UMass Athletics:

December 2011 Archives

Highlights From Hockey's Win Over #13 Cornell

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Check out the highlights from UMass' 5-2 victory over #13 Cornell last night in the opening round of the Florida College Hockey Classic. Be sure to listen to tonight's game on 91.1 FM WMUA as the Mass Attack faces Maine for the championship!

Earlier today, the Minutemen went to the beach for a pregame jog and stretch. Check out the photo gallery on Facebook

Matt Vautour has a look at tonight's men's basketball match-up between UMass and Central Connecticut State as the Blue Devils visit the Mullins Center for a 7 PM tip-off.

Gazette: New UMass football coach recruiting champions

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on the qualities Charley Molnar is looking for in his new staff and incoming players.

New University of Massachusetts football coach Charley Molnar said he expects the Minutemen to be competitive in the Mid-American Conference quickly.  

As he recruits UMass' first class that will spend its entire career in the Bowl Subdivision, Molnar is telling players that they wouldn't just be serving as a springboard for future players' success.  

"I'm really talking to them about being the foundation of a championship football team. These guys aren't going to be just a step along the way so some group down the road can win a championship," Molnar said. "These guys are coming to the University of Massachusetts to win a championship in their time here. These guys are going to be hoisting a trophy up. That's the absolute plan. That's the vision and that's why they're coming to UMass."  

"One of the things I set out to do was hire a staff where every coach has full-time I-A experience," said Molnar, wearing a maroon dress shirt sitting a conference room in UMass' University Drive football offices. "Some have coached in the MAC and most of the coaches have some BCS experience at the full-time level."

Recaps Of Hockey's 5-2 Win Over No. 13 Cornell

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Thanks to a pair of goals and an assist for Conor Sheary and 27 saves from Kevin Boyle, the UMass hockey team beat No. 13 Cornell 5-2 last night in the Everblades College Hockey Classic in Estero, Fla. UMass will face Maine tonight at 7:30 PM for the tournament championship. The game will be a non-conference match-up between the two Hockey East rivals and can be heard on 91.1 FM WMUA.

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the success UMass basketball is having in its non-conference schedule this season urging fans to get on board.

Gazette: UMass hockey seeks new start in Florida

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette previews the Everblades College Hockey Classic where UMass will face No. 13 Cornell tonight at 7:30 PM.

CBS Boston has a look at the transformation of Fenway Park in preparation for the Sun Life Frozen Fenway 2012 - just one week from this Friday when UMass takes on Vermont at 4 PM.

(Photo credit: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a preview of tonight's meeting with No. 13 Cornell in the Everblades College Hockey Classic in Florida.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has his Baker's Dozen for the week where he looks at the match-ups in the Everblades College Hockey Classic which starts tonight along with other items surrounding the UMass hockey season.

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has an update on MAC teams and their bowl success this year. MAC teams have won three of four bowl games this year following Toledo's win over Air Force last night. Temple and Ohio each won their respective bowls, while Western Michigan lost a close game to Purdue.

Jeff Thomas reveals the Springfield Republican's No. 3 pick for Top 10 Sports Stories of 2011 as being UMass making the jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference. The complete Top-10 list will be published on Jan. 1 in the Republican.

MassLive: Dawley Moving Forward In The Program Rebuilding

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In today's Republican, Dick Baker has a midseason review of the UMass women's basketball team's progress in the squad's second season under head coach Sharon Dawley.

The Minutewomen, who are in action this afternoon at the UVA Cavalier Classic facing Elon at 4:30 p.m., are currently on a three-game winning streak and sit at 4-8 on the year.

"While the program progress may not appear rapid under Dawley, it's been clearly identifiable. She already has four new recruits for next season, and improving on last year's 3-11 conference mark this season seems quite likely.

Her knowledge of the game cannot be questioned, and it's clear the former outstanding Vermont coach has a plan. The elevator may be going up at a filled-hotel- elevator speed, but it's going up while making the necessary stop at each floor."

