Men's Lacrosse Falls to No. 7/5 UMass in Season Opener, 8-6

Men's Lacrosse Falls to No. 7/5 UMass in Season Opener, 8-6

White registered his second career hat trick in the Crimson's season opener versus No. 7/5 UMass (OAC).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Harry Krieger made 13 saves in goal and classmate Alex White turned in a hat trick as the Harvard men's lacrosse team dropped its season opener to No. 7/5 UMass Saturday afternoon, 8-6.

A crowd of 1,137 was in attendance at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium to see the clash between the in-state rivals. UMass (3-0) controlled the face off X, winning 10-of-16 on the day, and was successful on 13-of-14 clear attempts. Harvard, meanwhile, completed 10-of-13 clears and was 1-of-2 in extra-man situations. The Crimson defense, anchored by Krieger's play, allowed the Minutemen to convert on just 1-of-6 extra-man opportunities.

White added one assist to his three goals to finish with four points on the day. Henry Mumford, Ryan Stevens and Jack Walker also found the back of the net for the Crimson with Devin Dwyer assisting on Mumford's score. Robert Duvnjak was credited with four of the Crimson's nine caused turnovers as Joe Petrucci collected a team-best three ground balls.

The UMass offense was led by Matt Whippen's two goals. Seven different Minutemen registered a goal, including Connor Mooney and Grant Whiteway who added an assist apiece for two total points. Goalkeeper Zachary Oliveri recorded eight saves in net.

Krieger made a pair of saves in the opening 1:17 of play before Whippen and  Whiteway tallied back-to-back goals to put the Minutemen on top, 2-0. The Crimson defense tightened up following the scores, and a turnover by UMass led to Walker's goal for Harvard's first tally of the year. The Crimson was later able to kill off two penalties with Krieger making three more stops, allowing White to even the game at 2-2 with 1:07 left to play in the first quarter.

UMass picked up momentum early in the second with three straight goals, and added a fourth with 1:05 to play to take a 6-2 lead into the half.

Harvard returned from the break with a quick score as White found Stevens for an open look with just 58 seconds gone. UMass retaliated moments later to put the score at 7-3, but White then registered his second goal of the day with a man down to make it a 7-4 game.

White completed the hat trick with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter to pull Harvard within two, 7-5. Whippen's second tally extended the UMass lead back to three, 8-5, before Mumford tallied the final score of the day with 5:00 to play.

The Crimson will host Holy Cross Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. before heading out on the road for the first time to face No. 19/20 Hofstra.