It has been one heck of a college lacrosse season so far. The UMass Minutemen got in on the excitement on Sunday night, scoring a 12-11 overtime win over the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are probably getting tired of this type of action. Nick Mariano scored four goals in his second collegiate contest, but none were bigger than the last one with seven seconds left in the extra period.
Grant Whiteway had a shot at winning the game with 1:30 left in overtime, but his rocket from the left side caught the crossbar just the right way, allowing UMass to maintain possession and get another shot at the win. Mariano picked up the ground ball - his third of the game - and after moving the ball around emerged from behind the goal to push one past Greg Dutton's left shoulder.
UMass led 5-4 at the half and by as many as three goals with 12:24 left in the fourth quarter. Adam Trombley scored all three of his goals over the next eight minutes, spearheading the Buckeye's comeback to within a goal at the 4:29 mark. Reegan Comeault's step-down shot with 2:38 to go tied the game for the first time since 4-4 in the second quarter. Possession and opportunities would go back and forth for the rest of regulation, with both Dutton and Zach Oliveri making big saves to preserve the game.
Ohio State tried time and again to get Trombley matched up with a short stick defender, but UMass' Ryan Izzo and Brendan Schroeder were more than up for the challenge. Both players kept Trombley from getting off a clean look, and although he did get a shot off, it was from a position that gave Oliveri an opportunity to make the save.
UMass improves to 2-0 with a pair of quality wins over quality teams, but if that sounds like a familiar story it's because it is. UMass was in this same position a year ago before losing four of its next five games on its way to a 7-8 season and 2-4 CAA record. Early season wins are nice, but sustaining momentum will be critical for Greg Cannella and the Minutemen.
- UMass - Mariano (4 goals), Matt Whippen (3 goals, 1 assist), Jeff George (2 goals), Andrew Sokol, Connor Mooney, Ryan Izzo (1 goal, 1 assist), Grant Consoletti (1 assist)
- Ohio State - Trombley (3 goals), Reegan Comeault (3 goals), Carter Brown (3 goals, 1 assist), Turner Evans (1 goal, 5 assists), Gordie Koerber (1 assist), Jesse King (1 assist).