April 30, 2011

Hartford Beats UMBC, Sets Up AE Rematch

from press release

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team secured the second seed in the upcoming America East Tournament when it scored a 10-6 victory over the visiting UMBC Retrievers on Senior Night at Al-Marzook Field. Hartford (9-6, 3-2 AE) will host UMBC (6-6, 3-2 AE), the tournament’s third seed, on Wednesday, May 4 in the semifinal round at 7:00 p.m.

The Hawks received a 14-save effort in the cage from junior Scott Bement, matching a season-high, and Carter Bender netted a hat trick to help the Hawks coast to the four-goal win. Bender finished with a game-best four points. Classmates Martin Bowes and Aidan Genik scored two goals each while Ryan Compitello, Rory Nunamacher and Jared Franze rounded out the goal production for Hartford.

Hartford, which never trailed in the contest, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening 9:49 as Genik delivered back-to-back goals at 12:54 and 9:03 and Bowes followed at the 5:11 mark. The Retrievers clawed back however as they held the Hawks scoreless for more than 15 minutes while adding three goals to their side of the scoreboard to knot the game at 3-3.

The squads traded goals to close out the second quarter and send the contest into the halftime break with the score tied at 4-4.

Hartford came out of the break on fire as it dented the scoreboard with five-straight goals - four in the third quarter - to break the game open at 9-4. Franze kicked-off the rally when he scored for the 20th time this season just 120 seconds into the third quarter. Less than two minutes later, Compitello pushed Hartford’s lead to 6-4 before Bender reeled off a hat trick to cap the Hawks’ 5-0 run and extend their lead to five goals.

UMBC snapped its 27 minute scoring drought as Scott Hopmann netted the squad’s fifth goal of the evening with 3:54 remaining. Nunamacher responded with his 22nd goal of the season before Rob Grimm brought the Retriever’s deficit to four when he delivered the final goal of the contest with 2:08 to play in regulation.

Despite the loss, the Retrievers held a commanding advantage in the shot column at 49-29 and finished even at the face-off X controlling 9-of-18 duels. The Hawks scooped up 27 ground balls and was perfect in clearing the ball in all 15 attempts.

UMBC was led by Grimm’s three points. Brian McCullough rejected seven shots and suffered his fourth loss of the season.

Hartford’s seven seniors were honored prior to opening face-off with a Senior Night ceremony. Tim Fallon, Conor Flynn, Nick Frigenti, Dan Gillespie, Sean King and Vinny Pellizzi compiled 14 wins over four seasons while leading the Hawks to their best season since 2003. In addition, the Hartford Class of 2011 led the scarlet and white to their first postseason appearance in eight years.

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