UMass Athletics:

May 2011 Archives

Happy Belated Birthday Alexa Sikalis

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Happy belated birthday to field hockey's Alexa Sikalis who celebrated on Memorial Day!

Alexa Sikalis

LUDLOW - West Springfield's Chris Roswess scored in the 71st minute and the Western Mass. Pioneers earned a 1-0 win over the Portland Phoenix Friday night to claim one of the nine U.S. Open Cup berths from the Premier Development League.

Roswess, who plays at the University of Massachusetts, came on in the second half and provided the Pioneers a spark in the offensive third. After scoring he then gave the Lusitano Stadium faithful a show with an acrobatic flip in celebration.

"I just got a ball into my feet from Tommy (McNamara) and turned,'' Roswess said. "I didn't even look at the net really, just struck it and it went bottom corner.''


Talley Listed On CFPA Wide Receiver Watch List

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As the 2011 season approaches, College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) will be releasing a preseason watch list each week. Three CAA wide receivers, including UMass' Julian Talley, were included. 

The other CAA WR's Norman White (Villanova) and Ryan Moody (William & Mary).

Jonathan Hernandez was on the running back's watch list which was released last week. Next week, June 7, will be the watch list for defensive linemen.


Jeremy Horne is mentioned in this article on about the success the franchise has had recently with signing undrafted rookies.

Undrafted rookies have had plenty of time to study this off-season. Ordinarily fast and furious, the post-draft signing process has slowed to a calculated waiting game.

College free agents have more time than ever to analyze which franchises provide the best fit. Which teams can offer the best opportunity for growth and development? Some 300 college prospects have had longer than a month to study.

If the future pros go beyond analysis of depth charts and recent draft picks, they'll find a pattern familiar to many player agents. The pattern leads to a place that allows rookie free agents, regardless of position, to thrive.

Word is spreading fast. The undrafted can make a big impact in Kansas City.


Casey Wellman and the Houston Aeros won Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals 3-1 on Friday only to fall in Game 2 to the Binghamton Senators 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Game 3 is Wednesday at the Groome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.

Wellman scored Houston's only goal on Saturday night.

Aeros ride third-period surge to win
O'Brien scores in OT as Baby Senators beat Aeros 2-1, tie Calder Cup 1-1
Senators steal home ice with Game 2 win
Calder Cup Notebook: NHL experience bolsters finalists
Action at the NCAA East Regional continues today with three members of the UMass Track & Field Teams competing.

Stephanie Aguguo starts things off with the triple jump at 1 PM, while Karen Roa and Sean Duncan will compete in the 3,000 meter steeplechase tonight. The women's steeplechase begins at 8:30 PM, while the men's will begin around 9:10 PM.

Dan Barry finished 36th in the 1,500 meters yesterday with a time of 3:53.69. 2011-12 Hoops Season Preview

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Mid-Major Madness has a thorough, in-depth breakdown of the men's basketball team heading into 2011-12 season. Along with overall story lines from the last few seasons which will carry over, the preview looks at each player returning analyzing strengths & weaknesses.

Following one of its most successful seasons in program history, the UMass women's lacrosse team placed four players on the IWLCA All-Northeast Region First and Second Teams as announced by the organization on Wednesday night.

Jackie Lyons and Ali Houlis were both named to the first team and are now eligible to be named to the IWLCA All-American Teams which will be announced Monday, May 30.

Katie Ferris and Katie Florence were both named to the all-region second team.

Lyons was also named Wednesday to the All-America Team.

Baylark, Shipp Take Part In Cardinals Homecoming

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The Arizona Cardinals recently had 17 former players return to help with their Football Skills and Education Camp. Included in the Alumni who came back were UMass standouts Steve Baylark and Marcel Shipp.

The Cardinals' Football Skills and Education camp held May 14 featured 17 former Arizona Cardinals, including running backs Stump Mitchell and Marcel Shipp, cornerbacks David Macklin and Robert Tate, wide receivers Frank Sanders and MarTay Jenkins and offensive linemen Derek Kennard and Jerome Daniels.

While they are ex-players, it didn't necessarily feel that way.

That's just part of being alumni for the Cards, taking part in teaching youth players about the game. Those that take part aren't players anymore, but they are close to it. The kids don't care their careers are over. And for the players, it can be a trip back in time when they all get together.

"It's similar to a homecoming," former running back Damien Anderson said. "It's almost like a family reunion. You see guys that have lived the same type of life you did, and we're all making that transition."

On the NFL's website, this picture of James Ihedigbo is one of 13 submission's from various photographer's for the 43rd Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest. It was shot be Al Pereira of the New York Jets.

You hear stories all the time about players hoping to get that special "Call from the Hall," and trust me it's just as exciting for us photographers when it happens. Having your photograph singled out for recognition among the galleries of great NFL pictures really is something else. Truth be told, it is an honor just to be able to toss a few shots in with the other folks who cover the NFL. I really do feel I am swimming with the big fish, each and every week. I was happy to see that my photo of James Ihedigbo preparing to go out on the field was one that caught people's fancy. "Dig," as he is known, is both serene and intense and I feel like this image captures that. He's shown getting himself in the right frame of mind to play, and his quiet determination is something I try to call up every week in covering my beloved Jets. - Al Pereira

Torra Improves to 3-0, Reaches 500 Career Ks

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Congratulations to former UMass pitcher Matt Torra, who hit a milestone last night as he improved to 3-0 on the season after pitching the Reno Aces to a 7-2 victory over the Round Rock Express.

Torra held the Express to two runs on seven hits in seven innings on the mound with a season-high six strikeouts and two walks. His first K of game was the 500th of his professional career.

Through 52.0 innings over nine starts, Torra currently holds a 4.67 ERA with 12 walks and 23 strikeouts.
Four UMass athletes will be in action over the next three days as the NCAA East Preliminary Round gets underway in Bloomington, Ind., on the campus of Indiana University.

Dan Barry will be the lone Minuteman in action today as he will run in the fourth heat of the 1500m, which begins at approximately 5 p.m. The top-five per heat will move on to the national quarterfinal on May 28, plus the next four fastest times.

Tomorrow night, Karen Roa and Sean Duncan will be running in the 3,000m Steeplechase. Roa is in the third women's heat with the event set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Duncan will run in the second heat of the men's steeple, which will begin around 9:10 p.m. Top-three per-heat will qualify for the national semifinal on June 8, along with the next three fastest.

Stephanie Aguguo will be competing in the triple jump, which begins at 1 p.m. on Friday. Top-12 in the field will advance to the national final on June 10. She is mentioned in today's Worcester Telegram.

All the meet information can be found on this page on, including live results and live video streams of the running events: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

L.A. Times: Five-A-Side With Kevin Morris

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The L.A. Times picked up a piece done by The Sports Network on UMass football's move up to FBS, the "Together We're One Tour", and a look at the program overall. Included is a substantial Q&A with head coach Kevin Morris.

Two blog posts on talk about how important Vladimir Ducasse's development will be to not just the offensive line as a unit, but the New York Jets' offensive scheme overall.


Western Mass Pioneers Force Draw With Vermont

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The Western Mass Pioneers forced a 0-0 draw with the Vermont Voltage last night. They will host the Portland Phoenix on Friday with a chance for a spot in the U.S. Open Cup.

UMass' Tyler Cleverdon, Bryant Craft, Chris Roswess, and Andrew Henshaw all play for the Pioneers of the Premier Development League.

Happy Birthday Shane Curran-Hays!

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Happy birthday on May 26 to Shane Curran-Hays of the men's soccer team. Shane is currently in Philadelphia representing UMass at the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meetings which finish up today.

Shane Curran-Hays

Braun's Sharks Eliminated From NHL Playoffs

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The Vancouver Canucks needed two overtimes, but Kevin Bieksa scored 10:18 into the second overtime to send the club to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994 eliminating the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, from the NHL playoffs.

UMass alum and former All-American Justin Braun did not see action during the playoffs, but was on the active roster for the duration.
Casey Wellman scored a pair of goals and Jon DiSalvatore scored with 1:13 left in regulation as the Houston Aeros got past the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 7 of the AHL Western Conference Finals last night.

