By Staff Writer Zach Lunghi.
This past Saturday was the season opener for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Men’s lacrosse team, as they hosted Emmanuel College at Cressy Field and bested the Saints with a final score of 19-8.
Last March, these two teams faced off and the Corsairs grabbed a win in that game as well, beating Emmanuel 11-7. Scoring in Saturday’s bout was led by junior Mike Rizzo, who netted 5 goals and had a pair of assists.
The Corsairs got the offense rolling early in the first quarter with contributions from Rizzo and freshman Zak Wirsen. Rizzo tallied a total of 3 goals in the first quarter alone, one of which was unassisted.
Freshman Kevin Swenson, found himself on the scoreboard with the game’s fourth goal and only a couple minutes later, assisted on one of 4 scores from sophomore Tim Jordan.
Closing out the first half, the Corsairs struck with three unanswered goals coming from sophomore Josh Souza, freshman Alexi Fauzey and Jordan. UMass Dartmouth led 10-5 at the half. During the second half of play, the Corsairs held Emmanuel to only three goals all while adding nine points to their own score, four of which came on the man advantage.
Special teams for the Corsairs proved to be effective against the Saints. On the man up, UMass Dartmouth capitalized on 6 out of 10 attempts and, went 4-4 in the last quarter with tallies from freshman Tom Lattanzi, junior Donovan Prozinski, and Rizzo. Those four goals were also a part of an 8-score run in favor of UMass Dartmouth.
However, when the Corsairs found themselves on the penalty kill, they had a few missed assignments. Three out of the eight goals for Emmanuel came on the man advantage, putting up a 3/5 total for success on the power play.
Throughout the course of the game, the Corsairs never found themselves playing from behind. Swenson helped to boost his team with 2 goals and another assist, finishing the day with four points total.
Prozinski joined his fellow teammates on the score sheet with a total of six points, split evenly between three goals and three assists. Rizzo finished the day going 5-5 for shots-on-goal.
The Corsairs managed to win the majority of smaller battles throughout the game. Going 18-30 in the face-off circle and controlling 41 of the 68 ground balls. On the attacking end, UMass Dartmouth outshot the Saints 45-21.
Late in the game, tempers began to flare on both sides. Emmanuel was looking to spark some offense while the Corsairs were not looking to be pushed around on their home field and possibly let up their commanding lead. Senior Jeremy Jackson sent a message from UMass Dartmouth, delivering several hits while taking some as well. At 6:01 in the fourth, Jackson caught a matching penalty for a cross-check when getting into a scrum with a Saints player. This was then catalyst for some extra pushing and shoving leading towards the end of the game.
Despite the call, the Saints had amassed 10 penalties in the second half while the Corsairs held to only three.
At the end of the game, the Saints netted two late quarter goals but it wouldn’t be enough, as UMass Dartmouth still finished with the win.
The Corsairs will look for more success as they host Roger Williams University on Wednesday, February 27th, and visit Salve Regina the following Wednesday.