Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature in Friday's edition on UMass basektball point guard Chaz Williams, who will be eligible to play this season after sitting out last season following his transfer to UMass from Hofstra, where he played his freshman year. Vautour writes how the redshirt sophomore will be relied upon for leadership and to spur the offense during the 2011-12 season.
Michael Cuonos of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a recap of UMass field hockey's 4-1 loss at No. 4 UConn on Wednesday night. It was a tale of two halves in Storrs, as the Huskies used a 16-1 shot advantage in the first half to build a 3-0 lead and, though UMass controlled the second half of play with a 8-2 shot advantage, the Minutewomen were unable to close the gap.
"We were prepared but we just had a tough first half and they were more aggressive than us and it comes down to matching their aggressiveness which has been a problem for us all season," said Head Coach Carla Tagliente. "I was really happy with our play in the second half but we can't expect to win the game after the way we played in the first half."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in today's edition on Wednesday's announcement by the Atlantic 10 that its men's basketball conference tournament will be played at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The five-year deal will begin with the 2013 championship.
"It gives us the opportunity to come into a brand-new facility that has all the amenities that sports fans expect," Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said. "Bringing it into the New York market and into Brooklyn, with the density of population and the density of our Atlantic 10 alumni base, is certainly going to put everything in place to really catapult this championship to the next level."
Chad Cain of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the University of Massachusetts trustees approving a five-year, $3.1 billion capital plan for the five-campus system.
Some $30 million in improvements to the stadium in Amherst are also moving forward as part of the upgrade by UMass to Bowl Subdivision football. Plans call for a new facilities building, a new press box and other renovations.
In April, university officials announced that the new football facilities would include construction of a two-story building to 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.
"This will be a first-class training and administration building for the football team," said spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.
Rebecca L. Morris has Type 1 diabetes, so when she and her husband, University of Massachusetts Amherst Head Football Coach Kevin P. Morris, were asked in 2009 to chair the North Central Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes, they immediately accepted the honor.
The Belchertown couple had been wanting to get involved in the cause; they wanted to help raise awareness and financial support for research.
This year's walk will be their third as chairpersons, the first since their only child, Ryan J., was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in December at age 10. "It is our mission as a family to do whatever we can to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure," Mrs. Morris said.
The 2011 North Central Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes will take place on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. at Six Flags New England.
Jim Mandelaro has a great feature on former UMass football All-American running back Rene Ingoglia who has spent much of this season as a color analyst for ESPN3 - including the Minutemen's game at Boston College on Sept. 24. Prior to working with ESPN3, Rene was a member of the UMass Sports Network radio team for two seasons.
Patrick McHugh of NESN.com has a story on the three new head coaches in Hockey East this season including Jim Madigan who is the 10th coach in Northeastern's program history - UMass will face the Huskies next Friday, Oct. 7 to officially kick-off the 2011-12 season.
Steve Levine takes a look at the hockey team's first event of the year - the Maroon & White Scrimmage which will be held at the Mullins Center Practice Rink. Following the scrimmage will be the annual Skate With The Minutemen where fans can join the team on the ice and get autographs.
Congratulations to the women's soccer team on its fourth straight 1-0 shutout victory, defeating Dartmouth on the road last night. Senior Julie Morrissey scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season just 20 seconds into the match.
Here are some postgame interviews with head coach Ed Matz and senior co-captain Meghan Collins:
Also, the NCAA released the first RPI report of the 2011 season this morning, which has the Minutewomen in the No. 61 spot out of 322 Division I teams. UMass is currently ranked No. 8 in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the NSCAA in the latest poll that was released yesterday.
Former UMass standout goalie Paul Dainton was released from his Columbus Blue Jackets tryout contract and will return to the AHL Springfield Falcons. There he will join fellow former Minuteman Obi Aduba.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story from Hockey East Media Day about the possibility of Notre Dame joining the league. He also mentions that nearly 34,000 tickets have been sold for Frozen Fenway 2012, but some tickets are still available.
