February 16, 2013

UMass Rallies in Fourth Quarter to Edge Tar Heels

from staff reports

KENNESAW, Ga. — Playing at Kennesaw State University's KSU Stadium in the Southern Showdown, No. 12 UMass used a 4-0 fourth quarter to propel the team to a 12-11 victory over No. 4 North Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

Senior attack Kyle Smith and junior attack and midfielder Connor Mooney paced the offense with four points each on three goals and one assist a piece. Redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri stopped 18 shots in net, including four during the final quarter when the Minutemen secured the come-from-behind win.

Redshirt freshman goalie Zach Oliveri made 18 saves, including four in a fourth quarter in which UMass outscored North Carolina 4-0 to take the lead.
© Cecil Copeland/The Athletic Image

Sophomore midfielder Andrew Sokol recorded three points on two goals and one helper, with his pair of tallies coming back-to-back during the decisive fourth quarter. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway added a pair of goals, his first of the season, while junior midfielder Matt Whippen secured one mark and an assist.

UMass played without 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist, senior attackman Will Manny, who suffered a hand injury and was unable to dress for the contest. He spent the game on the sideline with his left arm in a large blue sling.

The final goal of the game went on to become the decisive tally, with Mooney recording his third mark of the day on the play. Mooney rolled around the left side of the goal from the back of the cage and stopped at the crease, jumping into the air while placing a shot into the lower-right corner of the goal for the 12-11 lead with 3:18 to play in the contest.

After North Carolina had a pair of tying attempts go wide of the net in the span of 13 seconds, beginning with 2:35 left to play, the Minutemen kept possession away from its defensive zone until the final seconds of the contest. After a UMass turnover near midfield, North Carolina's Greg McBride scooped up the loose ball and sprinted toward the UMass goal. McBride sent a last-second game-tying attempt on-frame, with Oliveri adjusting to the shot to record his final save of the day and secure the win. North Carolina notched the opening pair of goals, one during a man-up situation, before the Minutemen connected to cut the deficit in half. Sean Cleary tallied the first UMass goal unassisted, fighting his way toward the crease before placing a shot by Tar Heels goalie Kieran Burke for the sophomore's second mark of the season.

North Carolina and UMass traded tallies through the remainder of the first quarter. After Jake Matthai earned a goal for the Tar Heels with 5:55 to play, senior attack Kyle Smith answered for UMass with his first tally of the day and second of the season to pull the Minutemen within 3-2 with 2:17 remaining in the opening quarter.

Marcus Holman, a two-time USILA All-American, extended the North Carolina lead back to a pair with 23 seconds remaining in the first. However, Kyle Smith found the back of the net only one minute into the second stanza, following a pass from senior midfielder Bobby Tyler, to cut the UNC lead back down to one, 4-3.

T.J. Kemp & Bitter recorded back-to-back tallies for the Tar Heels to push the lead to 6-3 for UNC before junior midfielder Matt Whippen, the reigning CAA Player of the Week, added a tally for the Minutemen. Whippen spun off of his marking defender, rolled to the right and sent an attempt into the left side of the goal with 8:05 to play in the half for his sixth goal of the year.

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