Ali Houlis of the University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse team wears a red headband that holds a lifetime's worth of tragedy, awareness, and hope.
It never fades in the wash, it never comes untied. It's the only one she ever bought in a store, the others she had always made, patched them together, but they always faded in the wash, and became untied in the rain.
It's a good luck piece now, one that has worked fabulously all the way through the Minutewomen's 7-0 undefeated mark in Atlantic-10 play and 14-2 overall record this season. But only half of the red headband is being worn.
Jackie Lyons scored seven points on four goals and three assists as the No. 14 UMass women's lacrosse team cruised past Duquesne in the Atlantic 10 Semifinal on Friday afternoon. The win gives the Minutewomen a spot in their fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship game on Sunday where UMass will be going for its third straight league tournament championship. UMass will face No. 2 seed Richmond at 1 PM at Geasey Field. The game will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Sheehan Burke on the call.
Saturday's annual University of Massachusetts spring football game will have some added events after last week's announcement that the school was upgrading its program to the Bowl Subdivision.
In addition to the 4 p.m. game at McGuirk Stadium, there's a 1 p.m. tour of the program's new offices in the Slobody Building at 101 University Drive. Members of the 100 Yard Club, a UMass booster club, can meet coaches and players at 3 p.m. prior to the spring game and eat with them at a barbecue afterward.
There will be an autograph session for anyone after the spring game.
UMass coach Kevin Morris said he was pleased with his team's progression this spring.
"It's been good. We've got a good group of guys," Morris said. "Guys have really taken it seriously and set a high standard."
t the outset of the 2011 season, senior attacker Jackie Lyons sat in her bedroom and looked at the UMass schedule. Lyons had accomplished a lot in her first three season, including 2010 A-10 Attacker of the Year honors, but staring at the schedule and ruminating about her senior season, she decided she wanted to do more.
So she wrote down a lacrosse "bucket list," a list of things she wanted to do before she graduated. The list is seven items long; thus far in the season, Lyons has achieved four out of four of those goals and has lad the Minutewomen to a 14-2 overall record. Today UMass is headed toward No. 5, an A-10 championship in Friday's game versus Duquesne at Temple University. Here's a look at Lyons' list.
The 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament gets underway this afternoon at 1 PM as the No. 2 seed Richmond takes on host and No. 3 seed Temple in Philadelphia. The top-seeded and 14th-ranked Minutewomen will take on No. 4 seed Duquesne at 3:30 PM. The winners will meet on Sunday in the Championship game which will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network at 1 PM.
The Daily Collegian previews today's match-up and also looks at some of UMass' top award-winners as announced by the Atlantic 10 yesterday.
Friday's clash with Delaware will be more than just another game on the schedule for the No. 20 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team. It's more than the final regular season game or the conclusion of the Colonial Athletic Association regular season schedule.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette has an editorial supporting the move of UMass football to the FBS ranks and games at Gillette Stadium. Here are some key points:
It appears they jumped, wisely, at an opportunity that had never taken quite this form, or been this attractive. At the same time, the ground from which they leap - the lower level of Championship Subdivision (FCS) play - was falling away around their feet. Two former competitors in Championship Subdivision are gone and a third is lowering its program out of the Colonial Athletic Association.
If you love your Minutemen, may we suggest a carpool?
It was a historic day at the UMass Softball Complex on Wednesday as junior pitcher Sara Plourde, with a 14-strikeout three-hitter, led UMass to a 3-2 win over Boston University and recorded the 1,000th strikeout of her career. She is just the third pitcher in UMass history to reach the mark, joining Danielle Henderson and Brandice Balschmiter, and the first to do it prior to her senior season.
The University of Massachusetts highlights this year's awards, as voted on by the league's head coaches, claiming four of the five individual accolades including Jackie Lyons as Offensive Player of the Year, Katie Florence as the league's Defensive Player of the Year and Katie Ferris as the A-10 Rookie of the Year, while Angela McMahon garnered Coach of the Year honors. Richmond's Mary Flowers earned Midfielder of the Year accolades.
UMass Rowing senior co-captain Samantha Schnoerr was recently named one of the 2011 Shep Shepard Award winners for excellence within Legal Studies as well as service to the community. Schnoerr was also named a 2011 Atlantic All-Conference First Team member earlier this season.
To read more about the Shep Shepard Award, click here
The Boston Herald has a story on local college product that are hopeful of hearing their names called as the NFL Draft starts on Thursday night. Read about it in : Local prospects hoping to catch on.
Offensive lineman Greg Niland of East Bridgewater, who began his career at Northeastern University before it dropped its football program, and went on to play his final season of eligibility at the University of Massachusetts, has piqued the interest of several NFL teams and could be a late-round pick.
Other UMass players to watch are wide receiver Anthony Nelson, who caught 61 passes last season, running back John Griffin of Westminster, another NU transfer, and quarterback Kyle Havens.
"Nelson did real well at the BC pro day and turned some heads," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "Griffin, as well, with his physical skills. Nelson has some people wanting to take a second and third look at how good he is with the ball and how fast he is. Havens, too, has a couple of teams interested. We just need to get this (NFL) lockout to get unlocked, to get these guys into camps to show what they can do."
I'm not good at snap judgments. But after several days, here's what I've come up with.
I don't know if the University of Massachusetts playing Bowl Subdivision football in Foxborough is going to work. But I think it's worth a shot because it's the best option UMass has.
Realistically, if UMass wants to move up, it had to happen in Foxborough. Gillette offers a shiny new stadium that recruits are going to want to play in.
If UMass hadn't moved up, moving backward might eventually have been the only choice as the status quo isn't going to be an option for much longer. Championship level FCS football in the Northeast is dying. The CAA is clearly becoming a southern-based conference. Old Dominion and Georgia State were added ahead of Fordham, shifting the league's latitude even lower and the price of travel even higher.