Read Baker's full story here

Cruz Selected As Alternate To 2012 NFL Pro Bowl

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After putting together an unbelievable regular-season performance, Victor Cruz has been selected as a second alternate for this year's NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu.

Jeff Roberts of The Record has a feature on Cruz who says he feels "blessed" and that he's "having the most incredible year of my life."

David Moulton of has a look at the Everblades College Hockey Classic in Estero, Fla., where UMass will take on No. 13 Cornell on Thursday and either Clarkson or Maine on Friday.

AP: Pitino To Step Down Following 2017 Season

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The Associated Press reported yesterday that UMass alum Rick Pitino will not return to Louisville when his contract runs out following the 2016-17 season.

In his blog yesterday, ESPN's Andy Katz ranks UMass as his No. 3 Team That Impressed after the Minutemen's win over Davidson.

10 more teams that impressed this week - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN

1. North Carolina: The Tar Heels crushed Texas in Chapel Hill and finally looked like the dominant No. 1 team it was projected to be at the start of the season. 

2. Providence: Yes, the Friars made the grade this week. They won easily at rival Rhode Island, which might not mean much considering the Rams have only one win, but it was a strong statement for first-year coach Ed Cooley, who has his program trending upward heading into Big East play. 

3. UMass: The Minutemen have been erratic this season in key games, but a convincing win against Davidson at home, after the Wildcats had beaten Kansas, is proof that UMass has a shot to cause some trouble in the A-10. 

4. Long Beach State: The 49ers were the runner-up at the Diamond Head Classic, falling to Kansas State on Sunday. But the 49ers enter Big West play as the clear favorites over UC Santa Barbara and have proven through their crazy nonconference schedule that they're not afraid to play against any team. 

5. UTEP: The Miners finished in third in the Diamond Head Classic and showed their athleticism and grittiness throughout the tournament. The Miners will be a tough out in Conference USA, which should be an extremely competitive league race. 

6. Missouri: The Tigers outlasted Illinois in their annual game in St. Louis. The Tigers continue to look the part of a top 10 team and a potential top two seed in the NCAA tournament. Missouri got pushed as hard as it has this season by Illinois, but still prevailed late by making the right decisions. 

7. Creighton: The Bluejays rebounded well from a road loss at Saint Joseph's with a home win against Northwestern. Creighton has righted itself in time for what should be a brutal chase for the Missouri Valley Conference title. 

8. Florida: The Gators didn't have to sweat much late in the game in an 82-64 win against Florida State, as they proved yet again that they are the premier program in the state. Patric Young continues to develop into a defensive force. 

9. Georgetown: The Hoyas completed a season sweep of Memphis and have made the Verizon Center one of the tougher spots to get a win this season. Georgetown has been able to beat teams playing different styles, and has a variety of players capable of contributing. 

10. LSU: The Tigers followed up a home win against Marquette by beating North Texas in Denton. What that means is the Tigers are now winning the games they should if we are to take them seriously going into SEC play.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes a look at the Atlantic 10 Conference and the media poll and where each of the team's stack up.

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican looks at UMass' second half adjustments in games this year which have helped the Minutemen put together a four-game win streak heading into Friday's meeting with Central Connecticut (Mullins Center, 7 PM).

Cruz Sets New York Giants Receiving Record

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An amazing game by Victor Cruz against the Jets over the week where he had a 99-yard pass reception-and-run to help him set a new Giants single season receiving record. Along with his season total, the 99-yard play also ties a franchise record putting the UMass standout's name in the Giants record book twice.

John Torsiello of the Housatonic Times has a profile piece on UMass men's swimming freshman Alex Bieber.

Ricky Harris Update From Germany

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Ricky Harris is interviewed following his 15-point game in leading the sOliver Baskets to a 64-55 win over FC Bayern Munich in the German BBL.

In 12 games, Harris ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game.

CBS Boston: James Ihedigbo Living Dream, Helping Others

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CBS Boston (WBZ) has a feature story on former Minuteman and current New England Patriot James Ihedigbo that focuses on his life growing up and his HOPE Foundation which helps students in Africa gain a college education in the United States.

Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal has a story on Vladimir Ducasse and his recent success with the Jets who are using him exclusively in "Jumbo Formations" where he plays as a third tackle/tightend.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a look at UMass hockey's attendance figures through the first half of the season. UMass ranks 16th nationally after 8 home games.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on three former Minutemen now in the NHL ranks: Jonathan Quick (L.A. Kings), Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks), and Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild).

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a sidebar from the Davidson win on former UMass All-American Lou Roe who was in attendance at the Mullins Center last night.

Recaps From Men's Basketball Win Over Davidson

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In an editorial to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Michel Fusia, son of former UMass football head coach Vic Fusia, writes on why the football move to the FBS is a critical one for the success of the University.

Ben Larsen of the Springfield Republican has a story on new UMass football coach Charley Molnar deciding to forgo coaching in the Champs Sports Bowl with his former team, Notre Dame, so that he can continue the momentum he has built in Amherst.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican takes a look at UMass' next opponent, Cornell, which the Minutemen will face following Christmas in Florida. Football journey - James Ihedigbo

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UMass alum Mike Reiss has a profile of James Ihedigbo up on Included in the Q&A session is Ihedigbo recounting some of his favorite memories while at UMass including the 2006 win over Montana in the NCAA Playoffs in 2006.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a sidebar on the UMass men's basketball win over Quinnipiac and Terrell Vinson's role in the win.

Recaps From Men's Basketball Win Over Quinnipiac

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An 18-0 run to start the second half gave UMass a 72-67 win over Quinnipiac despite the Bobcats chipping away late in the game to make it a three-point game with a minute to go.

Terrell Vinson, Raphiael Putney and Chaz Williams all scored in double figures to lead UMass which has won three straight and remains undefeated at home (5-0).

Republican: UMass Hockey In The Pros Update

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Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks, NHL), Matt Irwin (Worcester Sharks, AHL) and Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild, NHL).

Braun played a season-high 21 minutes in a 3-2 win over Edmonton, while Irwin was reassigned to Worcester. After being called up from Houston, Wellman has been sidelined with the an injury for the Wild.

Jim Hague of the Daily Record of Morristown, N.J., has a feature on new UMass football coach Charley Molnar. The story recaps Molnar's process in taking the job and what the past few days have been like as he works to assemble his staff, recruit, meet people around campus and prepare to head back to Notre Dame to help coach the Irish in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Molnar excited for opportunity | Daily Record |

UMass Sports Luncheon Features Kellogg, Dawley & Cahoon

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If you are around campus today, be sure to stop by the UMass Sports Luncheon at 12 PM in Room 1009 of the Campus Center. Men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg, women's basketball coach Sharon Dawley, and hockey head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon will be the guest speakers.

Freshman goalie Kevin Boyle will also be honored as the UMass Athlete of the Week.

Victor Cruz Interview With Colin Cowherd On ESPN Radio

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Victor Cruz of the New York Giants was a guest on Colin Cowherd's show on ESPN Radio yesterday. The former UMass standout talked about the win over the Cowboys, his season so far, and playing with Eli Manning.

After 13 years coaching the North Andover boys lacrosse program, Steve Connolly will step down this year as his son and recent UMass standout Ryan Connolly takes over as head coach.

Joe McConnell of Wicked Local North Andover has a Q&A with the former coach about the future with his son at the helm.

Molnar Interview From 98.5 FM The Sports Hub

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New UMass football head coach Charley Molnar was a guest on the Bertrand and Gasper Show on 98.5 FM The Sports Hub in Boston this past Saturday. Check out the audio of the interview below.

Happy birthday to Jordan Broadnax and Brendon Levengood of football, Michael Loughery of men's soccer and Kelsey McGovern of women's lacrosse!

Jordan BroadnaxBrendon LevengoodMike LougheryKelsey McGovern

Quick's Kings Face Bruins In Boston Tonight

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Be sure to check out the Boston Bruins hosting the L.A. Kings tonight at 7 PM as Jonathan Quick makes a return trip to New England. You can watch the game on NESN or listen on 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.
The Holy Cross hockey team raised $7,400 for the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund last Saturday after wearing special camouflaged jersey's in the game against Army. The Crusaders then auctioned off the sweaters.