The Aeros will face the Binghamton Senators hosting Games 1 and 2 of the Calder Cup Finals on Friday at Saturday nights.

Houston Chronicle: It's heaven in Game 7 Postgame Interview:

Horne, Chiefs Also Holding Informal Workouts

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Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star mentions in his blog that Jeremy Horne was a handful of players who organized an informal workout yesterday. First-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin, Matt Cassel, and Jerheme Urban were some of the other players at the workout.

According to Teicher, "That doesn't mean those guys won't see benefits. Horne, a player who has plenty of potential, will be a better player for having worked with Cassel when some of his competition for roster spots are off on their own."

Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal has a piece on the New York Jets and several players, including Vladimir Ducasse, who have headed to Boca Raton, Fla., to hold informal workouts because of the NFL lockout.

...entering his second year with the Jets, (Ducasse) said workouts are critical for young players. "We're still trying to learn everything. I see this as my chance to get ahead and to learn how to avoid the mistakes I made last year," he said Tuesday while working out at the TEST Football Academy camp.

Dick Vitale has a column on about his Dickie V. Gala reaching its goal of raising $1 million for cancer research. As he describes the incredible night, he goes through some of the great players, coaches, and other personalities who helped make the fundraiser possible.

Sarasota was the sports capital of the world with the who's who flying in. There were college basketball, coaches galore as Roy Williams and John Calipari were honorees. Other coaches that joined us included Jim Calhoun, Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, Billy Donovan, Bob Huggins, Tubby Smith, Jay Wright, Jamie Dixon, Josh Pastner, Gary Williams, Travis Ford, Bruiser Flint, Derek Kellogg, Tony BarbeeCuonzo Martin, Matt Doherty, Barry Rohrssen, Seth Greenberg, Mark Gottfried, Ben Howland, Ray McCallum, Fred Hill ... wow!

For the second time in recent memory, the Boston Celtics will beplaying a preseason game at the Mullins Center on campus at my alma mater the University of Massachusetts. The match-up will pit the Cs against the Philadelphia 76ers, their last meeting at the Amherst arena unfolding back in 2008. As a UMass alum who still fondly remembers seeing the Cs at the Mullins Center that year, I know I'll be there again when the game takes place on October 19th.

Sure, the Celtics may have lost that 2008 game 98-92, but that hardly mattered. The chance to see the newly crowned NBA champs, the undisputed heroes doing their thing in as intimate a venue as the Mullins Center was a golden opportunity. The excitement in the crowd that night was as palpable as any sporting event I've been to.

When I call the Mullins Center "intimate," I'm not just referring to the 9,000 or so seats. When I called the UMass Amherst campus my home from 2003 to 2007, the Mullins Center was mere minutes from my dorm room. It was the place where I cemented what will be a lifelong passion for UMass's own basketball teams, the Minutemen and Minutewomen.


Western Mass Pioneers Face Vermont Tonight At 7 PM

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The Western Mass Pioneers (2-0) will return to action tonight at 7 PM as they head to the Vermont Voltage at St. Albans.

The Pioneers feature UMass products Bryant Craft, Tyler Cleverdon, Andrew Henshaw and Chris Roswess.

The game will not have an impact on the Premier Development League standings, but a win would make them 3-0 in Open Cup qualifying setting up Friday's match against Portland to determine which team advance to the U.S. Open Cup.
The Michigan Athletic Department will be holding a press conference at Noon today with the college lacrosse world abuzz that it will be the formal announcement of the addition of men's and women's programs in Ann Arbor.

That would make the Wolverines the first BCS-playing football school since Notre Dame in 1981 to add the sport.

Michigan is expected to add men's lacrosse as soon as 2012 with the women's team coming on board the following year. No word on what conference the women would play in, but the men's team is expected to join the ECAC.
Philadelphia Inquirer sports writer Mike Jensen says Bruiser Flint would be a good fit for Penn State because of his recruiting base and his experience with working at a state school like UMass. Ed DeChellis just left the Nittany Lions to take over at Navy.

They can't just go hire a "recruiter" who doesn't know how to coach. Good recruiters quickly become bad recruiters if players see they can't teach the game.

So here's the answer: Hire Bruiser Flint. I thought Flint was the right guy last time - and still do. He'll get players from Philly and New York, and he'll make them better. My bet is this won't happen since Bruiser hasn't gotten Drexel to the tournament - which seems to be the prerequisite for moving up - but he's perfect for this job. Sure, Penn State can go after a hot coach, but Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart is too hot, for instance, to settle for Penn State. Bruiser would have to go for it and is just as good a coach, with important state-school experience at UMass.


An Entertaining Blog Entry On Paronto

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Dan Hoard's, tv/radio broadcaster for the Pawtucket Red Sox, latest blog post is an interesting read on former PawSox pitcher, UMass' own, Chad Paronto, who will be making his debut with the Pittsfield Colonials this thursday night as the team's opening night starter.

"The 35-year-old pitcher, who has appeared in 177 major league games with the Orioles, Indians, Braves, and Astros, has agreed to come out of retirement to be a player/coach for the Colonials. Chad lives in Pittsfield with his wife and two children.

'I really wanted to coach-slash-teach,' Paronto said.  'I guess I'm called the pitching coach, but I just want to teach guys how to pitch a little bit, and share some of the ideologies that I've come across in the 16 years that I've played.  I think it's going to be exciting...and the stadium is only about eight-tenths of a mile from my house.'

Read more on Heard It From Hoard

Casey Wellman and the Houston Aeros will look to get past the Hamilton Bulldogs tonight at 7 PM (CST) for a spot in the AHL Calder Cup Championship. Houston won the first three games of the series, while Hamilton has won the last three. Fans can watch the game on

The CAA released its 2011 Football Season Preview yesterday. The preview contains information on all 11 teams along with a composite schedule, in-depth stats for the league, and links to YouTube Videos.

You can access the Season Preview here.

The Boston Celtics will play a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Mullins Center on Oct. 19, according to Global Spectrum, which manages the 10,500-seat sports and concert arena on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

This will be the second preseason match-up between the teams at the Amherst venue, which hosted them in October 2008.

The Sixers, who defeated the Celts, 98-92, in front of a capacity crowd in that October outing, will again have the home-court advantage this fall. The reason for the hometown status for an out-of-town team is simple: The Sixers and Global Spectrum are both owned by Comcast-Spectacor, an international entertainment and sports company.


Being able to count on Jordan Laguerre on the court for UMass basketball next season should give fellow alumni like me a chance to breath a sigh of relief. We've known for some time that the talented sic-foot-two point guard from New Hampshire was coming to UMass, though Jordan makes that clear enough in a recently released highlight video. Introducing himself by saying he's heading to my alma mater at UMass Amherst this fall, the video offers a rare chance to see just what this kid can do.

Those who haven't already checked out a video of Laguerre and his High School teammates in a dunk session should find it well worth a look. Considering his height, Laguerre has a refreshing level of confidence at the rim, and he makes some of those dunks look completely natural.


Headed into their first-round playoff matchup against Syracuse in 2005, the University of Massachusetts men knew just who they were facing.

They knew the Orangemen were the defending national champions, with nine NCAA championships to their credit. They knew Syracuse hadn't lost a preliminary-round game since 1981 and had made 23 consecutive trips to the Final Four.

But UMass also knew it could win, and its white-knuckle 16-15 victory catapulted the program to the next level.


Jason Yellin was announced as the Assistant Athletic Director of Media Relations at Tennessee yesterday after serving for seven years at UMass. Jason worked with the football, basketball and men's lacrosse teams during his tenure in the Bay State. In addition to overseeing the media relations office, Jason will be tasked with serving as a member of the football communications team handling one of the highest profile football programs in the country.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette: Matt Vautour Blog - Jason Yellin departing

Former UMass softball player Rachel Lawson '94/'98 made lots of headlines this weekend. In her fourth year as head coach at Kentucky, she led the Wildcats to to victory in the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional and into the Super Regional round.

The Wildcats opened play on Friday with an 8-0 win over Notre Dame, before knocking off No. 10 overall seed Michigan on Saturday, 7-6. Lawson's squad then advanced to the Super Regionals, where it will face No. 7 seed California in a best-of-three series, with a 2-1 win over the host Wolverines on Sunday.

