Wagon Wednesday: The Champ is Here

For the first time in program history, your UMass Minutemen are Hockey East Champions! To think this was just the cap to an electric week of UMass sports is unreal. Happy Wagon Wednesday everyone, and let’s look back real quick. Women’s lacrosse steamrolled Holy Cross for their third straight win while the men’s squad grabbed a convincing win over Drexel. Men’s and women’s soccer are both staying red hot as the men’s team stays undefeated after hanging a five spot on URI three days after tying La Salle. Coach Dowiak’s women’s squad shows us why Fordham is STILL too high after a 2-1 OT win against the Rams. Don’t forget about baseball either. They split both doubleheaders this weekend with Towson, though the bats were lively and the line was moving in game four as the Minutemen cruised to a 10-1 beat down in their series finale. Oh, and there’s women’s basketball and Coach Verdi earning his 150th win as the Minutewomen wrapped up their incredible season in the WNIT. 

Now for the good stuff: our three stars of the week. This week’s first star has yet to appear on a Wagon Wednesday, but what a time like a championship game to earn your first nod! Oh Captain our Captain, Jake Gaudet is our first star of the week after scoring the title clinching goal against Little Brother. Playing in his last game on Mullins Center ice, Gaudet seemed to want to skate over every square inch of the rink. He was all over the place the entire 60 minutes, playing a true “senior game” helping to propel the rest of his teammates to the first tournament title in program history. Filip Lindberg had a goose egg in net too, but this week, the spotlight belongs to Gaudet who has helped build the NewMass culture. 

Our second star of the week you probably have a 50/50 guess as to who it is by now. At this point, we should call these “Wagon Wednesday: Sam Breen & Two Stars”. It seems like every week she’s featured on Wagon Wednesday and I’ve lost count at this point the exact number but it’s probably close to the number of double doubles she had this year. Although she was one rebound shy of another double double, Sam Breen dropped 27 points on Ohio to close out the season, setting a new program record for points scored in a postseason game. It was a classic Breen Machine game, as she was dominant on the glass and showed why she deserves her selection to the WNIT All Region Team. We are sad that the season is over for the Minutewomen, but ending their statement season on a high note is exactly what you want to see heading into next year. 

Finally, the third star of the week earned A-10 Player of the Week honors after helping the Minutemen stay undefeated on the season. Introducing freshman forward, Alex Hughes. The Connecticut native shined in the 5-2 win against URI for men’s soccer with two goals on three shots. This Minutemen squad is red hot and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. A well balanced attack that opponents have a tough time game-planning for could prove to be the difference maker for a dominant run through A-10 Conference play. 

I could keep going about several other performances that just barely missed the cut this week (like Lindberg’s shutout or Kelly Marra & Haley Connaughton both posting hat tricks for women’s lacrosse). Unfortunately, three stars is the limit, so that’ll do it for this week’s Wagon Wednesday. This coming week there are several big games to watch, including, men’s soccer continuing their run through the A-10, women’s lacrosse and soccer each with a pair of games, and of course hockey begins their second consecutive run at a national title on Friday night. Stay tuned while the UMass Wagon stays hot and see you next week!

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