BOSTON, Mass. – It was quite the senior day for Beacons lacrosse, who despite battling through a torrential down pour, a lightning delay, and with the spot in the conference tournament on the line, played perhaps their best game of the 2019 campaign as they earned a hard-fought 16-10 win over Western Connecticut State University Friday evening at James Cotter Field.
UMass Boston 16, Western Connecticut State U. 10
UMass Boston (4-13, 3-5 Little East Conference)
Western Connecticut State (10-7, 5-3 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the win the Beacons will be the sixth-seed in the Little East Tournament which begins Tuesday. The Beacons will find out who their opponent is this weekend on www.littleeast.com.
The appearance in the Little East tournament, will mark the fourth straight for the Beacons, and sixth in the last seven years.
Along with the huge win, the Beacons also saw sophomore standout Conor Lenfest (Waltham, Mass.) become the newest member of the 100-point club. The Waltham native got the five points he needed to become the third Beacon in the last three seasons to earn a spot on the historic list.
The sophomore and reigning Little East Rookie of the Year led all scorers with his five points as he registered three goals and two assists. Darragh Fahey (Walpole, Mass.) finished second on the team with a pair of goals and assists.
Knowing that all they needed to do was earn the victory, UMass Boston played their most balanced game of the 2019 season. They completely dominated the first two quarters of Friday's wet and frigid contest. In the first nine minutes of the contest, the Beacons were in complete control as they held a 5-0 lead. Derek Caruso (Port Washington, N.Y.) would score a pair of goals during the Beacons early run with Donny Bickford (Braintree, Mass.), Jeremy Girard (Hinsdale, Mass.), and Jack O'Brien (East Longmeadow, Mass.) also getting in on the scoring.
WCSU got on the board with 2:18 left in the opening stanza, and had the first two goals of the second to cut UMB's lead to two (5-3) with just over 13 minutes to play before halftime.
Completely unfazed by the Colonial's quick run, the Beacons responded with a four-goal flurry to push their lead to a game-high six goals (9-3). Lenfest got all three of his goals during that stretch. Western Connecticut managed just two more goals over the final six minutes, but it was UMB who had the final say before the break with Ned Parker (Stafford, Va.) and Fahey each scoring once over a 2:13 span.
With the rain increasing dramatically, the two rivals would each score twice in the third with Cam Hladick (Natick, Mass.) and Fahey leading the way for UMB. Jesse Weaver recorded both goals in the third for the Colonials.
In the fourth the Beacons all but secured the victory with a man-up goal by Michael Claflin (Newton, Mass.) and an unassisted by O'Brien. After the long lightning delay, WCSU got their eighth goal of the contest on a Ryan Reuling tally. Jack Riley (Wrentham, Mass.) connected with Caruso at the 3:23 mark to put the final nail in the Colonials coffin. WCSU mustered just two more scores over the final 73 seconds.
Cameron Dixson (Wayland, Mass.) who was honored prior to the start of the game alongside his classmates Jack Fournier (West Newbury, Mass.) and Matt Murphy (Watertown, Mass.) recorded just five saves. Perry Cassidy made six stops on 17 shots as he was handed the loss. Derek Strine closed out the final two stanzas and was solid allowing five goals on 10 shots, while making five saves.
Jack Ranta (Newton, Mass.) anchored the Beacons defense with his three caused turnovers, while Redmond, Fahey, and Lenfest each had a team-leading four ground balls.
BY THE NUMBERS
- All-time the Beacons are now 7-11 against WCSU, and have won a program record four straight over the Colonials
- UMB's 16 goals marked the most goals since April 24, 2004 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams
- The Beacons led the contest in shots 49-26, 27-15 in shots on goal
- UMB also held a 36-29 advantage in ground balls and were 1-for-5 on man-up attempts; WCSU finished 0-for-4 on the night
- Lenfest currently has 63 goals and 37 assists in 29 games played as a Beacon
The Beacons will find out who their opponent is this weekend, when the official tournamnet bracket is released on www.littleeast.com.