UMass hockey head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon along with co-captains Danny Hobbs and T.J. Syner and assistant captain Michael Marcou attended the Hockey East Media Day at the TD Bank Garden on Tuesday. The Minutemen were picked 7th in the preseason coaches poll.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in today's edition on the announcement of the 2012 football non-conference schedule. In addition to a home game against Indiana at Gillette Stadium and road games at Connecticut and Vanderbilt, the Minutemen will head back to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on the Wolverines on Sept. 15.
"It's a little bit of a different model than a lot of schools (making the upgrade from FCS to FBS) have gone through, but it was important to us to send the signal of where we want to go with this program," Athletic Director JohnMcCutcheon said. "Obviously it's going to be a challenge. We're still in a transition phase but we want to get there as quickly as we can. To have a schedule like this in place shows our fans, and more importantly our prospective recruits, where we want to be.
"This schedule certainly legitimizes the announcement that we are going to the next level," Head Coach Kevin Morris said in a statement. "With Gillette Stadium as our home field, the citizens of Massachusetts will have a premier football venue to watch their team compete at college football's highest level. There is no better time to be a student-athlete, alumnus or fan of UMass football."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has coverage of UMass' announced 2012 non-conference football schedule which includes a return trip to Michigan in addition to the previously announced games against UConn, Indiana, and Vanderbilt.
The UMass field hockey team begins a four-game road stretch tonight at No. 4 Connecticut at 7 p.m. The Minutewomen are looking for another victory over the Huskies, just as they did last season when they upset the Huskies, 1-0 at Garber Field.
The UMass defense will be tested against the high-scoring Huskies offense that has amassed 27 goals already this season. The scoring is spread around evenly amongst the Terriers' front line, with four players who have scored at least four goals. Hunnable, despite starting just one game, leads the team with seven goals, followed by Ali Blankmeyer and Jestine Angelini each with five.
"It's the second and third shots that are hurting us right now," said UMass coach Carla Tagliente. "Most of the goals we're giving up are on second and third shot opportunities so it'll be important for people to make sure they are marking their person and boxing out on defense."
Cameron McDonough of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a recap in Tuesday's edition of the UMass tennis team's stellar weekend at the Eastern Collegiate Invitational at Army. Against some of the top programs in the Northeast, UMass placed five of its eight players in the semfinal round of flights and had two flight champions, Jessica Podlofsky and Chanel Glasper, who is 7-1 in her freshman campaign.
Podlofsky is now a perfect 8-0 on the season and was named UMass Athlete of the Week. She will be honored, along with Head Coach Judy Dixon, at Wednesday's UMass Sports Luncheon, at noon at the Cape Cod Room of the Student Union.
"I was very pleased with the effort from everyone on the team," said UMass coach Judy Dixon. "I have felt like the last two weeks have been very positive and what coaches need this time of year is to take a look at their players and see what we need to work on," she said.
De'Shawn Townsend of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian writes the wrap on Friday's field hockey loss to No. 17 Boston University, 3-0 at Garber Field.
UMass failed to recover from an early Terrier lead off-an unassisted goal by junior forward Tabi Hatch. With forward Leslie Zules assist, Hatch scored off a corner pass from the left side. The Minutewomen (2-6) had a couple opportunities on the goal but defender Callie Sweigart and forward Nicole Cordero could not connect with the back of the net.
"We were confident but we lost structure throughout the game" said UMass coach Tagliente.
Michael Counos of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian writes in today's edition on the UMass field hockey team and how, despite being 0-4 against ranked opponents this season, the Minutewomen's difficult non-conference schedule will prepare them well for Atlantic 10 play. UMass (2-6) started 2010 with a 3-5 record before running the table in the A-10, winning the conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
"There are good teams in our conference but I think that there is a lot of pressure in these non-conference games and a lot of pressure moments so this prepares us well mentally when stepping into conference play when we need to win those games," said Coach Carla Tagliente.
Since 2008 UMass is 16-3 in A-10 play including clean sweeps in 2008 and 2010. The next time the Minutewomen return home to Garber Field is Oct. 14 against Saint Joseph's.
It was a tough day for the Minutemen yesterday at Boston College with the Eagles coming away with a 45-17 win. One bright spot for UMass was the play of Jesse Julmiste who set a new school record in kickoff return yardage (252) bolstered by a 100-yard return for a touchdown.