With the opportunity to play in the illustrious Fenway Park, the Massachusetts baseball team elevated its game to finish off Northeastern in the heart of Boston Tuesday, as the Minutemen (13-21, 5-7 A-10) defeated Northeastern (12-25) 4-2 in the Beanpot consolation game.
UMass coach Mike Stone said after that game that while playing at Fenway "is a treat" for everyone involved, it's even more of a treat if the team plays well and gets victories.
UMass did just that, getting on the board early by plating Anthony Serino after Peter Copa reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop. The Minutemen further capitalized on the Terrier miscue with a two-out triple to right field by Kyle Multner. The triple plated Copa and Tom Conley, who reached on a single.
Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the UMass rowing team's race against Holy Cross last weekend. The Minutewomen won two of three races against the Crusaders, and will return to the water in two weeks for the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
After years of debate and speculation. UMass is moving its football team up to the FBS, formerly called Divisioin I -A With that move comes another, UMass will play its future home games in Foxborough. "I'm glad to see them make it finally where they should be", says Amherst's Al Ohlson. Watch the full story from NBC22.
NBC 30 in Hartford, Connecticut has a look at the potential rivalry between UMass and UConn being re-ignited with the Minutemen's move to the FBS level. Read about it here:
At the beginning of the month, as the men's basketball team was preparing for Final Four foe Kentucky, we wrote about the long history between the two coaches. Jim Calhoun and John Calipari go way back, to the early '90s when Calipari was then the UMass coach.
The Minutemen were gaining in national prominence, thanks largely to Calipari. According to the Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun, Calipari once remarked that "We will play anyone, anywhere, anytime,'" presumably in an effort to get the Huskies on the schedule.
Calhoun's response at the time: "Calipari said he plays a national schedule, so obviously he doesn't need us. We play Kansas and Duke, and we think those are pretty good teams. We're happy with who we are playing now."
The Huskies got the last laugh, defeating the Wildcats in the Final Four two days before winning their third national championship.
Now it appears there will be another means for renewing this rivalry. Last week, UMass announced that the football program is moving to the FBS and joining the MAC conference beginning in 2012. One problem, though: some fans are worried that UMass' new status could hurt UConn's recruiting efforts.
"I wouldn't worry too much about the recruiting aspect. UMass might pose more competition for players in the Northeast, but if you can't outrecruit the MAC as a school in an [automatic qualifier] league, you've got much bigger problems. This might have been more of a concern for the Huskies if Randy Edsall were still the coach, since his recruiting philosophy centered around under-the-radar players. But Paul Pasqualoni was hired in large part for his ability to connect with high school coaches and recruit high-caliber players. If that's true, he shouldn't lose out to UMass on many prospects.
Great points, all of them, and the Hartford Courant's Desmond Connor agrees, writing that "Until the program upgrades those facilities and becomes part of a BCS conference it poses no real threat to UConn anywhere."
Bennett adds an interesting footnote: "UMass-UConn is a natural rivalry, though I don't think the Huskies should accept a home-and-home series. A 2-for-1 is a better deal for them."
This also makes sense; UMass would get more out of hosting UConn than the other way around. For now, anyway.
The UMass softball team concluded a busy six-game week with a doubleheader split at home against Syracuse on Friday and then a twinbill sweep over George Washington on Easter Sunday which included a dramatic come-from-behind eight-inning victory in game two. The Minutewomen continue their 12-game homestand on Wednesday when they host Boston University at 5 p.m. at the UMass Softball Complex. Below are recaps from this weekend's games.
Patriots' owner Robert Kraft deserves credit for bringing more big-time college football to New England when he struck a deal that allows the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to play all their home games rent-free at Gillette Stadium starting in 2012. Having the high-class Foxborough facility as a home field enables UMass to join the Division I Mid-American Conference and lure bowl-bound football powers onto its schedule.
The move is already building excitement among UMass graduates, for whom Saturdays in Foxborough could be a great bonding experience, and it could pay off for the university in some other respects, too. If Massachusetts residents come to see the UMass team as an expression of Bay State pride, it will help build greater political and community support for the state's leading public university.
Welcome as the UMass ascent to collegiate football's Mt. Olympus may be, policymakers should be aware that the costs in athletic scholarships and expanded coaching staffs will be considerable. UMass anticipates that its football expenditure will jump from $4.4 million in 2010 to $6.9 million for the 2013 season. Purely as an economic venture, or as a means of enhancing a university's national standing, a top-tier football program is no panacea -- and certainly no substitute for enhanced academic resources.
But pride doesn't come with a pricetag, and watching UMass match up against national powerhouses will provide an extra point of identity to fans of the sometimes neglected university -- that is, as long as the Minutemen make a good showing on the field.
The Attleboro Sun-Chronicle has an opinion piece on UMass' football move to FBS and the MAC as the Minutemen will be playing its home games at Gillette Stadium. Read the piece that wraps up with the following:
For the area, well-attended football games next fall could mean significant revenue, and, yes, more traffic on area roads. But after years of handling pro football crowds, we're confident that local authorities are more than prepared to deal with college game day fans.
If there was ever a win-win, we think that this is it.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette and Daily Collegian have their recaps on the UMass women's lacrosse 18-4 win at Saint Joseph's on Saturday. On Monday, the official Atlantic 10 Tournament brackets will be released along with ticket information.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a story on the upgrades to McGuirk Stadium and how UMass will return to play several games at McGuirk Stadium starting in 2014. "We are in a transitional period. By 2014, the plan is to have an upgraded campus facility that could host some games,'' Athletic Director John McCutcheon said.
The Berkshire Eagle has a follow-up story on UMass football elevation to the FBS and the MAC. Howard Herman takes a look at the team and its future. "There's always pressure to win," Morris said. "We were 6-5 last year with a couple of losses that were heartbreakers -- they were 'woulda, shoulda, coulda.' We have to come back off that and whether we're playing in the CAA or the SEC or now with the MAC, coming into 2012, you've got to win. There's no secret there."
