Massachusetts Drops High-Scoring Battle with No. 17 Drexel

AMHERST, Mass. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway earned a career-high five goals and senior attack Kyle Smith tied a personal best with eight points; however, UMass faltered in a 15-14 contest against No. 17 Drexel on Saturday afternoon.

Senior attack Will Manny provided six points on a pair of goals and four helpers while Smith finished with three goals and a single-game career high five assists. Junior attack Connor Mooney added three goals and an assist to complete the trio of Minutemen scoring hat tricks at Garber Field against the Dragons.

Goalies Zach Oliveri and Reed Goodhue split time in the cage for the Minutemen, with Oliveri making five stops against seven goals allowed in the first half before Goodhue turned aside 11 shots in the second while giving up eight tallies. Senior attack Bobby Tyler recorded a pair of assists against the Dragons to move his season total to 14, securing his first goal of the 2013 campaign as well.

Drexel (9-3 overall, 4-1 CAA) used three straight goals during the fourth quarter to move ahead for good, 15-13. Frank Fusco started the run unassisted with 12:05 to play before Nick Trizano converted a pass from Ryan Belka to push the Dragons in front by one at the 7:13 mark. Chris Frederick completed the scoring effort for Drexel on a feed from Trizano with 4:28 left to earn the eventual margin of victory for the Dragons.

Drexel notched a goal each from Frederick and Ben McIntosh to stake the visitors to a 2-0 lead with 8:39 remaining in the first before UMass responded with four consecutive tallies to establish the back-and-forth offensive play shown throughout the contest.

Whiteway earned his first of five goals on a pass from Manny with 3:45 to play in the opening quarter. Manny followed up his helper with a goal only 2:06 later to even the contest at 2-2. The Minutemen continued the run with back-to-back tallies to start the second quarter as Mooney earned a goal only 23 seconds into the stanza. Whiteway followed at the 12:01 mark before four straight Drexel marks gave the visitors a 6-4 lead approaching halftime.

Tyler broke the Drexel scoring stretch on his first goal of the year with 2:28 to play in the second. Tyler controlled play 20 yards from the Drexel cage and sprinted toward the net before placing a shot by Dragons goalie Cal Winkleman to cut the deficit to 6-5.

Smith followed with back-to-back goals spanning 26 seconds to put UMass in front, 7-6. To notch the first of the duo, Smith converted an acrobatic play at the left post for the goal. Met by two defenders at the crease, Smith jumped into the air in an attempt to dodge the hits and create a shooting angle, being spun 360 degrees as a result of the physical play before depositing a one-handed attempt into the back of the cage.

The Minutemen (5-7, 0-4) appeared to be headed to the break with a one-game advantage after Smith added UMass' seventh of the day following a pass from Ryan Izzo with 59 seconds left in the second; however, Robert Church rallied the Dragons following the ensuing faceoff. After Drexel established possession following a UMass turnover, Church raced from the left post toward the center of the field before firing an attempt on-target with 17 seconds left to tie the game at 7-7.

The Minutemen maintained their scoring output during the final half, with Mooney and Whiteway notching a goal each only nine seconds apart to stake UMass to a 9-7 lead with 12:41 to play in the third. After Mooney's tally with 12:50 remaining, UMass won the following faceoff, with junior midfielder Joe Calvello scooping up the groundball and racing toward the Drexel net to begin the fastbreak play. Calvello found Smith near the cage, with the Longmeadow, Mass., native distributing to Whiteway to complete the scoring chance.

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