Jim Fenton of the Brockton Enterprise looks at the connection between former Brockton High School players in this Saturday's UMass-Boston College game. UMass starting safety Darren Thellen is a former Brockton standout and will be matched up against some of his former teammates.
A lot has been made early in the field hockey season of new head coach Carla Tagliente's attacking style of play that she has brought to the Minutewomen, but as Matt Strong of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian points out in Friday's edition, Tagliente has also brought a new style of play to the defense that the group is beginning to adjust well to. Strong mentions how assistant coach Roz Ellis has been crucial in mentoring the defense and talks to former UMass four-year-starter Jaime Bourazeris, who is helping the team this season.
With the new defensive approach comes a new mindset, which incorporates an offensive attitude. It gives the defense a chance to push the ball up the field, thus creating more shots and scoring opportunities.
"The biggest key as it is with any defensive structure is to communicate and stay organized," said Bourazeris.
Frank Dell'Apa of the Boston Globe has a preview of Saturday's game at Boston College focusing on the confidence built from past performances against FBS programs, including last year's narrow loss at Michigan.
But this is a new era for football at UMass, which will move up to the Bowl Subdivision next season and join the Mid-American Conference. Narrow defeats at Navy (21-20, in 2006), Kansas State (21-17, in 2009), and Michigan (42-37, in 2010) indicate UMass can compete at the next level.
"In the last two years, in particular those games against Kansas State and Michigan, we certainly had our chances in big-time atmospheres,'' Morris said. "Our players haven't played at Boston College but as a staff we have, and we know what to expect from Boston College football. We'll be ready to go. On paper, they are our best opponent, the strongest team we'll play.
"If you go by the Michigan, Kansas State, and Navy games, those are good indicators of where you are as a program. I think we're a very competitive program but we still haven't recruited a truly FBS recruiting class. We're going to go out and play and compete with anybody we play against and our goal is to win the game."
Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald looks at the impact UMass' game at Boston College will have this weekend in light of the Minutemen's transition to the FBS level. The "introductory" to the Eastern Mass fans will be especially important with the Minutemen's future home being Gillette Stadium beginning next season.
You don't think the stakes are huge this weekend for UMass? Beginning in 2012 and continuing through at least 2013, the Minutemen will be playing their "home" games at Gillette Stadium. This means the Boston sports market will have two competing 1-A football programs.
That makes Saturday's date with Boston College the biggest game of the year. Call it an introductory offer for Boston sports fans. Or, a Whitman Sampler of UMass football. (Better still, and in homage to the UMass administration building, a Whitmore Sampler.)
If you are on campus soon and find yourself looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to check out, stop by the library where an exhibit on the UMass Football Program is on display. Titled "Saturday's Rivals: Football Memories From The 'Aggie Eleven of 1879' to the MAC of 2012" the exhibit has memorabilia from throughout the decades chronicling the program and the history of the University.
Nick Canelas of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a good preview of the women's tennis team's trip to the Eastern Collegiate Invitational this weekend at Army:
Just one week after what UMass coach Judy Dixon called a, "successful weekend," in the Harvard Fall Classic, her squad is trying to repeat its formula when the Eastern Collegiate Invitational begins in West Point, NY. on Friday.
The tournament is a popular one early in the season, and serves as another tune-up for not only the Minutewomen, but also other Atlantic 10 foes the team will face later in the season. Other A-10 teams attending the Invitational include Rhode Island and Fordham.
Former UMass standout Paul Dainton was sharp last night in a split-squad preseason game between his Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets. Dainton saved 17-of-18 shots in 40 minutes of action as the Jackets won 5-1.
Dick Baker takes a look at UMass' goalie situation with returning sophomore Jeff Teglia serving as the incumbent starter. However, there will be a competition for the position throughout the preseason according to Baker.
Dick Baker has a feature on former UMass winger James Marcou who is looking to begin his second pro season with the San Jose Sharks. Marcou missed much of last season after dealing with concussion injuries.