Someone was thoughtful enough to bring Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick a chair while he discussed his brilliant, 51-save performance in the Kings' 3-1 playoff victory over the Sharks on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. He deserved a throne.
All he did was save a season that appeared headed toward another unsatisfactory ending after they were swept at home and fell into a 3-1 series deficit.
Quick insisted his teammates played a large role in helping him set a club playoff record for saves Saturday because they limited the Sharks to mostly perimeter shots. That was true to an extent. And they gave him some security in the form of first-period goals by Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford and -- yes -- Dustin Penner on their first four shots at Antti Niemi.
But the Kings would not have prolonged their playoff series to a sixth game, set for 7 p.m. Monday at Staples Center, if not for Quick's calm in the face of 19 shots in the first period and 18 in the third. The 15-shot middle period was a vacation by comparison.
Anthony Gurley fell in love with basketball as a 7-year-old, playing ball in the Pee Wee league at the Roxbury YMCA. "I've never looked back since then,'' said Gurley, a fifth-year senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was recently honored with the George "Trigger'' Burke Award as the team's MVP. "There's always room for improvement, and I'm working hard every day to reach my dream . . . the NBA,'' he said. Read the full story in the Boston Globe: Newton North grad Gurley bids for NBA.
The University of Massachusetts athletic department put plans for its new football facilities on display Friday in the program's temporary offices in the Slobody Building on University Drive. The plans are part of the upgrade by UMass to Bowl Subdivision football. The two-story building will house a locker room, a weight room, a sports medicine facility, an equipment room, coaches offices and meeting rooms. It will be built in the north end zone of McGuirk Stadium, where there is currently a small parking lot. Read the full story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: UMass unveils plan for new football facility, press box at McGuirk Stadium.
The Morning Sun in Central Michigan has a Q&A Session with Central Michigan Athletic Director Dave Heeke. Here are his answers in regards to UMass' addition to the MAC.
DE: On Wednesday, UMass officially joined the Mid-American Conference for football. Talk about your initial thoughts on UMass joining the conference?
DH: I think it is very positive for our league. Obviously we had an odd number of teams in football and we had to address that. We talked about that for several years in terms of how to attack that and how to address that. The addition of UMass was one of the better options that was on the table.
This will only help us in scheduling. Not just in conference scheduling, but in overall scheduling. It will give us in the MAC more consistency in our scheduling so we can plan out more long term, so that is a positive as well.
UMass brings great tradition and is a very strong program. Football is important at UMass and that is a big component. This move also helps stretch our league to the Northeast a little bit more with Buffalo, Temple, and UMass. From an exposure standpoint, there is value in that. We are excited about having them in the league. I am very positive on the overall addition.
Conference expansion and adding teams is a complicated deal normally, and now with the added uncertainties of leagues and the unknowns that are out there, that even complicates it more. For us to get a team and help solidify Temple in the conference as well, for our league that gives us good balance.
DE: How does this move impact other sports in the MAC and is UMass expected to meet certain expectations in terms of schedule outside of football?
DH: Contractually we have agreed with them to play basketball on a yearly basis, where they will face two different MAC opponents each year. So, there will be an equal rotation of that and that mirrors the Temple agreement. The opportunity to have our basketball programs on the men's and women's side compete against UMass will be good. That will help the basketball programs.
As we continue to build relationships, there may be opportunities for other scheduling alignments with other sports. Again, in many other sports they are locked in with different leagues. This is about football first and a small basketball scheduling component. But, any time you spend more time with folks you have the opportunity to expand relationships and work together in other areas.
I think we can build some scheduling alliances through the relationships that UMass and Temple have with other schools. Those relationships can help other sports. We are looking at those relationships.
DE: What is the next step with this addition process now that UMass and the MAC have agreed to the partnership?
DH: The next step for us as athletic directors is to sit down and look at the divisional alignments and figure things out and put everything out on the table. We need to find a divisional system that works for everyone the best it can.
The key is aligning those rival games in similar divisions. When you have rival games that are crossing over divisions, that complicates things for everyone. There is not an equal rotation and we have had that for many years.
We really have not talked about the divisional stuff much. We wanted to make sure we were solid as a league first and that we got to the 14 number. Now we can look at what best serves the league from a divisional standpoint. And, you know what? We may have different divisions for different sports or different alignments for different sports. Maybe we won't even have divisions in certain sports again. Some of those things may happen.
The division alignment needs to get in place relatively soon and we need to tweak the scheduling model because UMass joins the league in 2012. While they won't be eligible for postseason play that year, they will be a counting member on everyone's schedule and an active part in the league.
It's not an automatic, but in rare cases the NCAA will grant
a sixth year of eligibility to a student-athlete, and that was the desired
decision this week for University
of Massachusetts women's
basketball guard Megan Zullo.
Zullo, who averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 assists last season while setting a
team record with 1,136 minutes played, will return to the Minutewomen for the
Normally a student's athletic eligibility is four seasons, but sometimes the
student is offered the opportunity to redshirt for a year to spread that
eligibility over five years. But the NCAA may also grant a sixth year of
eligibility, only if a player has missed two seasons because of an injury or
circumstances beyond a player's control.
"It's an unbelievable opportunity to go against some of the top teams of the country and to be together as a family, as a basketball family, on Thanksgiving," said UMass coach Derek Kellogg. "It's a perfect opportunity. The setup they have down there rivals some of the best tournaments that are going, which is really the Maui tournament."
After Wednesday's press conference, all talk about the University of Massachusetts football program naturally revolved around its future. But lost in the chatter and debate about Gillette Stadium, the Mid-American Conference, bowl games and exciting potential nonconference opponents were any thoughts about the present.