Lawson was a two-time All-Conference performer for Elaine Sortino's Minutewomen. During her four-year career, she led UMass to a 142-68 record, four Atlantic 10 regular season titles, three A-10 tournament titles, and the 1992 Women's College World Series.

  •, Seventh Inning Comeback Leads Wildcats To Supers
  • Lexington Herald-Leader, 7th Inning Rally Puts UK Softball In Super Regionals
  •, Kentucky Surprises No. 10 Michigan
  • The Kentucky Kernel, UK Softball Makes Program History With Walk-Off-Win
  • As the 2011 season approaches, College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) will be releasing a preseason watch list each week. Four CAA running back's, including UMass' Jonathan Hernandez, were included. Eastern Washington's Taiwan Jones is the 2010 recipient.

    The other CAA RB's include Andrew Pierce (Delaware), Dontra Peters (UNH), Jonathan Grimes (William & Mary).

    Liam Coen Q&A On

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    Liam Coen begins his first season at Rhode Island and will serve as the quarterbacks coach. Coen arrives in Kingston after overseeing the Ivy League's No. 1 passing game at Brown University.

    As a college quarterback at Massachusetts he put together one of the finest careers in school history. He ranks first in passing yards (11,031) passing efficiency (152.92), completion percentage (63.9), touchdown passes (90), completions (830), and attempts (1,303).

    Recently the former UMass quarterback took some time to discuss his new post with the University of Rhode Island football program.

    Liam Coen


    Jets LB Bart Scott and OL Vladimir Ducasse are planning to be in Miami next week to work out with a group of Dolphins in what is being billed as a "Lockout Camp." In reality, it's a gathering of clients from the TEST Football Academy, which has facilities in Boca Raton, Fla., and Martinsville, N.J. Scott and Ducasse have been regulars this offseason at the Martinsville location.

    Scott and Ducasse will be joined by Dolphins Channing CrowderRandy StarksBenny Sappand rookie RB Daniel Thomas, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. Scott and Crowder are two of the most notorious trash talkers in the league, so that should be interesting. Crowder is best remembered for his war of words with Rex Ryan in 2009. 

    The players will work out for four days, spending an hour in the weight room, followed by position-specific drills on the field. The players reportedly will pay their own way to Florida; the sessions will take place on the campus of Florida Atlantic. 

    UMass football will be going against one of its own when it begins play in the Mid-American Conference in 2012.

    Former UMass captain and defensive lineman Ben Albert was hired to coach the linebackers at Temple University. Albert came to the Owls from the NFL, spending a year coaching the defensive line at Jacksonville alongside another UMass ex patriot, Joe Cullen.

    Albert was a candidate for the UMass head coaching job when Don Brown left to be the offensive coordinator at Maryland.

    He was the associate head coach at Delaware before taking the Jacksonville position. He has also coached at UMass, Richmond and Rutgers.


    Former UMass All-American Jonathan Quick has made the quite the ascension in the NHL over the last two seasons as the starting goalie for the L.A. Kings. With Jonathan Bernier as a solid No. 2 goalie, Quick has been the rumor of several trade scenarios this off-season with the price tag being high draft picks or quality caliber forwards.

    The Denver Post looks at the needs of the Colorado Avalanche, where Greg Mauldin played for part of this past season, and think that Quick could be a good fit for them.

    Wellman's Aeros Forced To Game 7 In AHL Playoffs

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    Casey Wellman's Houston Aeros fell 5-4 in double-overtime last night in the AHL Western Conference Finals as the Hamilton Bulldogs found the game-winning goal 9:11 into the second OT. That sets up Game 7 of the series on Tuesday night at Houston's Toyota Center. The winner gets a berth in the Calder Cup Championship Series.

    Wellman was held scoreless last night despite taking three shots.
    Justin Braun's San Jose Sharks lost 4-2 last night falling behind 3-1 in the Western Conference Final series against Vancouver. The Sharks will need to win on the road to stay alive on Tuesday night at 6 PM.

    In today's Globe South Sports Notebook, Marvin Pave highlights the crop of Quincy, Mass., natives who are currently playing Division I baseball, including UMass juniors Glen Misho and Tom Conley.

    "'Quincy has never had so many Division 1 collegiate players at one time,' said Bob Griffin, a Senior Babe Ruth coach who has been active in various leagues in the city the past 15 years.

    He said he believed the city had only two other Division 1 players over the past 15 or 20 years, pitchers Keith Doherty at UMass and John Folino at UConn."

    Continue reading: Quincy stars shine in Division I baseball.

    Jeff Reardon set major league baseball's all-time saves record. Mike Flanagan won the Cy Young. Former football recruit Ron Villone pitched in the bigs for 15 years. Matt Torra was a first-round pick in 2005.

    So junior Leif Sorenson of Bradford should be proud to set the school record for career saves. Even if it is just 12.

    "It was definitely a goal," said Sorenson, who has done it in just two years, as he transferred from Vermont, after the Catamounts dropped baseball. "It's not a lot so I'm trying to smash it."

    Continue reading more of Michael Muldoon's column, Our College Stars, which also mentions UMass sophomore Dennis Torres.

    UMass' Torra In Action On Friday Night For Reno

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    UMass baseball alum Matt Torra started on the mound for Reno on Friday night, but did not factor in the decision as the Albuquerque Isotopes posted their second-straight walk-off win over the Reno Aces, 7-6, at Isotopes Park.

    Torra threw six innings and allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He is currently 2-0 on the season through eight starts with a 5.00 earned run average in 45.0 innings pitched with 10 walks and 17 strikeouts.

    UMass baseball's own Mitchell Clegg fired his best outing of the year and Potomac knocked off Lynchburg 6-2 from City Stadium on Friday night.

    The Woburn, Mass., native improved to 2-2, only allowing four hits and never dealing with any significant jams. The one run he allowed came in the first inning when he hit lead-off man Todd Cunningham and then gave up a double to Phil Gosselin two batters later. Cunningham came all the way around from first to score, but by that point, Potomac had all the runs it needed.

    Read more of the recap on

    Clegg's performance is also mentioned on and on

    Through seven starts this season, Clegg has thrown a total of 36.2 innings with 11 walks, 16 strikeouts and a 4.66 earned run average.

    Republican: Former Minuteman is now a Colonial

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    Bill Buckner won't be the only former big leaguer in town Saturday when the Brockton Rox meet the Pittsfield Colonials in a Can-Am League exhibition at Forest Park (2 p.m.)

    Buckner's the major celebrity as manager of the Rox. As for the Colonials, they have Chad Paronto, a former University of Massachusetts pitcher who spent parts of seven seasons in the majors as a middle reliever.

    Paronto, 35, has a dual role as pitcher and pitching coach.

    Read more o Garry Brown's article on

    Yahoo Sports On UMass Football Tour

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    Check out alum Taurus Londono's story on UMass Football Tour a Reintroduction for Alumni.

    My alma mater the University of Massachusetts recently held the first of five public events intended to spread the word about the football program's move to the FBS. The "Together We Are One Tour" kicked off at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston this past Tuesday, and the free event offered alumni like me the opportunity for some valuable face time with Minutemen coach Kevin Morris. The tour will unfold throughout the summer at locations throughout New England, the next stop in New York City on May 26th.

    UMass women's lacrosse assistant coach Sarah Albrecht will be inducted into the Thayer Academy 2011 Hall of Fame tonight beginning at 7 PM with a Reunion Weekend Reception. The native of Braintree, Mass., graduated from Thayer in 2001 before moving on to become one of the all-time great players at Northwestern. In 2005 and 2006, Albrecht was a key member of the Wildcats' two NCAA National Titles. Albrecht is also a member of the U.S. National Team helping the Stars & Stripes to the 2009 FIL World Cup Championship.

    Albrecht is currently in her second stint as a member of the UMass coaching staff. This past season she helped the Minutewomen to their third consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and their second NCAA Tournament berth in the last three years.
    Casey Wellman will also be in action tonight with the Houston Aeros as they take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game Four of the AHL Western Conference Finals. Houston leads the series 3-1.

    In 15 playoff games this year, Wellman has 3 goals & 5 assists. He played in 42 regular-season games with 14 goals and 21 assists.

