No. 4 seeded Massachusetts men's lacrosse returns to Rafferty Stadium in Fairfield, Conn., for the CAA Championship Game against No. 3 Towson Saturday, May 2 at 1 p.m. A win over the Tigers guarantees the Minutemen their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. All the information needed to keep track of the game follows:
Scouting Towson Men's Lacrosse
Towson's stout defense has the No. 3 seeded Tigers back in the CAA Championship Game for the second time in three years as the squad sports a 10-5 overall record, including an 11-8 win over No. 2 seed Drexel in the semifinal round. The meeting with the Minutemen marks the first time the sides have squared off in the CAA Championship Game and the third postseason meeting between the programs, including a pair of CAA semifinal contests.
Starting goalie Tyler White, the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, ranks second in the nation with his 7.18 goals-against average and seventh in save percentage as White turns aside 58.2 percent of the shots he faces. With White as the backstop, the Towson defense holds the opposition to 7.40 goals per game, the third-lowest total across NCAA Division I on the strength of standout play from close defensemen Mike Lowe, JoJo Ostrander (All-CAA First Team) and Nick Gorman, who own a combined 62 groundballs and 17 caused turnovers.
Joe Seider, a CAA first teamer at attack, provides a team-high 35 points on 29 goals and six assists. He is one of only two Tigers above the 30-point threshold through 15 games alongside Ryan Drenner (16 goals, 17 assists).
Shawn Nadelen is in his fourth season coaching Towson and holds a 35-28 overall record. Nadelen guided the program to the 2013 CAA Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The squad has a winning record in each of Nadelen's last three seasons, with 10 wins apiece in 2013 and 2015.
Last Meeting: No. 18 Towson 6, UMass 3; March 28, 2015
UMass tallied advantages in shots, faceoffs, groundballs and caused turnovers, but was unable to leave No. 18 Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium with a win as the Tigers defeated the Minutemen, 6-3. Grant Whiteway scored twice in the loss while Zach Oliveri made nine saves in net. The loss - the lowest scoring game on the season for Massachusetts - ended a three-game winning streak.
Towson opened with three consecutive goals before Whiteway put UMass on the board with five minutes, nine seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Tigers bumped their lead back to three goals before the halftime break and added another tally for a 5-1 advantage midway through the third quarter.
Whiteway scored with 4:52 to go in the third and Nick Mariano added a man-up tally near the 11-minute mark of the fourth to bring the Minutemen back within 5-3; however, UMass was unable to pull closer the remainder of the way.
On Top Of The Tweet Game
Instant information about the men's lacrosse program, including an inside look at key points and statistics in each game as well as updates from practice and other team events can be found through the Twitter handle @UMassMLacrosse. Follow the Minutemen there and catch information about each UMass Athletic Department program through @UMassAthletics.
All Home Contests Available On UMass All-Access
UMass men's lacrosse will have each of its seven home games broadcast online through UMass All-Access, a CBS Interactive product. The link for each broadcast was accessible in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer is asked to purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.
UMass Men's Lacrosse In The CAA Championship
UMass men's lacrosse makes its fifth appearance in the CAA Championship during six years with the league. The Minutemen joined the CAA ahead of the 2010 season and won the league title in 2012. The squad has another appearance in the championship game in 2011 and exited the tournament in the semifinal round during 2010 and 2013. Their five appearances stand tied with Drexel (2010, 2012-15) and Towson (2010, 2012-15) for the most in the span. The Maroon and White own a 4-3 all-time record in the event.
How We Got To Where We Are
Seeding for the CAA Championship took until the final game of the regular season to set in 2015. When Drexel upset Towson in the last contest of the CAA slate, the Dragons earned the No. 2 berth and bumped Towson down to No. 3. The Minutemen were slotted fourth while Fairfield earned the No. 1 as a result of Towson's loss.
Drexel and Towson squared off for the second consecutive week during CAA Championship semifinal action and the Tigers earned their revenge through an 11-8 win over the Dragons. The Minutemen upset Fairfield during Thursday's nightcap, 9-8, to set up the first CAA Championship Game between No. 3 and No.4 seeds since the 2011 season.
The current CAA Championship contest is the first such with Towson and UMass facing each other. The squads previously met during the semifinal round on two occasions - during a 13-6 Towson victory on May 5, 2010 and a 10-3 UMass win on May 2, 2012.
More on the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program can be found via UMassAthletics.com.