The 2011 ESPNU Lacrosse Tour is a lacrosse fan fest hosted by Mike Powell, a two-time national champion at Syracuse and the only player to win the Tewaaraton Trophy twice. The tour features a lacrosse cage located outside of each stadium with two full goals, where fans can pick up a stick and shoot goals, practice tricks and even play with Powell. Highlights of the ESPNU Lacrosse Tour include:
The Minutewomen travelled to Storrs, Conn. on Wednesday and shut out the Huskies, 2-0. Stephanie Mayne hit a two-run home run in the third inning to account for all the scoring, while Sara Plourde pitched her eighth shutout of the season with a three-hitter. Playing in her home state, she struck out 13 batters, including the final three of the game with two runners on base. Below are recaps of the game.
MEDIA ADVISORY: MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT FUTURE OF UMASS FOOTBALL
The University of Massachusetts will be holding a press conference regarding the future of the UMass football program on Wednesday, April 20. The event will be held at Gillette Stadium's Media Workroom in Foxboro, Mass. at 3:30 p.m.
Watch the event live on CBS 3 Now (Comcast Channel 293, Charter Channel 230, UMass Campus Channel 79).
Pete Vasquez of the Daily Collegian has a recap of Friday's softball win at Dayton, 9-1. Sara Plourde struck out 17 in a three-hitter, and Meghan Carta and Stephanie Mayne hit back-to-back home runs, Carta's being her second grand slam of the season. The Minutewomen have won eight in a row.
This week will be a busy one for the softball team. It travels to Storrs on Wednesday to face UConn before returning home for five-straight to close the week. On Thursday, The Minutewomen host Fairfield, on Friday it's a doubleheader against Syracuse, and on Sunday, George Washington comes to the UMass Softball Complex for an Atlantic 10 twinbill.
UMass alum Tony Gaffney was named to the NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team. Gaffney averaged 7.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks (10th in the D-League) and 1.43 steals per game for the Utah Flash in 35 games.
2010-11 NBA D-LEAGUE ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Guard: Orien Greene Utah Flash
Guard: Othyus Jeffers*, Iowa Energy
Forward: Tony Gaffney, Utah Flash
Forward: Larry Owens*, Tulsa 66ers
Center: Chris Johnson*, Dakota Wizards
Center: Sean Williams, Texas Legends
The Columbian Newspaper in Washington has a feature on UMass Hall of Famer Marcus Camby. Check out some of the interesting comments from the story including the following:
"The clock is definitely ticking," said the 37-year-old Camby, now in his 15th season in the league. "And you got the lockout looming, there are a lot of factors. I try not to think about it, but these are the times where you really start to look over the course of your career and where you're at."
"I think about that '99 team (Knicks team that played in the NBA Finals) every day," Camby said. "It just shows that, once you get into the playoffs, anything is possible."
Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently acclaimed Camby's skill set, praising his "great mind for defense" and "knack for the game."
Mitch Clegg, the former University of Massachusetts pitcher, made some
changes to his offseason conditioning program this past winter that he
hopes will pay off as he pursues his dream of playing in the major
Instead of working out on his own, Clegg's new routine called for
visiting Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning four times a week for
15 weeks. Other athletes who have sought out Boyle in the past include
Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Rich Hill, a Boston
native who pitched for the Red Sox in 2010.
"It is in Woburn, in my hometown, so I really had no excuse not to go,"
said Clegg, a minor league pitcher in the Washington Nationals' farm
system. "I slimmed down and put on some muscle mass. I needed it. I
feel as good as I have in a couple of years."
The No. 15 UMass women's lacrosse team capped a dominating week of Atlantic 10 play on Sunday with a 14-4 win over Richmond to claim the league's regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the A-10 Championship Tournament which will be held in two weeks. Richmond entered the game with UMass tied for first in the league standings and was previously unbeaten in conference play.
The matchups are now set for the Divisional Semifinals of the National Lacrosse League 2011 Playoffs, which open on the weekend on April 29th. In the Eastern Division, it's the top-seeded Buffalo Bandits vs. the Boston Blazers, while the Toronto Rock face the Rochester Knighthawks.
Former UMass All-American Jack Reid helps lead the Blazers into the postseason after a 16-9 win over Buffalo in the regular-season finale. Reid scored a goal -- his second of the season and second of his pro indoor career. Reid heads into the postseason and 31 loose balls.
Sometimes the thrill of winning can quickly turn into the pain of injury.
"I knew that something was wrong, I was definitely in a lot of pain but we were in a big game, playing Hofstra, I believe they were #7 in the country," says Art Kell. "After the game, when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't even put a single bit of pressure on it, so obviously I knew when I woke up, I was in trouble."
After pitching seven season in the major leagues, Chad Paronto is coming home.
The 35-year-old city resident signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials in dual roles as pitching coach and starter.
having been invited to spring training by multiple professional clubs,
Paronto decided to hang up his professional career to be closer to his
"I know that I can pitch in the big leagues but that's
the least of my concerns," Paronto said at a press conference Friday. "I
chose to retire for my family."
Last season, Paronto led the
Pawtucket Red Sox in appearances with 54 and posted a 4.22 ERA out of
the bullpen. But at the end of the year, he said he began thinking of
retiring in order to spend more time with his children.
Jackie Lyons scored her 200th career point at UMass as the No. 15 women's lacrosse team dominated George Washington 21-6 on Friday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. The win sets up Sunday's match-up against Richmond that will determine the Atlantic 10's No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament as well as the 2011 Regular-Season Champion.
After a disappointing month of March, the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team needed to turn the page, so coach Greg Cannella held his own version of show and tell.
"He ripped up the March page off the calendar and told us there were five games left in the season," recalled sophomore attack Kyle Smith of Longmeadow, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime in last Saturday's 9-8 win at Towson.