    The San Jose Sharks will host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at 6 PM (PST) in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Former UMass All-American Justin Braun remains with the club as an active defenseman on the playoff roster.

    Vancouver leads the series 2-0 with both previous games being at home.

    Happy Birthday to junior field hockey player Eileen Seffron on May 19. 

    Eileen Seffron

    Chiefs' Horne Working Out With QB Cassel

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    Eight Chiefs players gathered on Tuesday including UMass alum Jeremy Horne for a throwing session at a Kansas City area high school. There was no doubt about the one in charge.

    Matt Cassel, practicing in sunglasses and a ball cap turned backward, wasn't necessarily dressed for the part. But he was the one calling out orders, giving all the play calls, directing traffic. Practice started when he arrived and concluded when he left.

    "This,'' wide receiver Jeremy Horne said, stating the obvious, "is Matt's deal.''

    Read the full story: Cassel guiding Chiefs players through unofficial workouts

    Happy Birthday: May 18 - Noreen McDonnell

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    Happy Birthday to sophomore rower Noreen McDonnell on May 18.

    Noreen McDonnell

    UMass' Ben Hart Part Of High School Baseball History

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    This afternoon, weather permitting, the Portsmouth High School baseball team will attempt to win the program's 76th straight game when it plays at Pembroke Academy. 

    That would set a new national high school record for consecutive victories, one more than Homer (Mich.) High School won during its run in 2004-05.

    Portsmouth's streak began with the 2008 season when current UMass junior hurler Ben Hart led the team to a 23-0 record and the New Hampshire Class I State Championship, going 9-0 on the mound with 64 strikeouts. Hart was named the New Hampshire Class I Co-Player of the Year that season.

    Read Jim Halley's article in USA Today, which mentions Hart.

    Softball Signee Leads Amherst High Over Agawam

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    Photo: Showstopper
    Amherst High School senior Quianna Diaz-Patterson, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Elaine Sortino's Minutewomen beginning next season, continues to add to her local legend in Western Massachusetts. The shortstop overcame a toe injury last weekend to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over Agawam, running her team's record to 14-1. She was 2-for-4 with a triple in the bottom of the seventh that drove in a run and then scored the game-winning run on a groundball.

    The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Diaz-Patterson's stellar performance.

    UMass Pond Club prepares for annual golf outing

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    It's almost time to put away the skates and lace up the golf shoes.

    The 11th annual University of Massachusetts (UMass) Hockey Pond Club Golf Tournament is less than a month away and organizers of the event are looking for both participants and sponsors to get involved with one of the hockey program's biggest fund-raising efforts.

    Slated for June 13 at The Orchards in South Hadley, the tournament promises to be an entertaining way to support the area's premier college hockey program. For a registration fee of $175, golfers will be treated to an appreciatory gift shirt, breakfast, a round of golf, a cocktail and cookout event in the evening, as well as a day full of contests, raffles and prizes.

    "I have been a part of a lot of fund-raisers and this one is one of the best, especially with the value that comes with the cost," Dennis "Red" Gendron, assistant hockey coach, said.

    Prizes will be awarded to the top six teams -- the top three gross and top three net scores -- as well as winners of contests, including longest drive and closest to the pin. A "Beat the Coach" contest at the 10th hole will allow participants to take on UMass Head Coach Donald "Toot" Cahoon for a chance at high-end golf and pro sports ticket packages.

    Scott Coen has a terrific feature on the "Ice Stars for Wounded Warriors" event which will be held this Saturday at the Mullins Center Skating Rink beginning at 10:45 AM. There will be a military procession to begin the event followed by a hockey game featuring the Massachusetts State Police taking on the Franklin County Sheriff's Department at Noon. The main event will feature figure skaters from the Amherst Skating Club and former Olympian Todd Eldredge at 4 PM.

    Congratulations to one of our own, former UMass Media Relations Student Assistant Allison Miller who was just named Assistant Director of Athletic Communications at Rutgers.

    Rutgers' Press Release:

    The Rutgers University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Monday that Allison Miller has been named Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. A native of Smithfield, R.I., Miller will serve as the primary media relations contact for the Scarlet Knights' women's soccer, women's lacrosse and crew programs, while also working as the secondary contact for men's basketball.
    During her tenure "On the Banks," Miller has produced media guides, press releases and game notes, while successfully pitching story ideas and staffing home events. She has written multiple feature stories for football and basketball programs and played a key role in growing new social media platforms for athletics via Facebook and Twitter. She also assisted in the management of the student work staff, a responsibility which will grow in her new role as Assistant Director.
    A 2009 graduate of Massachusetts, where she earned a degree in sports management with a minor in education as an honors program student, Miller worked in the Minutemen's media relations department as an undergrad. She assisted in coverage of men's hockey, men's basketball, football and men's and women's lacrosse and was the primary media contact for the women's rowing and men's and women's cross country and track teams.

    Masslive Football Notebook On Tour, MAC Foes

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    Now that the decision has been made, it's time for the selling to begin.

    Dubbed the Together We're One Tour, UMass football is hitting the road to talk up its move to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference, beginning Tuesday at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston.

    Other stops include New York City (May 26), Cape Cod (June 17), Boston again (June 223) and Providence, R.I. (June 27).

    Speaking of the MAC, the Minutemen have faced just three of the 13 teams in the MAC the way it is currently structured.

    UMass is 1-1 against Ball State, the 1984 victory the last win for the Minutemen over an FBS opponent.

    UMass is 5-4 against Buffalo but all those wins came before the Bulls made the jump to FBS.

    The Minutemen are 1-2 against Toledo, last playing the Rockets in 1999, the year after winning the national championship.

    Check out this fine story on Kent State's new coach Darrell Hazell from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Sounds as if the former Ohio State wide receivers coach has his work cut out for him.

    One interesting note is is the guarantee the Golden Flashes will receive for facing Alabama this season - a mouth-watering $1.2 million.

    Happy Birthday: May 17 - Keane, Merkulov, Torres

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    On May 17, we celebrate a trio of birthdays: senior hockey player Brian Keane sophomore swimmer Alexander Merkulov and sophomore baseball pitcher Dennis Torres.

    Brian Keane  Alexander Merkulov  Dennis Torres

    Solid Outing For Clegg, P-Nats Walk Off With Win

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    UMass' Mitchell Clegg drew the start for Potomac on Sunday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks and though he did not get the win, Clegg kept the P-Nats in the game, yielding just a run on five hits through 5 1/3 innings.

    He was helped by his defense which turned a double play and caught a runner trying to steal. Josh Smoker relieved Clegg with one out in the sixth and was helped by a spectacular diving catch in right field by Hood and a brilliant stab of a grounder and strong throw to first by Francisco Soriano.

    The P-Nats won on a walk-off single in the ninth, a 5-4 victory.

    Clegg scattered five hits, walked one and struck out two in his outing. He is now 1-2 on the year through six starts with a 5.46 ERA.

    Read the entire game recap here: Walk-off single leads Potomac Nationals to victory

    Softball Closes Season At A-10s In Charlotte

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    The 2011 UMass softball season came to a close in Charlotte over the weekend at the Atlantic 10 Championship. The No. 2 seeded Minutewomen, after receiving a first round bye, defeated No. 3 Saint Joseph's, 3-1 in the second round on Thursday before falling to No. 1 Fordham on Friday, 1-0 in 10 innings. UMass then faced the Hawks again on Friday night with the winner going on to face Fordham in the finals. With the score tied 2-2 going into the seventh inning, a thunderstorm forced the game to be suspended until Saturday morning, when St. Joe's scored four runs in the ninth to defeat the Minutewomen, 6-2.

    The Minutewomen say goodbye and thank you to graduated seniors Audrey Boutin and Meghan Carta, but Elaine Sortino returns a talented young squad for 2012, including All-Conference performers Kyllie Magill, Cyndil Matthew, and Sara Plourde, in addition to a strong recruiting class.

    Below is coverage of UMass from A-10s.