The MSLF was founded by UMass alum Peter Trovato who was also in attendance at the game and took part in a ceremonial puck drop.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the coaching change with the L.A. Kings who have named John Stevens as the interim head coach.

A-10 hoops faring well against power conferences

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Doug Harris of the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun takes a look at the non-conference opponent success the Atlantic 10 has had this season with several quotes from UMass head coach Derek Kellogg. ran a story yesterday on Vladimir Ducasse and the New York Jets mixing him in the offensive line as an extra tight end in power sets.

Happy birthday to women's swimmer Katherine Foley and women's field hockey player Molly MacDonnell!

Katherine FoleyMolly MacDonnell

Coverage Of Women's Basketball's Win Over Maine

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Congratulations to the women's basketball team on heading into the final exam break with a win over Maine on Sunday at the Mullins Center. 

Full Court Press has this recap: Career Days for Robinson, Teuscher as UMass Moves Past Maine, 63-54

Also check out the postgame interviews with head coach Sharon Dawley and freshman Emily Mital:

With 7 catches for 83 yards in last night's win over Dallas, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants continues to show why he is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL.

*Cruz had seven receptions for 83 yards in Dallas. His 1,159 yards is the seventh-highest single-season total in Giants history. Cruz needs 185 yards in the final three games to top Amani Toomer's franchise record of 1,343 yards, set in 2002.

UMass alum Dan Duggan has a story on New England Patriots' safety James Ihedigbo and how the veteran has contributed not just on the field but also in the locker room.

Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a feature on Casey Wellman that was picked up nationally. The story centers on the development of Wellman who is a rare Californian playing in the top professional ranks between the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the AHL's Houston Aeros - whom he helped nearly win the Calder Cup last season.

San Jose Calls Up Matt Irwin From Worcester

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The San Jose Sharks of the NHL called up Matt Irwin on Sunday from the AHL Worcester Sharks. That gives the Sharks a pair of UMass blueliners as Irwin will join former teammate Justin Braun.

Braun has played in 14 games this season with a 1 goal, 2 assists and a +5 rating.
Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the transition process from the FCS to the FBS level with Charley Molnar at the helm of the UMass football program and the meaning the move will have on the University at the institutional level.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a piece on Charley Molnar and how he will use the example set by Boise State in transitioning UMass from the FCS level to the FBS level in the coming years.

Recaps From Men's Basketball Win Over Siena

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In making an ambitious transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Mid-American Conference, the University of Massachusetts turned to a man with an equal amount of ambition as its next coach.

The challenge of building a championship-caliber program is daunting, but Notre Dame offensive coordinator Charley Molnar embraced the opportunity when he was introduced yesterday as the Minutemen's 29th coach during a press conference at Gillette Stadium, where UMass will play five home games each of the next two seasons.

"Why did I choose UMass to be the place where I'm going to put the rest of my professional reputation and my career [at stake] - why did I choose to come here?'' asked Molnar.

"UMass has a vision to be greater than what it is today. I wanted to be involved in a program from the ground up. Some people like to be caretakers of college football programs; I've always envisioned myself to be a builder.

Motivational speaking can be a bit of a tightrope.

If it comes off at all oversold or disingenuous, it looks phony. Being a salesman is good. Being a used car salesman is very bad.

But in his first appearance as the coach of the University of Massachusetts football program, Charley Molnar walked that line effectively, getting the most out of his first impression.

The Notre Dame offensive coordinator's energy appeared genuine and more than a little infectious. He's never been a head coach before, but he came off as a polished speaker. Even during the question and answer session, Molnar stayed on message like an experienced campaigner. And while he seemed honored and excited to have the job, he came off very confident that he was the right man for it.

CONTINUE READING: Charley Molnar passes first test at opening press conference | GazetteNET


Congratulations to Charley Molnar for being named the new head coach of the UMass football program yesterday at Gillette Stadium. Tons of coverage today on our newest Minuteman!

