March 20, 2007
AMHERST, Mass. (March 20, 2007) - The University of Massachusetts got four goals from Brett Garber and shut out the Sacred Heart Pioneers in the second half to post a 11-4 win Tuesday afternoon at Garber Field. The Pioneers tied the game a 4-4 late in the second quarter but an UMass goal with 1.3 seconds before the half gave the Minutemen the momentum as they posted six unanswered goals and defensively dominated the second half.
The two teams engaged in a defensive struggle in the opening minutes looking for open shots. UMass cracked the scoreboard first at the 6:32 mark as Bobby Hayes fired one past Ricardo Vargas (Falls Church, VA) off a feed from Jim Connolly from behind the net. UMass made it 2-0 as Tim Balise converted in transition. Jordan Hendry forced a turnover by Bobby Karl (Clifton Park, NJ) and Connolly setup the second goal too Balise at 4:53.
SHU (1-3, 0-0 CAA) sophomore Bobby Rushton (West Islip, NY) got the Pioneer offense on the board with 1:11 in the quarter. Rushton fired one in from the right wing while getting hit in traffic. The Pioneers wasted little time in converting the tying goal as senior Joe Cavagnaro (Kinnelon, NJ) took the ensuing face-off and fellow senior Peter Greco (Hamburg, NY) took off and buried a shot in the back of the cage just 13 seconds later (58.5) to knot it at 2-2.
UMass (2-4, 0-0 ECAC) jumped back in front at the 12:50 mark of the second quarter as Brett Garber scored his first to two goals in the period. Balise gave Garber the pass and he deposited in the top right corner for a 3-2 lead. Garber struck again at 3:57, scoring off a feed from Andrew Recchione for a 4-2 advantage. Down two again, SHU responded with freshman Dan Mesler (Branchport, NY) picking up an unassisted tally at 2:11 just over Doc Schnieder's right shoulder.
SHU tied the game again as Rushton scored his second of the game, from Karl, with just 14 seconds left, pulling the Pioneers even at 4-4. UMass stole back the momentum off the ensuing face-off as Connolly answered unassisted with 1.3 seconds left to send the Minutemen into the break up 5-4.
UMass struck first in the third quarter, taking advantage of a SHU turnover. After a good clear, Garber set up teammate Balise for his second of the afternoon at 13:37. The Minutemen opened a 7-4 lead just over two minutes later when Evan Blum scored unassisted. Garber extended the lead at 5:31 in the quarter with his third of the afternoon, the fourth-straight on the UMass run for an 8-4 lead.
The Minutemen made it four unanswered goals in the quarter after forcing a SHU turnover deep in their own territory and following it up with a couple of shots on Vargas, the second by a diving Pat Larmon that found its mark making it 9-4. Garber tacked on his fourth of the day at 10:11 of the fourth to put his team up 10-4 and Basile ended the scoring with his third, a man-up goal, with 4:33 on the clock. UMass dominated the second half, out shooting SHU 24-12; including 20-6 in the third, while winning six of eight face-offs.
The Pioneers are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they open Colonial Athletic Association play at Robert Morris at 1 pm.