No. 12 Hofstra Tops UMass to Win CAA Regular Season Title

AMHERST, Mass. University of Massachusetts faltered in its final home game of the 2014 season, 11-6 to the No. 12 ranked Hofstra Pride at Garber Field on Saturday evening. Goalie Zach Oliveri tied a single-game season-high with 15 saves for UMass while six different Minutemen scored once, highlighted by Gianni Bianchin's first collegiate goal.

Nick Mariano and Connor Mooney recorded two points apiece with Mooney dishing out a pair of assists and Mariano netted one goal while he helped on another. Jeff George, Rob Lynott, Brendan Schroeder and Grant Whiteway added one goal each while Sean Cleary produced an assist.

James Fahey provided another strong performance on close defense with four groundballs a team-high in the category and a pair of caused turnovers. Fahey owns 17 groundballs and 16 caused turnovers during the most recent six games.

Position-mate Kyle Karaska also caused a set of turnovers to go with two groundballs scooped up. Short-stick defensive midfielder Ryan Izzo notched two more caused turnovers while Peter Von Rosenvinge earned one as the Minutemen finished the day with seven total to just three for Hofstra.

Mike Malave secured a career-high five goals to lead the Pride. Sam Llinares also had five points with his notched on a pair of goals and three assists while Torin Varn chipped in two tallies and one helper.

The Pride (10-3 overall, 4-0 CAA) opened the game with three consecutive goals, including Varn's two scored on the evening, to hold a 3-0 lead by the eight-minute, eight-second mark.

The Minutemen responded five minutes later with back-to-back tallies to draw within 3-2. Bianchin ignited the offense on an opportunistic shot from distance with 3:14 left in the quarter. The Stoney Creek, Ontario, native attacked toward the right post before he back-pedaled into the middle of the field where he sized up an attempt that bested Hofstra goalie Chris Selva.

Lynott followed up Bianchin only 69 seconds later on a pass from Mooney for his fourth tally of the campaign and eighth point.

After Malave rippled the back of the UMass net unassisted with 1:37 to play in the first, George responded for the Minutemen with only 15 seconds left in the quarter. The goal marked George's 10th of the year and 15th point as a freshman.

Trailing by one goal after the halftime break, Massachusetts evened the score 3:30 into the third. Mooney set up the opportunity when he dove head-first out of bounds to scoop up a loose ball and save a UMass possession with a behind-the-back, no-look pass to Mariano at X. Mariano immediately sent the play to Whiteway one step out from the crease for Whiteway to send into the back of the net.

However, the game only remained tied for 44 seconds until Malave pushed the Pride back in front, 5-4. Llinares added his first of the game with 5:32 remaining in the third to double the lead for the visitors.

Mariano totaled a man-up tally his 26th goal of the season to drop the deficit to one at 6-5; however, Malave hit twice for the Pride to extend their advantage to 8-5.

Schroeder keyed in for the Minutemen with his fifth career goal in as many shots attempted to knock the margin down to two, 8-6 entering the fourth quarter, but the Pride netted the final three goals of the game to seal their win.

Oliveri played 58:22 in the cage before he swapped out with Reed Goodhue, who closed the game for Massachusetts. Oliveri made 10 of his 15 saves during the second half, including eight in the third quarter, while giving up 10 of the 11 Hofstra goals. Selva stopped eight UMass attempts to earn the win.

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2014-04-20



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