  • Hampshire Gazette, Minutewomen Eliminated From A-10 Tournament, 5/16/11
  • Hampshire Gazette, UMass Advances In A-10 Tournament, 5/13/11
  • Hampshire Gazette. UMass To Resume Suspended Game Saturday, 5/14/11
  • WWLP NBC 22, A-10 Streak Ends For UMass Softball, 5/14/11
  • UMass Hall of Famer and former lacrosse All-American Brooks Sweet is having a great season as the head coach at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. The Blue Devils are 14-2 and will play against Riverdale Country Day School on Monday in a game that will be televised on MSG Varsity in New York. 

    Check out this feature on Sweet from the school's website: Poly Prep Country Day School ~ Faculty Spotlight: Brooks Sweet Story On Football's Tyler Holmes

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    Check out this story from written by UMass alum Taurus Londono
    •  UMass Football's Tyler Holmes Named Best Linebacker in FCS - Yahoo.

    While 2011 will be the last year of competition in the FCS for the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, they'll be able to rely on outstanding players like Tyler Holmes as they take on conference opponents one last time. The Minutemen captain was recently named the single best linebacker in the entire FCS as the upcoming 2011 season approaches. UMass's last season as an FCS team will also be Holmes's senior year, and while he won't be with them when the Minutemen join the FBS-level MAC in 2012, you can bet he'll make this last season one to remember. Read more... 

    With the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals set there are several connections to the UMass program including several alums on the coaching sidelines and Minutemen relatives still in action.

    • No. 1 seed Syracuse will be playing Maryland at Gillette Stadium after a 10-4 win over Siena on Sunday night. The Orange got a huge effort from Tom Palasek, the brother of UMass sophomore Matthew Palasek. Tommy had a goal and four assists for five points in the win. 

    • The other game at Gillette on Sunday will feature many connections to UMass. In a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Championship game, No. 4 Notre Dame takes on No. 5 Duke. Both teams feature defensive coordinators that are UMass alums. Gerry Byrne '86 for the Irish and Chris Gabrielli '01 for the Blue Devils. Gabrielli also served as an assistant with the Minutemen from 2003-05.

    • On the field between Duke and Notre Dame will be a pair of Tripuckas. The brother of UMass' defenseman and football long snapper Travis Tripucka -- Jake Tripucka had a goal in Duke's 15-14 win over Delaware on Saturday. The Irish come off a 13-6 win over Penn as Travis' cousin Taylor Tripucka is a senior midfielder for Notre Dame.

    • One more connection with Notre Dame is senior Colin Igoe, who had three goals in the win as part of a career-high four points. Igoe began his career at UMass but transferred to ND be a closer to his native Ohio.

    A pair of football players' birthdays today: linebacker Stanley Andre and defensive lineman Charles Thompson

    Stanley Andre  Charles Thompson

    On May 15, we wish Happy Birthday to senior hockey player Doug Kublin and women's basketball sophomore Shakia Robinson.

    Doug Kublin  Shakia Robinson

    Updating UMass Lax Alums On MLL's Opening Day

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    Here's a look at UMass alums in action on the opening day of action in Major League Lacrosse on Saturday. 

    The Boston Cannons topped the Long Island Lizards 15-12 in front of more than 9,000 fans at Harvard Stadium. Jack Reid played solid defense for the Cannons and had a groundball. With the Lizards Chris Fiore had a goal and assist in the fourth quarter. 

    The Chesapeake Bayhawks topped the Rochester Rattlers in the New York team's return, 14-10 in Annapolis. Jake Deane had four groundballs, playing for his hometown Bayhawks. With the Rattlers, Brett Garber and Diogo Godoi each saw action, but didn't post any points. 
    UMass alum and All-American lacrosse player Jeff Zywicki will be playing for his second straight National Lacrosse League title this afternoon. Watch Zywicki (No. 67) and his Washington Stealth as they play at the Toronto Rock in the NLL Title game, televised on VERSUS at 2 p.m.

    Here are some stories on the game that include Zywicki.

    The No. 13 UMass women's lacrosse team fell 14-7 on Saturday afternoon at No. 5 and sixth-seeded Loyola on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA First Round. Haley Smith led UMass with a pair of goals, while Katie Florence made nine saves in goal. Meg Decker led all players with five goals as the Greyhounds will head to North Carolina next Saturday.

    The Minutewomen finished the season 17-3 overall - the second most wins in program history.

    NBC22 Highlights:

    Postgame Press Conference:

    Postgame Highlights:

    Previews Of Saturday's NCAA Lacrosse Match-ups

    | 1 Comment | No TrackBacks and each have previews of all the NCAA Tournament action which starts today.
    The Minutewomen held off MAAC champion Canisius, 16-8, in the play-in game and advanced to face the Greyhounds in Baltimore. UMass is 10-0 on the road. Expect a tough matchup between A10 Defensive Player of the Year Katie Florence and Big East Player of the Year Grace Gavin, who is third in the nation with 88 points and Loyola's career points leader with 224.
    Loyola went undefeated through their non-conference schedule but fell twice during BIG EAST play to Georgetown and Syracuse. The veteran lineup rallied back in the BIG EAST Tournament, defeating Syracuse and Notre Dame en route to the program's first BIG EAST Title. Led by Grace Gavin (66g, 22a), this is the first trip to the NCAA Tournament for this talented senior class. UMASS (17-2) has only fallen twice this season, as well (Northwestern & Albany). Led by Jackie Lyons (40, 32a), UMASS will head into this game looking to upset the Greyhounds en route to their first quarterfinal appearance since 1984.

    BALTIMORE -- Former Carthage standout Katie Ferris and the University of Massachusetts take on Loyola in an NCAA Division I first-round women's lacrosse matchup today at Ridley Athletic Complex.

    Ferris holds the single-season goal records for UMass with 55, set last weekend. She needs four more points to tie the school record for points in a single season. Ferris has 70 points so far.


    AMHERST - Two years ago, the University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse team was just happy to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. Despite their eventual drubbing by top-seed Northwestern, the appearance represented a huge step for the Minutewomen, which hadn't earned a spot in the field since 1984.

    UMass is happy to be back in the field this year after falling in the play-in game in 2010. Despite being an underdog to No. 6-seed Loyola in Baltimore on Saturday, the Minutewomen (17-2) will be disappointed if their stay lasts just one game.

    "We've come a long way since (2009). We were a really young team my freshman year. We've really grown since then," junior goalie Katie Florence said. "I want to win so bad. Making it to the first round was a big accomplishment my freshman year, but I think we're a better team and we have the potential to make it further. We have a chance to advance and achieve more than just the bid to the tournament."


    Happy Birthday: May 14 - Caroline Conena

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    On May 14, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore runner Caroline Conena.

    Caroline Conena
    Baseball picked up a come-from-behind win vs. Fordham this afternoon, downing the Rams in extra innings after scoring twice in the ninth to extend the contest. Check out the highlights and postgame interviews.

    Happy Birthday: May 13 - Brodie Steigerwald

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    Happy Birthday on May 13 to soccer sophomore Brodie Steigerwald

    Zywicki AIming For Back-To-Back NLL Titles

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    UMass 2005 grad Jeff Zywicki is looking forward to this weekend when his Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League seek their straight league championship. Here are various stories including the former UMass All-American. Zywicki and the Stealth take on the Toronto Rock on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m., on VERSUS.

    • The Chronicle Herald: Goaltending key in final
    UMass alum Mike Corey, class of 1999, will be the play-by-play announcer for two NCAA men's lacrosse tournament games on ESPNU this weekend. The former voice of WMUA from 1995-99 will call the games involving the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the tournament. He will broadcast the Saturday night game between Hartford and No. 2 seed Cornell as well as Sunday night's game between No. 1 Syracuse and Siena. 

    Corey has been the voice of the Delaware Blue Hens since graduating UMass in 1999, finishing his 12th season as the voice of UD this past season. He has been calling games for ESPNU men's lacrosse package this spring and has worked for NBC Sports during the Olympics.

    Read the full release: ESPN Announces Broadcast Teams For All NCAA Tournament Games

    A quartet of UMass student-athlete birthdays on May 12. Happy Birthday to lacrosse attacker Art Kell, women's soccer goalkeeper Emersyn Pullan, women's runner Samantha Sacchetti, and hockey defenseman Colin Shea

    Art Kell  Emersyn Pullan  Samantha Sacchetti  Colin Shea

    Masslive With Two Features On UMass Football

    | 11 Comments | No TrackBacks has two more feature pieces on the UMass football move to the FBS level and the MAC. Check them out here including a video tour of McGuirk Stadium.