And now it's a three-game season for the Minutemen, who are 7-3 and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association entering Saturday's huge conference clash against Drexel (6-5, 2-2) at Garber Field at 1 p.m.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature story on UMass junior jumper, Zachary Koncki. This past indoor season, Koncki brought home an A-10 and New England title in the long jump.
""I feel like I do better when there's something on the line," Koncki said.
The Minutemen are back on the UMass track this Saturday at 11:30 am for the Minuteman Invitational.
Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a wrap from the UMass rowing team's performance at last weekend's Knecht Cup. The Varsity 4+ took the gold medal in the Grand Final while the Second Varsity Eight finished third in its Grand Final.
"Some 30, 35 different colleges were entered [in the Varsity Four]," said Head Coach Jim Dietz. "The Second Varsity Eight rowed tremendously, I think that's pretty exciting racing."
The Minutewomen are off to the Atlantic 10 Championships tomorrow, which are scheduled to begin at 8 AM on the Cooper River.
New research suggests that some student athletes push themselves too hard. UMass sports medicine doctor Pierre Rouzier says media attention generated by regulations proposed in Massachusetts that aim to reduce concussions has already made a difference. A new study by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine points to other risks like stress fractures--which Rouzier told WFCR's Susan Kaplan are typically related to the type and amount of activity.
Four former Minutemen are currently in the AHL Playoffs which also got underway this week. Casey Wellman's Houston Aeros won game one of their series with Peoria, 4-1, on Wednesday. David Leaderer's Milwaukee Admirals defeated Texas 5-2 in game one of that series. Alex Berry's Norfolk Admirals will start their series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight, while Greg Mauldin's Lake Erie Monsters will host Manitoba on Saturday.
Joe Pavelsi scored at the 14:44 mark of overtime as the San Jose Sharks edged the L.A. Kings last night 3-2 in the opening game of their NHL Playoff Series. The two teams will meet up again on Saturday. Jonathan Quick was the 3rd star of the game making 42 saves in the loss. Former UMass All-American Justin Braun was a healthy scratch for the Sharks, but could see the ice on Saturday.
To say this is a big weekend for the women's lacrosse team is a bit of an understatement. Friday afternoon, the No. 15 Minutewomen host George Washington which is tied for 3rd in the league standings. On Sunday, UMass will host Richmond in a re-match of last season's A-10 Championship Title Game. UMass and Richmond are both also tied for first in the league standings at 4-0 so potentially, the meeting could determine the league's regular-season champion and the tournament's No. 1 seed. And it's Senior Day on Sunday for one of the top classes in program history.
With all that said, here are some game previews from the Daily Collegian:
Check out the UMass Football Practice 6 Report With MVPs. Interviews with Shane Viveiros, Julian Talley, Emil Igwenagu, Stephane Milhim, Theo Agnew and coach Kevin Morris.
The next practice is slated for Saturday morning. The UMass Football Spring Game is April 30 at 4 p.m.
Former Minuteman lefty hurler Mitchell Clegg made his first start of the 2011 season last night with the Potomac Nationals, and helped the team salvage a split of its doubleheader with a 3-2 game two victory.
Clegg did not earn a decision, but threw four innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the seven-inning contest.
In the regular-season finale with the Denver Nuggets, UMass' Gary Forbes started and played a career-high 42 minutes and scored 17 points -- his second most in a game this season. His Nuggets dropped a 107-103 decision to Utah, but have secured the No. 5 seed in the NBA playoffs.
Forbes finished his first NBA season averaging 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 62 games with 11 starts.
UMass Hall of Famer Marcus Camby is back in the postseason with the Portland Trail Blazers, who will play the Dallas Mavericks. The best-of-seven series begins at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, with Game 1 Saturday, April 16 at 9:30 p.m. and Game 2 Tuesday, April 19 at 9:30 p.m.
Camby had an injured-marred season, but did play in 59 games with 51 starts for the Blazers. He finished with 4.7 points per game and 10.3 rebounds in 26 minutes per night. It was the ninth straight season he grabbed double-figure rebounds.
Camby would have finished sixth in the NBA in rebounding, but did not play the minimum number of games to qualify for the rankings.
If NFL labor talk wasn't giving you your fill of legal fun, the NBA appears ready to follow suit as rumors of a basketball lockout continue to gather steam.
If the NY Daily News is right, the NBA Las Vegas summer league won't be happening this year. The league is usually a chance for rookies to prepare for their first season, while players who were undrafted, or played int eh D-League or overseas can use the league as a chance to get an invitation to somebody's camp. This helped earn Gary Forbes a job last year. Without a summer league there'll be fewer chances for someone to crack a roster.
If there is a work stoppage, even a short one, that postpones the start of the 2011-12 season. It's likely that NBA will have shorter training camps. Players with NBA experience will be safer invites to people camp. For someone like Gary Forbes, who'll be a free agent after the season, this is a good thing.
For someone like Tony Gaffney, who played this season in the D-League, or Anthony Gurley, who isn't expected to be drafted, there is less chance of becoming the next Gary Forbes.
Steve Levine of the Daily Collegian has a great story on the emergence of Cyndil Matthew as a threat in the UMass softball team's offense. The story focuses on how the sophomore speedster has learned the art of slap-hitting and, as the No. 9 hitter, has got on base for the top of the lineup.
"She's like our second leadoff [hitter]," Assistant Coach Kristi Stefanoni said. "She's someone we can depend on to get on base and use her speed and then have the heart of the order... [come up] to drive Cyndil in."
Matthew has been getting on base with regularity as of late, batting .346 with a .433 on-base percentage and six runs scored in the last 10 games.
In the middle of April are you thinking about basketball? Well if you are not, you should be today. The basketball program hosts its annual Court Club Banquet tonight at 6 p.m., in the Campus Center. To reserve your spot call 413-577-0267. Head coach Derek Kellogg will review the 2010-11 season and hand out team awards.
