EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Two players making their first career starts scored the biggest goals of their careers and lifted #16 UMass to a thrilling 13-12 win over #10 Georgetown in the ESPNU Warrior Classic on a sunny Saturday at Rentschler Field. Senior Christian Hain scored the game-winner with 33.5 seconds left in the fourth less than a minute after sophomore Steve D’Amario tied the game at 12 with 1:29 left in the fourth. Freshman Will Manny tied his career-high with five points including his fifth hat trick of the season.
The win is a big boost for the Minutemen (8-4) as Greg Cannella’s squad looks to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. Saturday’s thriller featured eight ties and five lead changes including three in the fourth quarter in front of the crowd of 6,415.
Georgetown falls to 7-5 overall with Big East games vs. Rutgers and Villanova remaining.
Coming off a timeout, Hain sprinted 15 yards into the attack zone and bounced the game winning goal past goalkeeper C.T. Fisher’s right side, with a little more than a half minute remaining. Defenseman Tom Celentani caused a key turnover with 18 seconds left to seal the victory for UMass and Greg Anderson ran the ball up the field to virtually kill the clock in the fourth.
Georgetown’s Andrew Brancaccio scored five goals in the game to lead all scorers. Craig Dowd had four assists.
D’Amario tied the game with 1:29 remaining by taking a sharp angle to the right side of the net and picking off the top left corner of the goal. The Minutemen scored the final three goals of the game with Manny netting his third of the game with 4:48 left in the fourth. Celentani set up the goal to bring UMass within one at 12-11.
After a sluggish third quarter where Georgetown scored the only goal of the period, the fourth quarter featured fireworks from both teams with 11 combined goals. UMass took a 9-8 lead on Anthony Biscardi’s second goal of the game off a rebound with 12:47 left in the fourth. The Hoyas scored the next three goals of the game as Scott Kocis tied the game at 9-9 with 11:48 remaining. Ricky Mirabito and Brancaccio gave the Hoyas a two-goal bulge with 9:12 remaining at 11-9.
The Longmeadow, Mass., connection of Ryan Liebel from Kyle Smith cut the margin to one at 11-10 with 8:45 left on a man-up goal. Travis Comeau, the Hoyas’ top goal-scorer coming into the game, finally scored with 6:18 for anther two-goal advantage. But the Hoyas were kept off the board for the rest of the game.
UMass got off to a great start as face-off man Greg Rushing scored six seconds into the game as he won the first of his 12 face-off wins and dashed down and scored for a 1-0 lead. Georgetown took a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter, but UMass scored five of the final six goals of the first half for a 7-6 lead at intermission.
UMass finishes the regular-season at Drexel next Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will air live on Comcast SportsNet New England.