    • Video tour of McGuirk Stadium, home of UMass football for at least one more year

    Victor Cruz Featured On ESPN New York

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    ESPN New York has a great feature and video on UMass alum Victor Cruz, who is continuing workouts with Giants teammates despite the lockout.

    Read it here: Cruz taking full advantage of Eli passing camp

    Cruz became an overnight fan favorite when he made his pro debut with six receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-16 preseason-opening victory over the Jets last August.

    [+] EnlargeVictor Cruz
    Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireVictor Cruz played in just three games last season for the Giants.

    The undrafted free agent out of UMass finished the preseason with 15 catches for 297 yards and four touchdowns and made the final roster. However, his rookie season consisted of just three regular-season games of special-teams duty because of a hamstring injury that landed him on injured reserve prior to the sixth game of the season.

    McCutcheon To Speak At UMass Sports Luncheon

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    Join us for the weekly UMass Sports Luncheon as Athletic Director John McCutcheon will be the featured speaker. He will talk about UMass' upgrade to FBS and the MAC for football and be available for questions. Join us at the Campus Center Room 1009 starting at 12 Noon. Call 413-545-4290 for more information.

    Women's track and field jumper Stephanie Aguguo and women's lacrosse attacker Jackie Lyons will be honored as the UMass co-athletes of the week. This is the second week in a row that Aguguo has been named an athlete of the week.

    Happy Birthday: May 11 - Jaime Bourazeris

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    On May 11, Happy Birthday to field hockey senior Jaime Bourazeris

    Jaime Bourazeris

    Gary Forbes Featured On Nuggets Website

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    The Denver Nuggets website has a great feature story on rookie and UMass alum Gary Forbes. Read it here: Charging Forward.

    Among the interesting comments from the piece are: "I learned a lot," Forbes said. "It definitely helped me going on to the future. I got better. I think it's going to help me improve this summer and, hopefully, next year with the Nuggets."

    After playing for modest salaries overseas and in the NBA Development, Forbes resisted any big-ticket purchases during his first season with the Nuggets. He still doesn't have his own car, but he planned to take a quick vacation on Maui.

    "The first time I've spent money on myself," he said with a smile.

    After a break from basketball, Forbes plans to return to the gym to prepare for an appearance at the FIBA Americas Championship with the Panamanian national team.

    "I've got a lot to prove," he said. "That whole not-being-drafted-thing is still lingering. When the NBA season starts, I'm going to try to make my name be heard real loud."

    UMass Alums Dot MLL Opening Day Rosters

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    The Major League Lacrosse outdoor season starts this weekend and numerous UMass alums are on the rosters of the six teams. Check them out here: MLL Releases Active Rosters for 2011 Season.

    Here's a look team-by-team of UMass alums

    Boston Cannons: Jim Connolly, Jack Reid
    Chesapeake Bayhawks: Jake Deane, Jeff Zywicki
    Long Island Lizards: Chris Fiore
    Rochester Rattlers: Brett Garber, Diogo Godoi 

    Catching Up With Nick Gorneault

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    Recently had the opportunity to catch up with former UMass outfielder Nick Gorneault who spent 10 years playing minor league ball and is now a scout for the Los Angeles Angels. Check out the video interview:

    Torra & Clegg In Action On Monday In The Minors

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    Former Minutemen hurlers Matt Torra and Mitchell Clegg drew starts on the mound for their respective clubs on Monday night.

    Torra threw a seven inning complete game two-hitter, collecting a win as the Reno Aces swept a doubleheader against the Salt Lake Bees. He allowed two runs, walked one and struck out two en route to the 3-2 victory. Torra is now 2-0 on the season with a 4.50 ERA, throwing 34 innings over six starts with nine walks and 12 strikeouts.

    Clegg started, but did not factor into the decision for the Potomac Nationals who fell to the Winston-Salem Dash, 5-3 on the road. The former UMass lefty tossed five innings and allowed two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out three. He is currently 1-2 on the year with a 6.29 ERA in five starts for a total of 24.1 innings with eight walks and 12 Ks.

    Business West Features On UMass Football Upgrade

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    Business West has a pair of stories on UMass football and its upgrade to FBS and MAC. 

    • UMass Football: A Risk Worth Taking

    Gazette Story On Football Coaching Staff Changes

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    Read Matt Vautour's story on the changes to the UMass Football staff: UMass football makes staff changes

    University of Massachusetts football coach Kevin Morris announced Monday the hiring of special teams coordinator Joe Tricario as part of the program's staff reorganization.

    Tricario coordinated both the defense and special teams at Stony Brook last year. He had been on the Seawolves' staff since 2005. Before that he spent eight years at Fordham. Morris said he and Tricario have been friends for a long time.

    "He's got extensive experience coordinating special teams. I've known him for 25 years," Morris said. "The expertise factor is first and foremost. From there, can you get someone you know who has that expertise. It was a perfect fit. You talk to anyone in the college coaching profession, it's not necessarily what you know, but who you know."

    Tricario, who will also work with inside linebackers, replaces Steve Tirrell as the special teams coordinator. Tirrell, who also coaches the defensive line, is taking over the role of recruiting coordinator. He replaced Guido Falbo, who became the offensive coordinator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has extended invitations to former Wildcats as well as his past players at Massachusetts and Memphis to use UK's Joe Craft Center to train during the NBA lockout if it occurs. 

    Calipari posted a message on his website,, in which he went into some depth about his philosophy on inviting former players back to campus to complete their degrees and use UK's facilities. 

    Calipari noted that former Cat Wayne Turner took advantage of the opportunity and received his degree from UK this past weekend. Calipari also said John Wall has already contacted UK about information for enrolling in summer classes. 

    Calipari said that even if former players - from UK, UMass or Memphis - do not choose to enroll in classes at UK, they are still welcome to come and train at the Craft Center. 

    UMass Men's Lax Finishes 16th, 18th In Polls

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    The UMass men's lacrosse finished the regular-season ranked 16th according to the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Division I Top 20 Poll and 18th in the USILA Division I Coaches Poll.

    With the new polls, posted after the unveiling of the NCAA Tournament bracket, four UMass opponents are in the final polls (USILA/Inside Lacrosse): Hofstra (13th/11th), Delaware (14th/15th), Harvard (15th/14th), Hartford (19th/20th). UMass was 2-3 against those teams with wins over Delaware and Harvard.
    As the team gathered for the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament Selection Show on Sunday night at head coach Angela McMahon's home, the tension in the room became increasingly palpable as the Minutewomen waited to see their name on the bracket. When UMass saw that it would be playing sixth-seed and Big East Champion Loyola, cheers erupted.

    The Minutewomen, three-time defending Atlantic 10 Champions, will being making its 2nd NCAA Tournament in the last three years and the fifth overall in program history. UMass is riding a 10-game win streak and is 10-0 on the road this season.

    Here is the coverage from last night's selection and other tournament related news.

    New England Lacrosse Journal: UMass women win NCAA play-in game

    CBS3 Highlights:

    ABC40 Highlights:

    After missing most of the season with an injury, UMass alum Jeff Zywicki has returned to star for the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League playoffs. The 2005 grad of UMass scored three goals and added three assists to lead the Stealth past Calgary, 10-8 in the NLL Semifinals. They will rematch with the Toronto Rock in the 2011 Championship game next weekend. Here are several stories on Big Z, who played just three regular-season games before returning for the postseason.

    • Calgary Sun: Ian Busby Calgary Sun

    The Toronto Rock (12-6) will face the Washington Stealth (10-8) in the 2011 NLL Championship Game on Sunday, May 15th at 2PM Eastern. The Rock will host the Championship Game at Air Canada Centre. The game airs live on VERSUS and The NLL Network.

    Last season, Washington defeated Toronto 15-11 as the Stealth won their first championship in franchise history. 