Also, the UMass Sports Luncheon welcomes Kellogg as its featured speaker today at 12:15 p.m. Come out to the Campus Center Room 1009 to hear from the Minutemen's head man. To attend, call 413-545-4290.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a story about how MAAC opponents are looking to play UMass at the MassMutual Center with that conference's postseason tournament starting in Springfield in 2012.
UMass alum Tony Gaffney saw his NBA D-League season end last night as his Utah Flash dropped a 112-107 decision at the top-seeded Iowa Energy in Game 3 of the first-round of the playoffs. Gaffney had 13 points, four steals and two rebounds in 26 minutes.
Check out this interview with UMass Football Coach Kevin Morris and this week's Spring Practice Most Valuable Players. Tuesday's MVP's were defensive backs Christian Birt and Antoine Tharpe, tight end Rob Blanchflower and wide receiver Tom Gilson
Former UMass hurler Matt Torra earned the win in his 2011 debut for the Reno Aces last night as the squad defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 9-1. Torra threw six innings and allowed just one run and scattered five hits, striking out two without walking a batter.
We have an update on two of UMass' basketball pros. 2008 alum Gary Forbes continues to get a great chance to play major minutes with the Denver Nuggets. On Monday night, he scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds in a start as part of the Nuggets 134-111 win after Golden State. The win secured Denver a 50-win season and the No. 5 seed in the postseason. Denver will play Oklahoma City in the playoffs.
Tony Gaffney, who finished his UMass career in 2009, picked up a playoff win last night in the D-League as his Utah Flash upset the No. 1 seeded Iowa Energy, 119-118 in Iowa. The decisive Game 3 is tonight. Gaffney started and had eight points and three blocks for the Flash.
The UMass Softball team continues to win, tallying seven consecutive games in the Atlantic-10 with a doubleheader sweep over St. Bonaventure on Sunday at the UMass Softball Complex. Sunday's twinbill was highlighted with Sara Plourde striking out 30 batters, and two two-run homers by Stephaine Mayne and Lindsey Webster, as the Minutewomen swept the Bonnies, 1-0 and 7-1
There were two hundred and twenty-five players named called during the 2010 NFL draft. Not one of those names was Victor Cruz. He'd have to try and make it as an UDFA. Cruz received calls from many teams, but the UMass standout opted to sign with the Giants. He'd try and make the roster as a player not drafted something very difficult to do.
Here's a look at UMass' opponents in this week's poll (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/8th), Army (17th/18th), Delaware (19th/20th). Also receiving votes are: Drexel, Ohio State, Harvard, Penn State, Hartford and Brown.
How else to explain the businesslike approach the 6-foot-5, 305-lbs. business administration major is taking to the upcoming National Football League draft?
"All it takes is for one team to like you and take a chance," Niland said. "That's all you need."
One team: That would be one less than the offensive lineman from East Bridgewater suited up for over the course of his collegiate career.
If April showers bring May flowers, does the same hold true for wins and playoffs? UMass had another successful weekend with a combined 9-3 record, several outstanding performances by the track & field teams in their home opening meet, and a Gold Medal performance for the crew team on the Cooper River in the Knecht Cup.
That brings the April W/L total to 16-4 - especially since most of those are against league opponents.
Those May playoffs are coming soon for softball, men's lacrosse and women's lacrosse as April hits the home stretch over the next two weeks. Make sure to get out to Amherst for what is sure to be an exciting next few weeks.
Senior Jackie Lyons and the No. 11 Massachusetts women's lacrosse team are wading through their conference schedule behind the success of their offense.
Lyons, the reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, is used to being the catalyst for the UMass (11-2, 4-0) offense with her goal-scoring. With a core of adept upperclassmen and a set of emerging newcomers taking up the scoring load, Lyons has played more of a facilitating role this season, and it is working out in the Minutewomen's favor.
"Even last year, we had maybe four or five [scorers], but now we have all seven people," said Lyons after a recent win against Duquesne. "We have people coming off the bench who can score, and it's great because it's hard for teams to stop us when everybody's a threat."
The No. 11 UMass women's lacrosse team improved to 6-0 on the road with Sunday's 16-10 win at St. Bonaventure on Sunday. The win also keeps the Minutewomen in a tie with Richmond for first place in the Atlantic 10 standings with a 4-0 league record.
Ty Lawson made his first 10 3-pointers Saturday night and scored a career-high 37 points in leading the short-handed Denver Nuggets to a 130-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the win, UMass alum Gary Forbes started scored 10 points, had five rebounds and handed out four assists in 34 minutes. It was his ninth start of the season and ninth game in double-figures.
In his final game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Anthony Gurley scored 10 points, making 4-of-9 from the field and grabbed three rebounds in 15 minutes in a 95-87 loss for his team Portsmouth Sports Club.
Gurley finished the three-day session with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
So far four teams featuring for members of the Mass Attack have clinched spots for the AHL Playoffs as the regular-season winds down to its final couple of games. One more spot in the 16 team field will be decided by Sunday which is the last day of the regular-season.
In its midseason report, InsideLacrosse.com takes a look at the top-10 freshmen in the country listing UMass' Katie Ferris as No. 1 overall. She added five more points (4g, 1a) yesterday giving her a team best 34 goals and 42 points.
1. Katie Ferris- Massachusetts- Attack
The Carthage, NY native has hit the ground running in Amherst. She's tied for first on the team in points (37) and boasts a team-high 30 goals. The finisher also leads the team in game-winning goals in 2011. She's picked up 11 ground balls and has caused 7 turnovers.
With the release of veteran Damien Woody this offseason, the competition for starting jobs along the right side of the offensive line is wide open. A second lineman out of the UMASS, Ducasse has shed eight pounds this offseason working his way down to a spry and limber 317. Ducasse was quick to credit the training program developed by trainers at TEST Sports Clubs.
"I'm doing everything: working on strength, speed and agility and trying to gain more flexibility," Ducasse told GWR. "We are doing exercises over and over again until it becomes muscle memory."
