UMass Drills Laxmen, 16-13
Sweet's Eight Points Pace Minutemen
It was the battle of Massachusetts. And, once the dust had cleared, the Minutemen of UMass had prevailed by crunching the Harvard lacrosse team for the fourth consecutive year, 16-13, on a beautiful spring day yesterday at the Business School Field.
Both teams played good lacrosse, but the Minutemen were better in winning their third straight game. "We're hot now," superstar attackman Brooks Sweet exclaimed after the game. UMass defensive standout Roger Coe explained, "The better the team we play the better we play."
Sweet's performance proved that he is a prime candidate for first team All-American. The Farmingdale (Long Island) Junior College transfer spearheaded UMass' potent offense, netting three goals and adding five assists.
"Sure, I feel I had a good game, but it was nothing special," Sweet said. "The whole team's playing great now."
UMass got great efforts from Sweet and Coe, but the Minutemen midfielders made the difference. UMass outplayed the Crimson in the ground game, controlling 46 ground balls to Harvard's 38 while exhibiting better stamina.
"They were going real well at the midfield on us," Harvard's Mike Faught said. "That was their strength. They dodged, drew our defense, and dumped the ball to the open man."
The UMass middies were also sharp on defense. "Our defensive middies played great. They played tough one-on-one and were aggressive on doubling. Our middies did it for us," Sweet said.
The Crimson jumped to a 4-3 first period lead, trading goals with UMass into the second stanza until the score stood at 6-5 Harvard. Then UMass exploded for five unanswered goals.
"The Harvard defense seemed tentative to back up," UMass head coach Richard Garber said after his 200th career win. "When our middies dodged, the Harvard defenseman was reluctant to leave his man. Then they got good momentum in the second half."
This UMass barrage rattled the Harvard offense. "When we settled the ball, we worked a deliberate offense and we traded goals. But, then they went up on us by a couple and we started forcing it and losing the ball," Faught said.
"We got used to Harvard's deliberate plays and broke them up," Coe said.
Harvard stormed back for four straight goals in the third period, three of them blazers by Faught, but UMass answered with four of its own, and it was over.
Gordie Nelson scored three times in the first period and Peter Predun, playing his first game since April 14, tallied three with a cast on his right hand. "If Predun didn't have that cast it might have turned out differently," Garber said.
Sweet said it all "Boy, it's always nice to beat Harvard." Now 9-4, the Crimson plays its last game against Dartmouth Saturday at Hanover.