    Men's Lacrosse Doesn't Make NCAA Tournament

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    The UMass men's lacrosse team did not receive an at-large berth to the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the bracket was announced Sunday night. The Minutemen suffered a 9-7 loss to Delaware in the CAA Championship on Saturday which kept them out of the NCAAs, which would have been the 19th time in school history.

    During last night's selection show on ESPNU, there were several references to UMass as being one of the last teams out of the tournament. They were shown on the full screen of teams that came up just short.

    Here are some stories from Inside Lacrosse on selections: Printable BracketCoaches, Chairman ReactionSnubs, Surprises

    There are many connections to UMass among the teams in the tournament. UMass played three teams in the tournament: CAA foes Delaware and Hofstra along with America East Champ Hartford. UMass was 2-2 in four games vs. the tourney teams.

    Among the alumni connections: 2001 grad and former Minuteman assistant Chris Gabrielli, who was at the UMass-Delaware game on Saturday, is the defensive coordinator at Duke, the defending champion and No. 5 seed. 1986 grad Gerry Byrne is an assistant coach for the No. 4 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

    Recaps Of UMass' CAA Final Loss To Delaware

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    Happy Birthday: May 8 - Patrick, Yarmosky

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    A pair of juniors celebrate birthdays on May 8: rower Kimberly Patrick and women's runner Elyse Yarmosky

    Kimberly Patrick  Elyse Yarmosky

    Women's Lacrosse RPI & Selection Show Info

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    Following yesterday's conference championship games and the two NCAA Play-In Games, the UMass women's lacrosse team jumped to No. 10 in the RPI. While not the official RPI used in the NCAA selection process, the RPI is generally very close to the NCAA RPI list. That value could fluctuate as the Ivy League Championship game will be played today at 1 PM between Princeton and Harvard.

    The NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament Selection Show will air tonight at 7:30 PM. It will be available online only through For a complete listing and more information, visit the NCAA Spring Championships Selections Page.

    Recaps From Women's Lacrosse Win Over Canisius

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    Sparked by a second half offensive surge, the No. 16 UMass women's lacrosse team pushed past Canisius on Saturday to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Minutewomen won the NCAA Play-In Game thanks to five points (3 goals, 2 assists) from both Jackie Lyons and Katie Ferris. Ferris now holds the all-time UMass single-season goal record with 55 as the win was UMass' 10th straight.

    ABC40/CBS3/NBC22 Highlights:

    UMass Highlights:

    CAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Previews

    | No Comments | No TrackBacks
    On May 7, we wish Happy Birthday to football freshmen: Shawn Campbell and Ed Saint-Vil.

    Shawn Campbell  Ed Saint-Vil takes a look at how the NCAA Tournament could pan out with Friday's newest installment of Women's Lacrosse Bracketology

    They also have a great feature that explains the outline of selection criteria for the NCAA Tournament.

    Finally, here is a look at the newest NCAA RPI listings which came out Thursday. UMass was ranked No. 12 after being ranked No. 17 the previous week. UMass' play-in game opponent Canisius is ranked No. 24.

    UMass is also ranked No. 16 in the deBeer Media Poll and No. 20 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll.

    The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be Sunday, May 8 at 7:30 PM. It will be streamed online only at

    For one day, the University of Massachusetts will be the center of the lacrosse universe as two NCAA tournament bids - one men's and one women's - will both be clinched in Amherst.

    The women's team will host Canisius Saturday in an NCAA tournament play-in game at 1 p.m. at McGuirk Stadium. The winner will be assured a spot in tournament.

    The men will host Delaware at 7 p.m. at Garber Field in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. The winner clinches the league's automatic bid.

    Both 16-team tournament fields will be unveiled Sunday night.


    Republican With Pair Of Lacrosse Stories

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    Check out Dick Baker's coverage in the Springfield Republican from what he calls the greatest day in college lacrosse in Western Massachusetts history. 

    It's May Madness for local college lacrosse teams with conference titles and potential NCAA playoff berths at stake on home turf.

    Both the men's and women's teams at the University of Massachusetts and Western New England College along with the men's team at Springfield College highlight a Saturday slate that is composed of arguably the largest number of championship-type lacrosse matches ever to be played by Western Massachusetts college teams at home on the same day.

    In addition to the Saturday night Colonial Athletic Association men's title showdown between UMass and Delaware at Garber Field at 7, the UMass women, already Atlantic 10 champions, have a 1 p.m. NCAA play-in contest with Canisius at McGurk Stadium. In both contests, a UMass victory results in a berth in the NCAA tournament.

    WWLP: Minutewomen set for lax play-in game

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    Boston Herald: UMass aims to home in on NCAAs

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    The UMass women's lacrosse team is a mosaic that keeps adding more pieces.

    The 16th-ranked Minutewomen (16-2), who demolished Richmond, 16-12, to capture their third straight Atlantic 10 tournament championship, next hosts Canisius in an NCAA play-in game tomorrow (1 p.m.) at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst.

    Last week, junior attack Jesse O'Donnell earned MVP honors of the A-10 tournament after scoring five goals against the Spiders. UMass senior attack Jackie Lyons added a pair of goals and became the school's career scoring leader with 220 points. Freshman attack Katie Ferris chipped in three goals and tied the UMass single-season goals mark of 52.


    Sitting in the stands at Garber Field as a kid, Reed Goodhue used to daydream about moments like the one he had Wednesday. Read Matt Vautour's great feature on the freshman goalie for the Minutemen and how the first save of his college career may have been the biggest of the season for the Minutemen.

    Dream becomes reality for UMass lacrosse goalie Reed Goodhue

    Best wishes for a great birthday on May 6 to sophomore runner Courtney Baldwin and freshman lacrosse player Peter Von Rosenvinge. Enjoy your big day!!

    Courtney Baldwin  Peter Von Rosenvinge

    Cruz Takes Part In Manning Passing Camp

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    Photo: Eli Manning holds lockout passing camp in Hoboken  

    Photo: Eli Manning holds lockout passing camp in Hoboken

    Eli Manning simulated taking a snap, backpedaled in the pocket and then rolled to his left and hit receiver Hakeem Nicks on a pass to the sideline.

    It's what one would expect in a New York Giants' minicamp at this time of year.

    The only problem was this pass took place on a high school field in the shadow of New York City and not under the watchful eyes of coach Tom Coughlin and his staff at the Giants' practice facility.

    Welcome to lockout football, where one gets to watch eight players try to stay in shape under the supervision of Manning and his trainer.

    Manning and Nicks were joined on the field by quarterback Sage Rosenfels, tight end Kevin Boss and receivers Michael Clayton, Duke Calhoun, former University of Massachusetts standout Victor Cruz and Samuel Giguere.

    On Cinco De Mayo, we wish Happy Birthday to rower Rachel Spielberg and swimmer Sarah Kanellas on May 5.

    Rachel Spielberg  Sarah Kanellas

    Check out UMass alums Victor Cruz and James Ihedigbo on the Rachael Ray Show as they talk grilling.

    Every king needs a castle. And now that the UMass football team will soon be playing at the highest level of college football, it only makes sense for them to have a home that will allow it to compete at the highest level.

    Welcome to the new UMass football headquarters, located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts near McGuirk Stadium where the team currently plays its home games.

    Upon the announcement of the university's plans to upgrade it's football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision, it was revealed that the team would --- for the foreseeable future --- play its home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro when things became official in 2012.

    The Minutemen's home in between those games will be the new HQ, which you can take a virtual tour of in the gallery below.

    • After FBS announcement, UMass unveils new football headquarters
    UMass alums and football stars Victor Cruz and James Ihedigbo will be guest stars on the Rachael Ray Show on Wednesday morning. The duo are part of a segment on the show called, "Human Lab." Here's the promo from the show's website: Rachael Ray Show, May 4, 2011.


    Can what you cook up help you hook up? It's a new twist on TV dating when sexy star Taye Diggs plays matchmaker to two bachelors who are trying to win a woman's heart with their food! Then, sparks will fly in your house with Rach's date-night dinner, and it's a beefed up "Human Lab" with NFL stars testing grilling gadgets.

    Previews Of UMass' CAA Semifinal At Penn State

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    The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the UMass-Penn State CAA Semifinal: UMass men's lacrosse gets shot at NCAA tournament.