UMass football alum and current New York Giant Victor Cruz (80) performed on the big stage last night - Monday Night Football. The wide receiver caught the first two passes of his career for a total of 17 yards to help the Giants to their first victory of the season, 28-16 over the St. Louis Rams at the Meadowlands, not far from his hometown of Paterson, N.J.
Cruz could be seeing even more action to come as two Giants receivers, Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon left Monday's game with injuries, and another starter, Hakeem Nicks, played but is still recovering from an injury suffered in Week 1.
DeShawn Townsend of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian today covers the field hockey team's pair of losses to ranked opponents over the weekend. On Friday, the Minutewomen dropped a tight contest with No. 20 Northeastern, 2-1 in overtime, and on Sunday, fell to defending national champion and third-ranked Maryland, 4-1.
Field hockey returns to action on Friday with a 6 p.m. game at home against Boston University under the lights at Garber Field.
Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a story today on UMass field hockey's 4-1 loss at home to No. 3 Maryland on Sunday. Baker points out in the story that, despite the loss, the Minutewomen played the National Champs tough, outplaying them for much of the first half. Baker says UMass has shown much improvement under first-year coach Carla Tagliente since the beginning of the season.
"It was two different games," Tagliente said. "I was proud of the way we stepped up in the first half. The second half was a little different story. But this is a game of momentum. If we had scored the first goal in the second half, or had the first corner, things might have been different."
Jonathan Hernandez rushed for a career-high 167 yards, while Kirk Nelms had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, as the No. 21 UMass football team defeated Rhode Island 36-27 under the lights at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday night.
The UMass men's soccer team will head to Harvard tonight for a 7 PM kick-off before returning home on Sunday to host Boston University at Rudd Field. The Daily Collegian has a pair of stories to preview the weekend.
The UMass tennis team kicks off its fall schedule this weekend at the Harvard Fall Classic on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check out the video below in which Head Coach Judy Dixon previews the 2011-12 tennis team!
Headlining the notebook is news on freshman Cady Lalanne undergoing a procedure to correct a stress fracture in his foot that could keep the big man out until official practices begin in four weeks.
The Minutemen will be holding free clinics at the Big E on Saturday. They will take place in front of the Massachusetts Building with the first running from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and the second from 2-3 p.m. The clinics are for kids 12 and under and are free with Big E admission.
A crew from the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was on campus on Tuesday and filmed part of a national ad campaign against bullying with both the men's basketball and women's lacrosse teams for an episode being filmed in Springfield.
Matt Strong of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a story today on the UMass field hockey team as it prepares for a challenging home weekend of non-conference games. On Friday, the Minutewomen host No. 20 Northeastern at 6 p.m., and on Sunday, UMass faces No. 3 and defending National Champion Maryland at Garber Field at noon.
Sunday's matchup against the Terrapins will be a rematch of two UMass losses last season, including a 4-2 loss in the NCAA Tournament. Both losses came at Maryland. Strong highlights how it will also be new head coach Carla Tagliente's first game coaching against her alma mater, where she was a four-time All-American, and how she brings a more offensive-minded system to the UMass program.
There were about two dozen University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse players on the field at McGuirk Alumni Stadium yesterday afternoon - clad in all of the typical attire they would wear to a pre-season practice. They had all of their usual playing equipment with them, too - and they jockeyed their lacrosse balls back and forth and maneuvered around the field.
William Perkins III/Collegian
But for a few moments at yesterday's practice, members of the squad took respite to help deliver a unified message: bullying needs to stop.
They, along with other students and athletes at UMass, participated yesterday in a campaign put together by the ABC TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that strives to curb bullying. The show, which travels around the country to build new homes in a week for families with compelling stories, is in the greater Pioneer Valley area this week to build a home for the family of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old Springfield boy who hanged himself in 2009 after enduring severe bullying.
Michael Wood of the Daily Collegian has a story today on UMass' national ranking heading into Saturday's game against Rhode Island. UMass moved up to No. 21 in the Sports Network Poll and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll following the bye week.
