MIT men’s lacrosse could not overcome six consecutive first-half goals by UMass-Dartmouth, falling 9-6 in its season-opener on Saturday at Jack Barry Field.
The Engineers (0-1) opened the scoring 5:01 into the first period when Jonathan P. Stolmeier ’07 evaded a Corsair defender behind the net and found a streaking Thomas W. Hay ’10, who converted a low shot for his first career goal. It would be MIT’s only lead of the game, as UMass-Dartmouth (1-0) dominated ball possession for the rest of the half and surged to a 6-1 lead.
MIT had defeated the Corsairs each of the previous five years, but UMass-Dartmouth’s rookies ensured that the streak did not continue. Freshmen Matt Leary and Andrew Foster had four points each to pace the Corsairs, who appear ready for a quick turnaround after finishing 4-12 in 2006.
Brennan P. Sherry G pulled the Engineers back into the game with two straight goals to make it 8-5 with four minutes remaining in the game. MIT appeared to have the momentum and continued to apply pressure in the offensive zone, but an errant backwards pass bounced all the way down the field and Foster was able to beat the defenders to the ball and knock it past Zachary E. Brewer ’07 for another score.
Brewer collected 12 saves on the game, while his counterpart Steve Chase was particularly impressive for UMass-Dartmouth, making 16 stops. Chase’s best save came with just over a minute left in the opening period. After a turnover in the middle of the field, Sherry came in all alone, but Chase was able to get a shoulder in front of Sherry’s high shot to preserve the Corsairs’ 2-1 lead.
The second period proved to be decisive, as the Corsairs tightened up on defense and suffocated MIT’s attackers. During the period MIT only managed two shots, compared to eight for UMass-Dartmouth, four of which found their way into the back of the net. For the game the Corsairs outshot the Engineers 23-17.
MIT squandered a golden opportunity to cut the deficit late in the first half after UMass-Dartmouth was called for consecutive penalties, leading to a two-man advantage for 30 seconds. Despite maintaining possession, the Engineers were not able to get any solid opportunities on net.
MIT continues its non-conference schedule Saturday, playing host to Salve Regina University at 2:00 p.m.