The No. 11 UMass women's lacrosse team won draw controls early and often in a 13-6 win over Duquesne on Friday afternoon to improve to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic 10. Katie Ferris had four goals, while Jackie Lyons notched three moving into third all-time in career goals at UMass. The Minutewomen will face St. Bonaventure on Sunday (Noon) at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.
The Minutemen will open up their home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Atlantic 10 foe Dayton, beginning with game one this afternoon on Earl Lorden Field at 3 p.m. Games two and three are set for 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Here is Michael Counos' preview of the series from today's Daily Collegian.
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York.com has a look at the New York Jets offensive line heading into the 2011 season. He writes a lot about UMass alum Vladimir Ducasse, who is expected to start this season.
The microscope will be focused intensely on Ducasse, who attempts to replace the popular Damien Woody as the starting right tackle. Ducasse has a lot stacked against him -- virtually no experience, new position, small-school background -- but the Jets' brass believes he can get it done.
In an attempt to show a little school spirit on his first day at his new job, University of Massachusetts defensive coordinator Frank Forcucci dug out some of his old UMass gear from a previous stint on the Minuteman coaching staff.
He didn't wear it long. Since he last coached in Amherst, UMass has changed head coaches, playing surfaces, athletic directors and equipment providers, so Forcucci's old Nike apparel was quickly replaced with new Adidas duds.
UMass football alum Tracy Belton will be on the NFL Network on Friday night as part of the Arena Football League game of the Week. Belton's Georgia Force play the Dallas Vigilantes at 8 p.m., Belton has 12 solo tackles this season along with an interception and three pass break-ups for the 2-1 Force. Last season with the Milwaukee Iron, Belton had 83 tackles and six interceptions.
UMass' Anthony Gurley started his first game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament on Thursday night in a 96-76 win for Portsmouth Sports Club. He scored seven points, handed out four assists and grabbed three rebounds in 20 minutes. The team was led by BU's John Holland, who had 23 points.
The UMass Rowing Lightweight 8+ boat is ranked No. 9 in this week's USRowing Collegiate Poll, which was released Thursday afternoon. The Minutewomen lightweights will be in action at the Knecht Cup, which begins Saturday morning at 7 AM on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.
To view the complete USRowing Collegiate Poll, click here.
Looking for a way to rattle Jonathan Quick? Looking for a situation on (or off) the ice that might be unfamiliar to Quick, one that he might not know how to handle?
Well, good luck with that.
At the young age of 25, in just his second full NHL season, Quick has
seen almost everything. He climbed up from the ECHL. He surprised many
by claiming the Kings' No. 1 goalie job. He set a franchise record for
games and wins and helped the team to the playoffs for the first time in
eight years. He became an Olympian and a first-time father.
All of these accomplishments have been accompanied by challenges, and
Quick -- arguably the Kings' most competitive and self-critical player
-- has internalized all the experiences and, seemingly, become a much
better goalie for all of it.
The Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League have announced the team's 40-man protected player list for the 2011 season. That list includes UMass' all-time leading rusher Marcel Shipp. Check out the entire list here and the story here. He has played two seasons with the Locos winning the UFL title in 2009.
Anthony Gurley's chances to impress professional scouts got a significant boost Wednesday when the University of Massachusetts guard got an invitation to the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament.
Gurley, a third-team, all-Atlantic 10 selection who averaged 18.7 points as a senior and scored 1,520 points in his college career, was a late addition to the event, which began play Wednesday night.
Portsmouth annually serves as a showcase for seniors who want to play professionally. Scouts from the NBA and overseas professional leagues attend the event.
Gurley will play his first game on Thursday night at 7 p.m., as a member of the Portsmouth Sports Club. His teammates include Vernon Macklin of Florida, WIll Coleman of Memphis, Corey Fisher of Villanova as well as fellow A-10 player Bill Clark of Duquesne and local foe John Holland from Boston Univ.
The NBA D-League playoffs began last night as the Utah Flash and UMass alum Tony Gaffney lost to the Iowa Energy, 103-96 in Orem, Utah. Gaffney had six points and four rebounds in a start for the Flash. Read more about the game
UMass Winter Scholar-Athlete Luncheon - Cerie Mosgrove, Sean Busch. Speeches by Female honoree Cerie Mosgrove (women's basketball), Associate Head Coach Steve Lanpher, Professor Glenn Wong and Track & Field Coach Ken O'Brien. Busch was unable to attend.
The UMass rowing team will hold their 2011 season banquet on May 1 at the Clarion Hotel Ballroom in Northamption, Mass. The event, scheduled to begin at 3 PM, is held in conjunction with the men's rowing club team. To reserve your spot for just $35, please RSVP to the men's club team by April 18.
Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the UMass rowing team's win over Colgate last weekend on the Connecticut River. The Minutewomen swept all three races against the Raiders, and will head to Camden, N.J. for the Knecht Cup this weekend.
"Despite the rough conditions, I thought both boats raced pretty well," said UMass coach Jim Dietz. "Normally, the Connecticut River is flat and very conducive to rowing. On Saturday, the wind was blowing big time and there were white caps, so it was very rough water."
Senior Cerie Mosgrove of the women's basketball team and senior Sean Busch of the men's track & field squad have been named the 2011 UMass Winter Scholar-Athletes. The duo will be honored at the UMass Sports Luncheon today, Apr. 6, at Room 1009 of the Campus Center at 12:15 p.m.
Also, the UMass Athletes of the Week will be recognized: Sara Plourde of the softball team, who was also named the National Player of the Week and Katie Ferris of the women's lacrosse squad, who tallied 12 points in two wins for No. 11 UMass.
The Daily Collegian has an update notebook on UMass football. The team held its annual Pro Day at McGuirk Stadium on March 25, announcing its 2011 schedule. The schedule is highlighted by the second-annual Colonial Clash at Gillette Stadium against New Hampshire on Oct. 22 and a BCS battle against Boston College on Sept. 24.