The UMass field hockey team played its home opener on Saturday at Garber Field, shutting out Harvard, 3-0. Not only did the team improve to 2-3 on the season as it kicked off a four-game homestand, but prior to the game a ceremony was held honoring the 30th anniversary of the Minutewomen's 1981 National Finalist team. Many players from that '81 squad came back to UMass for the occassion. Check out coverage of Saturday's win below.
UMass football coach Kevin Morris spoke with the media on Monday morning on the weekly CAA Football Teleconference. Morris previews the upcoming game against Rhode Island and talks about the Rams' tough loss at Syracuse last week.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a pair of articles on the football game time changes at Boston College and at Old Dominion. The other story looks at Frozen Fenway 2012 tickets going on sale today (Tuesday, Sept. 13). UMass will host Vermont on Jan. 7 at 4 PM in an outdoor hockey game at Fenway Park.
Dick Baker, Republican - Attention UMass hockey fans, make sure you're left out in the cold.
Tickets for the general public to the Hockey East Frozen Fenway doubleheader Jan. 7 at Fenway Park go on sale Tuesday at noon. The league and the Red Sox are looking for a sellout. UMass is hoping for a big turnout to back the Minutemen.
The Minutemen will face the University of Vermont at 4 p.m. with Maine and New Hampshire playing at 7:30.
Tickets are available at redsox.com/frozenfenway or by calling 877-RED-SOX9. Fans with disabilities may call that same number for accessible seating. Ticket prices start as low as $5, and are valid for both games.
Jeff Thomas, The Republican - The University of Massachusetts football game with Boston College on September 24 finally has a kick-off time - 1 p.m.
The time is posted on the Eagles football schedule/results page on their website here. The game will also be aired on ESPN3.
Boston College is off to a rough 0-2 start, but by time the Minutemen get to Chestnut Hill the Eagles should be 1-2. They have the hapless Blue Devils of Duke, who lost to a Richmond team in turmoil the first weekend of the season, this weekend.
The Minutemen (1-0) are coming off a bye week and will host Rhode Island, a narrow loser to Syracuse last weekend, in the home opener on Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
Over the weekend, Dick Baker led off his Local College Notebook with a piece on the UMass women's basketball team's schedule being released:
The University of Massachusetts women's basketball team scheduled opponents from all over the landscape of Division I in setting its 2011-12 slate.
The Minutewomen booked games with opponents from 12 different conferences, including the most exciting home event, Nov. 26 against Ole Miss. That will be the first time they have played an SEC team at home since 1998.
Nine of their opponents this season earned post-season berths in 2011.
UMass opens its season Sunday afternoon Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. against Boston University at the Mullins Center, and is home again Nov. 16 versus Central Connecticut before playing five of the next six on the road, starting with Miami (Ohio).
There are three home doubleheaders scheduled with the men's team, including both squads taking on St. Bonaventure Feb. 8.
UMass women's soccer's win nationally-ranked Boston University was covered in the Springfield Republican and the Daily Collegian. Also, check out the highlights and interviews from the Minutewomen's first victory over a nationally-ranked team since 2006.
There wasn't much sports writing to be done 10 years ago after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2011, only reaction from people that played the games. Then-UMass coach Steve Lappas was in the air when the planes hit, fortunately nowhere near any of the crashes.
Pete Cariello, a fullback on the UMass football team had an agonizing wait to hear the fate of family in New York and Washington. I like to read the news coverage from the days after 9-11 as a way of remembering the raw emotions we all felt that day. Below are two UMass stories the Gazette ran at that time. To all the first-responders and military. Thanks for what you do
After an early bye week this past weekend, the football team is back in action this Saturday when long-time New England rival Rhode Island visits McGuirk Stadium. Kick-off is set for 6:30 PM and the game will be televised on Comcast Sports Net. Also, a special post-game fireworks show will be presented after the game.
Here's a look at Rhode Island's narrow loss at Syracuse on Saturday:
After Friday afternoon's thrilling 1-0 double overtime win against New Hampshire in the Vermont Windjammer Classic, the UMass men's soccer team suffered a tough loss on Sunday afternoon in the tournament finale to host Vermont, 1-0. The Catamounts converted a penalty kick in the 68th minute to break the deadlock.