    If the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team were still in the ECAC, its season probably would be over.

    The Minutemen had a solid 2011 season at 9-4, but their resume likely falls a little short of NCAA tournament at-large bid status without enough signature wins. The ECAC has no conference tournament and the Minutemen would have been stuck waiting for next year.

    But now, as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, hope is still very much alive as the No. 3-seed Minutemen (9-4) play No. 2 Penn State (7-6) tonight at 7 in the semifinal round of the CAA tournament at State College.

    The Daily Collegian has this preview: UMass, PSU meet again for CAA Semifinals

    For the No. 15 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, Wednesday night's game has a simple motivation: win or go home.

    The Minutemen (9-4, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) travel to Penn State for a rematch with the Nittany Lions in a CAA Semifinals matchup.

    UMass coach Greg Cannella hopes his team does not change a thing despite the greater stakes.

    Future On Hold For NFL Hopeful Greg Niland

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    In a typical NFL year, East Bridgewater's Greg Niland might have signed with a team by now, might be packing to spend the upcoming weekend at a rookie orientation minicamp.

    But rather than a helmet and shorts, Niland will don a cap and gown this Friday, graduating from Northeastern University in ceremonies at the TD Garden.

    "In a normal year, we'd be in a (rookie orientation) camp this week and I'd have potentially missed graduation," said Niland. "All I can do is stay in shape and hopefully I'll know where I'm headed soon."

    A victim of the NFL's labor pains, Niland's football future is on hold in what is anything but a normal year.

    Read more:

    You can say that Katie Florence has lacrosse in her blood, but she also has it deep in her heart and soul. That love for the game has driven her progression to become one of the best goalies in college lacrosse this season.

    Now in her junior year at UMass, Florence grew up surrounded by the game. Her father, John, was a long-stick defenseman for Denison University in Ohio and her uncle Tom was a star goalie for Penn State. Florence's earliest memories include her father playing in multiple tournaments at Lake Placid and Vail. She also recalls the constant presence of his lacrosse sticks lying around the house.

    The Norfolk, Mass., native first picked up the game when she was 11. Within a few years, she discovered that her true home on the field was between the pipes.


    NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament Bracketology

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    No. 16 UMass will host Canisius on Saturday at 1 PM and Navy will host Quinnipiac at Noon in the two NCAA Tournament Play-In Games as the 2011 NCAA Tournament Field begins to take shape. The winners of both play-in games will be automatically qualified for the Field of 16. The NCAA Selection Show will be Sunday night at 7:30 PM and will be streamed live on
    Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican previews the start of the Premier Development League and the Western Mass Pioneers. UMass men's soccer standouts Andrew Henshaw and Chris Roswess will both play for the PDL team this season.

    On May 13, ex-state Veterans Services Secretary and Medal of Honor-winning Navy veteran Thomas Kelley will be feted in a special event at Boston's Hynes Convention Center.

    The salute to Kelley, whose guest will include current and former senators, governors, and other dignitaries, will benefit the legacy fund. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by visiting or by sending a check made payable to The Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, memo line "Tom Kelley," to P.O. Box 962061, Milk Street Post Office, Boston, MA 02196. The star-studded event includes comedian Lenny Clark and an interview with Kelley by MSNBC's Jack Jacobs.

    UMass hockey alum and MSLF creator Peter Trovato called Kelley, who was decorated for rescuing an Army detachment in Vietnam, "a true hero in so many respects."

    Footage From The UMass Senior Awards Banquet

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    Here is a video montage from last night's Senior Awards Banquet at the Campus Center. Sean Busch and Jackie Lyons took home their respective Athlete of the Year honors, while Chris Piekos was named the Inspirational Award recipient and Samantha Schnoerr and Anthony Nelson were named the Scholar Athletes of the Year.

    Matt Torra Scheduled To Start Tonight For Reno

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    Former Minuteman Matt Torra is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season tonight as the Reno Aces take on the Las Vegas 51s.

    Torra is currently 1-0 with a 4.29 ERA in 21.0 innings, five walks and 10 strikeouts.

    Live audio is available through the web site.

    Inside Lacrosse 'Takeaways' Gives UMass Props

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    On Inside Lacrosse, ESPN and IL analyst Mark Dixon has a look at the national lacrosse scene in his "Tuesday Takaways." Dixon cites UMass as a team to watch heading into the CAA Tournament. 

     What Happened: The CAA pairings have been set

    Takeaway: Hofstra goes #1 courtesy of a 9-4 win over Penn State, who clocks in at #2. UMass whipped Delaware 11-5 to take the #3 spot, while the Blue Hens slip to #4. Hofstra is surging while Delaware seems to be fading. Watch out for UMass at #3. The Minutemen looked good in rebounding from a stinging loss to Hofstra on April 23, but UMass also has history on its side; the #3 seed has won the last two CAA Tournament titles.

    On May 3, we wish Happy Birthday to two-sport athlete Travis Tripucka, who plays defense for the lacrosse team and serves as long snapper for the football team. Also women's lacrosse player Paige Morelli celebrates today.

    Travis Tripucka  Paige Morelli

    Responding to a freedom of information request from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, UMass released its new contracts cementing its recent agreements to join the Mid-American Conference and play home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Both were essential components to the program's upgrade to Bowl Subdivision football.

    • UMass releases contract details of football upgrade

    UMass Lax At 15th, 16th In Polls

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    After its impressive 11-5 win over Delaware on Friday night at Garber Field, the UMass men's lacrosse team 15th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and 16th in the USILA Coaches Poll.

    UMass will travel to Penn State to play in the CAA Semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions are listed among "Others Receiving Votes."

    Here's a look at UMass' opponents in the polls (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/7th), Harvard (17th/18th) and Army (19th/20th). 

    Penn State, Drexel, Ohio State are also receiving votes in the polls. 
    On May 2, we wish Happy Birthday to senior midfielder Mike Wilus of the lacrosse team. 

    Mike Wilus
    A record-setting weekend came to a close yesterday with the No. 14 UMass women's lacrosse team earning its third consecutive Atlantic 10 Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament title with a 16-12 win over Richmond. Jesse O'Donnell was named Tournament MVP after tying her career-high with five goals (eight for the weekend), while Jackie Lyons broke the UMass record for career points with two goals giving her 220 career points. Rookie Katie Ferris tied the school's single-season goals record of 52 as the high-octane Minutewomen racked up 32 goals to set a new league record for a tournament weekend.

    UMass will host Canisius on Saturday at McGuirk Stadium (1 PM) for the NCAA Play-In Game.

    Daily Hampshire Gazette: Minutewomen win A-10 lacrosse title

    Postgame Highlights:

    Postgame Interviews:
    UMass Alum / Cincinnati Bengals DB Jeromy Miles Speaks About NFL Lockout with CBS 3 Springfield.

    Stories On The UMass Football Spring Game

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    The defense topped the offense 44-42 at the annual UMass Football Spring Game. Here are several stories and videos on the game.

    • Springfield Republican: UMass transfer quarterback Kellen Pagel has spring in his step

    • Springfield Republican: It will be up to the UMass team to supply its own meaning to 2011

    • WWLP NBC 22: UMass spring football game

    UMass spring football game:

    The CAA Lacrosse playoffs are set for the Semifinals.

    #3 seed UMass (4-2) will play at  #2 seed Penn State (4-2) on Wednesday at 7 pm at Jeffrey Field. Listen to the game on 100.9 FM WRNX. The Nittany Lions beat UMass 8-7 on March 19, 2011 at Garber Field. 

    Read about it in the Springfield Republican: UMass To Face Penn State In CAA Semi 

    #1 seed Hofstra (5-1) hosts #4 seed Delaware (4-2) after on Wednesday at 7 pm.

    Should UMass and Delaware win, the Minutemen would host the Blue Hens on Saturday at Garber Field at 4 pm for the CAA Championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. If UMass and Hofstra win, the CAA title game would be played on Saturday at 7 pm at Hofstra.

    On Saturday night, Hofstra topped Penn State, 9-4. Read about it here:
    • Daily Collegian: Lions fall to Hofstra
    With the start of May, we wish Happy Birthday to redshirt junior captain Tim McCormack on May 1. 

    Tim McCormack