Amherst, Mass. – The UMass Minutemen (5-3, 0-0 A10) starve off a late rally from the Brown Bears (3-4, 0-1 Ivy League) to take a 10-9 win at Garber Field on a dreary Saturday afternoon in Amherst.
The Bears jumped on the Minutemen from the start as Aidan McLane scored the game’s first two goals and Ben Locke scored his eighth of the season to make it 3-0 with 7:02 remaining in the opening frame.
Locke and McLane led the Brown with two goals apiece and goaltender Connor Theriault finished the game with 16 saves to match a season-high.
“Pretty disappointing and disappointing overall, again,” said head coach Mike Daly. “We played at the level we expect and the level we’re capable of at times, but again we did not put together a 60-minute game and that’s a reflection of the head coach. I’m sorry to the team and everyone that supports us, we’ll be better.”
The Minutemen scored five goals in the final 2 minutes, 57 seconds of the opening quarter and withstood a Bears rally in the fourth to seal the victory.
UMass battled back before the end of the frame with five straight goals, including two from Will Abbott, to take a 5-3 lead through 15 minutes.
Shane O’Leary and Matteo Corsi scored the lone second quarter goals as the Minutemen took a 6-4 lead into the break.
Trevor Glavin trimmed the Minutemen lead to a goal early in the third quarter but Castillo Carter pushed the lead back to two and Mason Bregman scored consecutive goals to make it 9-5 UMass with 9:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Wells Bligh and Gabriel Procyk both scored goals to finish the quarter to make it 10-6 UMass heading to the final frame.
Tanner Burns trimmed the lead with 11:00 remaining and Ryan Behrens scored a quick goal off a restart with 7:37 remaining to make it 10-8 UMass.
With 4:27 remaining, Locke cut the lead to one with his second of the contest. Brown was unable to score in the final minutes with UMass goalie Matt Knote finishing the game with nine saves.
Cole Hammett had the edge at the faceoff X with a 15-for-23 performance with five ground balls.
Matt Knote finished the day with nine stops for the Gorillas. UMass out-shot Brown, 41-32 on the day and won the ground ball battle, 32-28. Faceoff specialist Caleb Hammett won 15 of 23 draws and picked up five ground balls for Brown.
UMass freshman Zach Auble registered five ground balls and Jack Wittmaack had a great day causing five turnovers.
Massachusetts will be back on Garber Field next Saturday, April 1, for a noon matchup vs. High Point as the teams open Atlantic 10 play for the first time.