Brandon London had his first Canadian Football League touchdown reception yesterday as his Montreal Alouettes won big, 43-13, over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He finished the game with two catches for 29 yards and the score.
In case you missed the 8:30 AM showing of the UMass Sports Insider television show on Fox Sports College, you can watch the show again on CBS 3 at 11:30 AM or on Comcast SportsNet New England at 4:30 PM.
The UMass men's basketball 2011-12 schedule was announced on Tuesday. The Minutemen will play a 15-game home schedule. The season opener on Nov. 11 against Elon will be played at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, just the second men's game there in the last 18 years. The Minutemen will also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Thanksgiving weekend, opening against Florida State. Also highlighting the UMass schedule are games against Boston College, Miami, and hosting A-10 regular season champ Xavier.
Massachusetts men's soccer coach Sam Koch doesn't like to predict.
He doesn't like to gaze too far ahead into the future and would rather focus on what he can control now. But if he had to guess who the team's offense would revolve around and who the Minutemen's leading goal producer would be by season's end, he would be hard pressed not to choose his senior captain and star striker, Bryant Craft.
The Massachusetts football team has answered many questions regarding the switch from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Mid-Atlantic Conference, and on a larger scale, from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Although the conference switch is probably the biggest change to the program in recent memory, there is another glaring change which might have been overlooked thus far - the new-look 3-4 defensive scheme.
University of Massachusetts football coach Kevin Morris said he probably wouldn't be making a decision on how he planned to use his quarterbacks until next week.
A bye this early in the season is unusual but not unheard of. Morris is hoping to use this week to focus on improving his own team, including the quarterbacks, before preparing for Rhode Island next week.
"We're really focusing on fundamentals and spending the week on us, making sure we're where we need to be. We'll put the focus on Rhode Island next week," said Morris, who said quarterbacks Brandon Hill and Kellen Pagel would both see considerable action in practice.
Former Minuteman Matt Torra continued his stellar work for the Durham Bulls in his latest outing on the mound this past Sunday:
The Tides (55-87) went three up, three down six times against Bulls starter Matt Torra (5-1) in the penultimate game of the season Sunday night.
The 27-year-old acquired from Arizona in July baffled Tides batters up until the eighth inning. Torra struck out six and averaged an efficient 10 pitches per inning through seven innings as Tides batters constantly swung on the first pitch. Durham improved to 10-1 when Torra starts.
"He's got a nice little slider," Tides manager Gary Allenson said. "He gets ahead with something else and throws that slider up there, and it's a tough pitch to lay off of."
Torra retired 13 straight batters between shortstop Carlos Rojas' single in the third and Hughes' stand-up triple to start the eighth. After the triple, second baseman Brendan Harris reached first base on a hit-by-pitch and catcher John Hester doubled, scoring Hughes, before Dane De La Rosa relieved Torra.
Hester left the game with an injury following the double. He had two of the Tides' four hits against Torra, which may not be a coincidence. In 2007, Hester caught Torra when the two were with the Arizona Diamondback's Class A-Advanced affiliate Visalia.
"I would think it would help you a little bit if you caught the guy before," Allenson said. "You get an idea of how he works and what his stuff does."
UMass' own Matt Gedman had the opportunity to play the 2011 season finale with the Red Sox's double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, last night, getting the starting nod at third base.
Gedman was 0-3 in the contest in an 8-3 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats but finished his first season of professional ball with a .234 batting average (46-for-197), five doubles, one triple, three home runs, 18 runs scored and 17 RBI combined across three different teams.
Gedman began the season with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox before being promoted to the short season-A Lowell Spinners in late July.
With the start of the fall semester, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian is back in business. In Tuesday's Collegian, Michael Counos previews the UMass field hockey season. The Minutewomen, off to a 1-3 start against a tough early non-conference schedule, are in their first year under head coach Carla Tagliente and were picked as the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference. UMass has won three of the last four A-10 titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament all three of those championship seasons.
UMass field hockey opens at home on Saturday when it hosts Harvard at 1 p.m. at Garber Field. A ceremony will be held prior to the game honoring the 30th anniversary of UMass' 1981 Final Four team.
