Republican: Feature On Lacrosse's Kyle Smith - UMass Athletics

Republican: Feature On Lacrosse's Kyle Smith

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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.

Kyle Smith and UMass men's lacrosse March away to fight the Dragons

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 8:54 PM     Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011, 10:58 PM
kylesmithfile.jpgCurrent UMass sophomore Kyle Smith, a standout at Longmeadow High School, scored the winning goal for the Minutemen in overtime last week at Towson.

AMHERST - 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. 

The Minutemen also defeated Saint Joseph's 16-9 April 2, and are 2-0 for the month. They conclude the regular season with games April 23 against Hofstra at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., and April 29 against Delaware in a 7 p.m. start at Garber. 

The top four teams in the conference qualify for the CAA tournament, which will be held May 4 and 7 on campus sites. The Minutemen are currently tied for third with Penn State. Delaware is first at 3-0 with Hofstra second at 3-1. 

Nationally, the Minutemen are ranked No. 14, while Drexel has been receiving votes. It is only the second meeting ever between the two teams, with Drexel winning 12-6 last year in Philadelphia. Will Manny and Anthony Biscardi each had a goal and two assists in the defeat. 

The Smith goal against Towson may have been a season-saver. 

"It was a big goal for him," Cannella said. "Kyle's not a rah-rah type of guy. He wasn't as excited as the team was." 

Kyle is the son of former UMass All-American Norm Smith, who will be doing the color analysis of Saturday's game on CBS 3 Now. Kyle's grandfather, Neville, is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. 

"When my parents come up to go to dinner, the talk at the table is basically about sports," Kyle said. 

Kyle has recorded six goals and three assists so far this season. He recorded a man-up goal and two assists at Saint Joseph's. 

"We started off well, but then tailed off a bit," said Smith, who is improving in his ability to dodge with the ball. Saturday's game could be a high-scoring affair as the Dragons are averaging 11 goals per game while UMass is at 10.5. The big challenge for the Minutemen will be holding down Scott Perri, the leading scorer in the conference with 29 goals and 21 assists for 50 points. Perri has converted half of his shots this season. 

"He's a dual threat," Cannella said. "If you slide to him, he's going to pass and get an assist. If you don't, he's going to shoot and score a goal." 

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