Hochman dished out an assist apiece.
In addition to his 12 saves, Knote scooped up three groundballs at his spot in the crease. Close defensemen Jake Dulac and Adam Towey caused two turnovers and grabbed two groundballs each in front of Knote.
Matt Gaudet led Yale with five goals on six shots. Brody Wilson started in the cage and allowed 11 goals against two saves before being replaced by Jack Starr for the second half (two goals allowed, four saves).
Yale turned the ball over 25 times in the loss, of which the Minutemen caused 12. Kevin Tobin led both sides with his three caused turnovers.
Massachusetts reeled off six consecutive goals spanning 11 minutes, nine seconds of game action and turned its early one-goal deficit into a 6-1 advantage. Philpott and Trainor each scored twice during the run.
Gaudet broke up the scoring streak for Yale with 12:40 remaining in the second quarter; however, the Minutemen ended the half on a five-goal run for an 11-2 margin at the midway point of the game. O'Brien punctuated the half with the 11th goal, as he rushed toward the cage and fired in a bouncing-shot that snuck under the crossbar with nine seconds to go before the break.
The Bulldogs found their shooting stroke in the second half and generated extra possessions toward the comeback effort through TD Irelan's 20-of-26 day at the faceoff dot.
Four straight goals from Yale cut the UMass lead to 11-6 with 2:41 to go in the third, including two more from Gaudet.
Kevin Tobin stopped the Yale scoring spree with a diving conversion at the crease on a feed from Hochman with 2:32 to go. It marked Hochman's first collegiate point. However, Gaudet completed a third quarter hat trick only 37 seconds later, as Yale put in three more consecutive and sliced the UMass margin to 12-9 with 13:27 to play.
Mike Tobin added the final UMass tally with 7:07 to play while Gaudet's fifth of the game with 5:45 left marked the final score.
Knote stifled the rally as he stuffed Yale on its last five on-target attempts during the last six minutes of the game before his teammates rushed the field at the final horn and mobbed the rookie goalie in celebration.
Massachusetts men's lacrosse plays its next two contests at home on Garber Field. Albany visits first on Tuesday, March 3 for a 3 p.m. game before LIU heads to town on Tuesday, March 10 at 2 p.m.