Niinth-Ranked Minutemen Suffer Setback Versus Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. UMass erased a first-half deficit early in the third quarter; however, the Minutemen were unable to overtake the Albany offense during the final stanza in a 15-9 loss on the road at John Fallon Field on Tuesday afternoon.

Senior Kyle Smith, junior Connor Mooney and sophomore Grant Whiteway each produced two goals to lead the attack. Senior Bobby Tyler added a pair of assists, moving the midfielder's team-leading total to eight on the season.

Junior Matt Whippen, sophomore Andrew Sokol and freshman Dan Muller recorded one goal a piece out of the midfielder against the Great Danes, while senior K.R. Jurgelevich secured an assist. Goalie Zach Oliveri notched a double-digit saves total for the second consecutive contest with 10 on the day, bringing the redshirt-freshman's season total to 60 through five contests.

After 11 minutes of scoreless action to start the contest, Albany found the back of the net first on a strike from John Maloney with 3:59 remaining in the first; however, Kyle Smith equalized the game for the Minutemen only 53 seconds later. Smith controlled play at the left post and rushed in front of the net before depositing a shot into the right side of the goal.

The Great Danes (2-2) went back in front at the end of the first with a last-second strike by Lyle Thompson, who backed toward the net before dropping a bounce shot by Oliveri. Following the quarter break, Muller evened the contest at 2-2 with 11:36 to play. Muller received a pass from Jurgelevich 10 yards from the net and fired an attempt by Albany goalie Blaze Riorden for the freshman's third goal of the season. Riorden went on to earn 12 saves on the day for the Great Danes.

Albany responded with three consecutive goals spanning 1:48 of play to earn a 5-2 lead with eight minutes remaining in the half. Lyle Thompson and Maloney netted their second tallies of the day to push the Great Danes lead to 4-2 before Thompson secured a hat trick with his third of the contest to close the run.

UMass answered with a pair of marks during the final eight minutes of the half to cut the Albany lead to 5-4 with 3:37 left. Mooney wrapped around the goal to earn space for his eighth tally of the year before Sokol deposited an attempt into the right side from five yards away.

Using his first mark of the day, Whiteway tied the game at 5-5 with the opening goal of the second half. Whiteway, operating from behind the Albany net, sprinted in front of the cage before firing high into the right corner with 13:40 to play in the third.

After the Great Danes notched back-to-back tallies from Maloney and Lyle Thompson following Whiteway's goal, Whippen secured his team-leading 10th goal of the year to bring the Minutemen within 7-6. Whippen took control of the ball 12 yards from the goal and raced toward the right post, running through the Albany defense before settling a low shot into the net.

With UMass closing the gap to one goal again, Albany responded with consecutive tallies from Derrick Eccles, Will Fuller and Kevin McNally over a span of 4:04 during the third quarter to extend the home side's advantage to 10-6, ending with 3:24 to play in the stanza.

Whiteway added his second mark of the day on a pass from Tyler to pull the Minutemen within three at the 1:25 mark of the third before Mooney notched an unassisted goal with 11:23 remaining in the contest. Ty Thompson recorded Albany's 11th tally of the game before Kyle Smith closed scoring for the Minuteman with 3:40 to play, cutting the deficit to 11-9.

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2013-03-05



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