Former University of Massachusetts and Amherst Regional standout James Ihedigbo made the New England Patriots final roster as the Patriots cut two-time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather to trim their roster to the limit of 53 on Saturday.
Ihedigbo was one of five Minutemen to survive cutdown day. Victor Cruz, who is expected to see regular playing time in the New York Giants wide receiver rotation after missing most of last year with an injury, made the roster out of camp for the second straight season. Jeromy Miles, who started last year on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad before being elevated during the season, made the 53-man roster out of camp this year.
Jeremy Cain starts his sixth NFL season and his third with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's primarily a long snapper.
Vlad Ducasse begins his second season as a reserve guard for the Jets.
The move has been met with joy and a little bit of sorrow, most fans excited about the step up in competition on a weekly basis, but some upset that all the home games for the next two years will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the New England Patriots.
"It's going very well, we're up over 800 new season tickets and most of those are early anticipation of next year,'' UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon said. "Our renewal rate is over 80 percent and that was three weeks ago for this season.
"Folks are excited about it, the response we've had in regards to our scheduling of FBS games has gone very well and we're just excited about what has happened with UMass football,'' he added.
Jonathan Hernandez rushed for 151 net yards and sophomore quarterback Kellen Pagel threw two touchdown passes in his UMass debut as the Minutemen handled Holy Cross 24-16 Thursday night at Fitton Field.
Emil Igwenagu's first-quarter touchdown run, his first varsity rushing TD, put the Minutemen up for keeps. They held a double-digit lead until Holy Cross scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game.
"Now we've got a game under our belts," Morris said. "It's a win, so it'll make the meetings and the end result a whole lot happier when you're reviewing the tape because you got the win."
UMass has until Sept. 17 to iron out the kinks and fix what needs fixing.
The first UMass Sports Insider of the year can be watched on a special date and time as it will air tonight on CBS3 Springfield (7 PM) and Comcast Sports Net (5 PM) tonight prior to the football season-opener at Holy Cross.
Following the 30 minute preview show, be sure to tune-in to the CBS Sports Network to watch the No. 25 Minutemen battle Holy Cross in the first-ever night game at historic Fitton Field.
You can find the CBS Sports Network in your area by going to http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/. In Western Mass, here are the cable numbers: Comcast 261 or 861 (HD); Charter 318; DirectTV 613 or 613 HD; Dish Network 152, 9495 or 152; University Cable 27 or 98.
If you can't make the game tonight, don't forget you can watch it live at 8 PM tonight on the CBS Sports Network. Just go to http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/ and scroll down to the bottom. There you can enter your zip code and tv service provider to find the channel.
Head Coach Kevin Morris said his players will take a one-game-at-a-time approach to the season, which begins tonight at Holy Cross.
Sophomore tight end Rob Blanchflower said he and his teammates have broken down their season into smaller goals, too. "Even though we can't play for a CAA championship, we can play to be the best offensive [team] in the country, be the best defense in the country,'' he said. "Shut teams out, put up points, knock people out of the playoffs. We have a very competitive attitude.''
History will be made tonight at Fitton Field in Worcester when Holy Cross hosts in-state rival UMass in the first-ever night football game played on the Crusaders campus.
It marks the 50th meeting in the series between HC and UMass, which begins a two-year transition period into the Football Bowl Subdivision and becomes a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference.
The Minutemen lead the series, 23-21-5, and have won the last eight meetings, including a 31-7 victory in Amherst last Sept. 11.
Holy Cross is pumped to provide an electric-style atmosphere, thanks to new portable lights.
During the 2011 season, Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette will take a look back at each of UMass' traditional football rivalries throughout New England, the Yankee Conference, The Atlantic 10 and the CAA.
If fans of University of Massachusetts football are excited about getting this season started, more demonstrative adjectives may be needed for Holy Cross.
UMass begins its final season of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision play Thursday night at Fitton Field in Worcester, where the Crusaders are pulling out all the stops in what will likely be the final game in this series.
"We're really excited," Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore said on his weekly radio show. "It's a huge event on top of being a big game."