Charley Molnar is introduced on Thursday as the next head coach of the UMass football team. Fans can watch the entire archived press conference here:

CBS3 and ABC40 both have coverage here as well:

Collegian: Minutewomen Close To Climbing Over Hump

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With the women's basketball team in action on the road tonight at Boston College at 7 p.m., Eric Mansfield has this sidebar in today's Daily Collegian:

The Massachusetts women's basketball team, while on a six-game slide, has been keeping the early season non-conference games relatively close, losing four of its six games by five points or less.

Other than a blowout loss on the road to Miami (Ohio), UMass has been within striking distance of all of its opponents, the closest of which was a three-point loss to Central Connecticut at home in overtime on Nov. 16.

Minutewomen coach Sharon Dawley, while disappointed that the team hasn't come away with one of these close games, made it clear that she has been encouraged by her team's performance.

Continue reading Minutewomen close to climbing over hump

Coverage Of Men's Basketball's Win At ECU

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Hockey Previews Of Tonight's Game Vs. Yale

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The Minutemen will be putting their seven game home unbeaten streak on the line tonight when the squad plays host to Yale at 7 p.m. With a 4-7-4 overall record this season, each of its four wins have come on home ice.

A-10 Indoor T&F Polls Released

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The Atlantic 10 has released the 2011-12 indoor track and field polls. You can check the men's and women's rankings out by clicking here.

The UMass men, who finished fourth at last year's A-10 Meet, are picked to finish fourth, while the Minutewomen come in at eighth in a field of 12 conference squads.

Minuetmen in the Pros

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Former UMass Minutemen, Casey Wellman currently of the Minnesota Wild, Johnathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Jeremy Horn of the Kansas City Chiefs continue to excel as their professional athletic careers continue to take form in the 2011/12 hockey and football seasons.

Casey Wellman: Minnesota Wild

UMass Men's Hockey and Harvard Tie in OT

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Overcoming a three game losing streak, the UMass men's hockey team fought hard against the Crimson and took the game in to overtime resulting in a 4-4 tie on Friday night. 


Post Game Interview:
The UMass Women's Lacross team was featured on the latest episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" when the hosts of the show took to the streets to promote "Stand Together," an anti-bullying campaign. The team made a the pledge and is featured at the 32:20- 32:30 mark.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition featuring UMass Women's Lacrosse: Walker Family

Happy Birthday: Dec. 5- Rich Graef

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Happy birthday to baseball player Rich Graef!

Rich Graef

Recaps From Men's Basketball Loss At Miami

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Chaz Williams scored a career-high 22 points but it was not enough as the UMass men's basketball team fell at Miami on Saturday 83-75.


Press Conference:

Happy Birthday: Dec 2- Mike Fetterly

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Happy birthday to men's lacrosse player Mike Fetterly!

Mike Fetterly


One Moore Minute - 2011 Thanksgiving Episode Now Online

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Check out the newest episode of One Moore Minute as Kevin Moore takes fans behind the scenes of Thanksgiving for the UMass hockey team.

Happy birthday to men's lacrosse player Anthony Biscardi, women's lacrosse player Dayna Defliese and men's hoops player Freddie Riley!
Anthony BiscardiDayna DeflieseFreddie Riley

Sault Star: Hockey's LaRue loves life at UMass

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Peter Ruicci of The Sault Star has a feature on hockey freshman Zack LaRue and his adjustment to the college game. Ihedigbo has it down Pat

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Mike Reiss of has a feature on James Ihedigbo has quickly become a key part of the New England Patriots defense and a spokesman in the locker room.

Recaps From Basketball Win Over Towson

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With four players in double figure scoring last night, UMass easily cruised by Towson 86-56 to stay perfect on the year at the Mullins Center and improve to 6-2 overall.

Boston Globe: UMass right at home
Daily Collegian: Minutemen tame Tigers
Worcester Telegram: Balanced attack spurs Minutemen