Several former UMass lacrosse players are in action in the National Lacrosse League. There are three weeks of action left in the NLL season. Here's a look at former Minutemen.
• With the Boston Blazers two 2006 All-American have seen action. Jack Reid has played in 13 games on defense and has a goal and 28 loose balls. Sean Morris has played in five games and has three goals and four assists for seven points.
• 2005 All-American Jeff Zywicki has played in three games with the Washington Stealth, missing most of the season with a lower body injury. He has four goals and four assists for eight points. Craig Conn, who only played one year at UMass, replaced Zywicki when he was hurt early in the season. He has 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points.
Washington Stealth forward Jeff Zywicki (left) tries to get past Calgary Roughnecks defenseman Dayne Michaud (Credit: Richard Olson).
It was between games Saturday at the men's Final Four, the lights were no longer shining in her eyes, and the basketball court was at a safe distance. She was a relaxed spectator, not a pins-and-needles participant.
Only 48 hours earlier, senior Cerie Mosgrove of the University of Massachusetts women's basketball team was the center of attention, the camera cords dragging along the floor in front of her shooting stations with the camera lens seemingly staring a nose-length from her outstretched shooting arms - kind of like Hal the computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey."
The UMass women's lacrosse team jumped two spots to a tie for 11th in the InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media poll. The Minutewomen are tied with Princeton after wins against Temple and at La Salle over the week.
UMass will next host Duquesne on Friday (1 PM) before heading to St. Bonaventure on Sunday.
The UMass softball team continues winning picking up their fifth consecutive win by sweeping St. Louis on Sunday, 4-0, 4-3. Sara Plourde no-hit the Billikens in game one and Teea Rogers supplied the winning hit in game two.
In case you missed it, the Minutemen and Minutewomen had a pretty successful weekend. Out of 12 events, UMass suffered just one loss.
The women's lacrosse team won two games as did softball. Men's lacrosse defeated Saint Joseph's, while the Tennis team defeated Sacred Heart. The men's track team won the Yellow Jacket Invitational, while the women's team finished 2nd. Rowing won its home regatta against Colgate, while baseball split falling at Fordham before defeating Albany.
A choked-up Paul Dainton accepted his award as the most valuable player of the 2010-11 University of Massachusetts hockey team, and said his final goodbyes to his college teammates at the end of season banquet Saturday afternoon at the Campus Center.
"I like to thank my teammates for this award," the senior captain said. "Being a goalie, I couldn't do it without my other defensemen clearing rebounds."
Dainton, on an amateur tryout agreement with the Springfield Falcons, was fighting back tears at the podium as he individually began to thank his defensemen for their help. The award was voted on by the members of the team.
The NBA D-League Playoffs begin on Wednesday night and UMass alum Tony Gaffney will lead the Utah Flash into the postseason against the Iowa Energy. Gaffney and the Flash finished the 2010-11 season with a 28-22 record. Iowa had the best record in the D-League at 37-13.
Gaffney averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds along with 2.3 blocks per game in 35 contests with the Flash. He shot 54.2 from the floor.
UMass' other player in the D-League Stephane Lasme saw his season end with the Maine Red Claws (18-32). Lasme played in the final 10 games with Maine and averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds after returning from a broken foot.
Check out Andy Katz' column on ESPN.com as he writes about UMass Hall of Famer John Calipari and UConn coach Jim Calhoun as they prepare to coach against each other in the Final Four. Katz has many references to Calipari's time at UMass from 1988-96. There are also many quotes from Bruiser Flint, who succeeded Calipari as head coach at UMass.
With the minor league season getting underway next week, clubs have begun to announce their opening day rosters. The Reno Aces, the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, unveiled their 2011 Opening Day roster yesterday, which includes former Minuteman Matt Torra.
Torra won 11 games for the Aces last season and set a D-backs Triple-A record with 178.0 innings pitched.
Massachusetts Minutewomen basketball star Cerie Mosgrove just gave fans of
UMass basketball a reason to celebrate. I'll admit at the outset, pinning the
emotions of UMass students and alumni frustrated with the state of the school's
basketball program all on one player might be a bit much. Nevertheless, any
cause for celebration is precious indeed considering the last few losing
Stubbornly loyal alumni like me need any silver lining we can find when it
comes to redeeming the Massachusetts Minutemen and Minutewomen. At the very
least, Cerie Mosgrove's recent win at the National 3-point Championship amounts
to the single best bit of news to come out of UMass basketball in recent memory.
Kevin Morris has announced the football team's first MVPs from the initial practice this spring. Offensive lineman Stephane Milhim and defensive lineman Brandon Potvin were honored after Thursday's first practice.
UMass alum Stephane Lasme continues to play well in his return action in the NBA D-League with the Maine Red Claws. He scored in double-figures for the second game in a row last night vs. Fort Wayne in the Maine's home finale. He had 10 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes to help lead Maine to a 105-100 win. He tied the game at 100 on the way to the five-point win.
Lasme and the Red Claws finish the season at Erie on Saturday. Then Lasme will hope for an NBA call-up in the final month of the league's season.
Here are various stories with mentions of Lasme over the last two days.
The Salem News has a nice feature on UMass alum Kyle Harrington as he is in his first season in the Arena Football League with the Arizona Rattlers. Harrington, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman, is still getting accustomed to life in the AFL, but he likes everything about it so far. The climate in the southwest is pleasant at this time of year, he's playing a sport he's loved since he was a kid, and getting expert coaching from the Rattlers assistant head coach, Kani Kauahi, who played in the NFL for 11 years.
He's also broken through as a starter in the last two games for the Rattlers, who are currently 3-0.
"I love playing out here," said Harrington. "I'm grateful for the opportunity.