UMass Athletics:

October 2012 Archives

Another UMass hockey piece from Richard Murray for Hockey', here is Murray's feature on sophomore goaltender Kevin Boyle:

After a successful showing at the New York Islanders development camp this past summer, University of Massachusetts goalie Kevin Boyle is ready to take the reigns as the starting goaltender for the Minutemen again.

Last season former UMass coach Don "Toot" Cahoon split the playing time of his goalies pretty evenly, but towards the end of the season there was a transition to Boyle as he led the goalies in games played with 21 games. Cahoon also started Boyle for both of UMass' Hockey East playoff games at Boston College.

Last season, Boyle finished with a record of 8-7-4, a 3.00 goals-against average, and a .895 save percentage. Although his numbers may not look too impressive, his stats don't tell the whole story of his season, especially since UMass was a very inexperienced team. The UMass defensive corps was made up of all freshmen and sophomores with the exception of senior, Michael Marcou.

"Not many freshman goalies can go into the top ranked teams arena and beat them, like [Boyle] did last year against BU, " former UMass goalie Kevin Moore said.

"I can't think back to a game he didn't give us a chance to win. I think him getting [invited] to the Islanders camp reflected that. Having a sub .900 save percentage you wouldn't always think he had a great year, but if he is getting invited to a prospect camp like that the scouts must be noticing something."

Read more of Boyle Tries To Lock Down UMass Starting Role

Hockey's Future: Hanley Placing Himself On NHL's Radar

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Richard Murray recently paid a visit to campus to talk some UMass hockey to feature several players on Hockey', including this piece on junior defensman Joel Hanley.

Despite flying under the radar at times, Joel Hanley participated in the Columbus Blue Jackets' development camp this past summer, and he now looks to anchor the University of Massachusetts blue line this season.

Last season, Hanley scored seven goals and added 18 assists; he led all UMass defensemen in scoring with 25 points. So far this season, Hanley, has a goal and an assist in four gamesof play.

Hanley, a junior, has often flown under the radar because he is a smaller defensemen, standing at 6 feet tall. Although, not always being in the spotlight has also been a benefit because it has allowed him to just focus on playing his game.

"As a smaller defenseman people overlook you, and they don't think you have the physical strength or size," Hanley said. "You have to take it into account, but it is nice to be a little underrated sometimes. When the spotlight isn't on you all the time you can just do your thing out there."

At his smaller stature, Hanley has modeled his game around other, shorter offensive styled defenseman in the NHL like Mike Green.

"Green is a smaller offensive defensemen, and there are a lot of things I try to take out of his game," Hanley said. "I like his offensive ability, especially how he sees the game so well."

Hanley's vision on the ice is actually something that new UMass coach John Micheletto has noticed right away.

"I think he has a real good vision for the game, and he has an idea of what to do with the puck," Micheletto said. "One of his best assets is being able to see the big picture. While other players might only see one option, he can sort through his options quickly and still make the appropriate decision."

Read more of Hanley placing himself on the NHL's radar with offensive ability

Carzo Captains Success On And Off The Ice

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Nick Canelas profiled UMass Hockey co-captain Rocco Carzo for the Daily Collegian:

Rocco Carzo had a simple message for his teammates before his first game as co-captain of the Massachusetts hockey team against defending national champion BostonCollege on Oct. 19.

"Just keep it calm," he said, "keep it on the ice."

No one embraced that message more than the senior forward, who went out and scored two goals in the Minutemen's 5-4 loss in overtime to the No.3 Eagles, marking the first multi-goal game of his collegiate career.

And while Carzo's goals made for quite the accomplishment that night, he was more excited that he helped put his team up, 3-0, against one of the top teams in the nation at the time.

"It's exciting. I wanted to start off good as captain, but the feeling that we were up 3-0 on the No. 3 team was even better," Carzo said. "It's better than the goals. It's helping out the team that's best."

Read more of Carzo Captains Success On And Off The Ice.

Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the impact several freshmen have made this season on the UMass football team.

Freshmen making impact, providing optimism for UMass football - The Daily Collegian

Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the impact several freshmen have made this season on the UMass football team.

Freshmen making impact, providing optimism for UMass football - The Daily Collegian

The UMass Sports Insider Checks In With A Halloween Special

The UMass Sports Insider takes a look at the Halloween plans of several Minutemen and Minutewomen. Josh Maurer also finds out what some of the best costumes in the past have been and what the holiday is like in other countries.

Tyler Bergantino, Derrick Gordon put on YouTube show

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Derrick Gordon and Tyler Bergantino are two of the most energetic and outgoing students on the UMass campus... and they happen to be pretty good ball players too. Take a read at the following article by the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour and check out the unique video series these two newcomers have brought to the Amherst area.

Read the entire article here.

Javorn Farrell could return to Minuteman lineup this season

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The University of Massachusetts senior is healing faster than expected from offseason ankle surgery, which was originally expected to sideline him for the entire 2012-13 season.

Read the entire article here.

Derek Kellogg pleased with results from Drexel scrimmage

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Head coach Derek Kellogg offered up some thoughts on UMass' performance in their recent scrimmage in the following article by Daily Hampshire Gazette veteran writer Matt Vautour.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had this article on Sampson Carter and the excitement he has in getting to return to the court and play another team.

Guzzo, Gracel Go From Roommates To Linemates

The Republican's Harry Plumer featured Steven Guzzo and Branden Gracel this week, two members of UMass' top point-producing line through the first two games of the season:

They became friends because they couldn't get Tim Horton's before practice anymore.

At least, that's part of the reason, according to Branden Gracel.

Gracel and Steven Guzzo, two Canadians who found their way to the University of Massachusetts hockey team, began bonding over their shared experiences when they arrived in Amherst three years ago.

Last season, they were roommates in North Apartments. This season, they no longer share living space, but something more important: Ice time.

The duo finds itself on a line together with captain Rocco Carzo, and the chemistry has been immediate -- the combination has accounted for four of the Minutemen's five even strength goals.

It wasn't a natural fit, though. Gracel, born and raised in Calgary, and Guzzo a, Toronto-area native, had both been centers for their first their three years at UMass. But Micheletto needed instant bonds, and instead of letting positions get in the way, he moved Gracel to wing.

"Ultimately what you're trying to find is guys that have some sort of chemistry together," Micheletto said. "It appears that that's been the case."

Read more of Steven Guzzo, Branden Gracel go from roommates to linemates for UMass hockey

Sheary Overcoming Small Stature With Hard Work

Richard Murray recently featured UMass junior Conor Sheary on

Conor Sheary had a breakout season last year for the University of Massachusetts hockey team. But with a new coach and system in place, he could be poised to have another big season for the Minutemen.

Sheary is the leading scorer of returning Minutemen players. In 35 games last season, Sheary scored 12 goals and had 23 assists. He was only one point shy of being a point-per-game player.

"You always want to improve from the year before, so obviously coming back I want to do better than I did last season," Sheary said. "Whether it is point wise, leadership wise, or team wise I just want to improve."

New UMass hockey coach John Micheletto has implemented a new system that is designed to benefit a player with Sheary's abilities.

"[The system] benefits his style of play," Micheletto said. "He has great explosive quickness, and he can separate himself from defensive players. He also has an incredibly quick release, so he has natural elements in his game that we want."

Read more of Sheary Overcoming Small stature With Hard Work

Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican/ composed an article detailing Maxie Esho's role on the 2012-13 UMass basketball team. He talks about the sophomore's role last year and the impact he continues to make with his energy and stamina as the team's "Sixth Man."

Playoffs on the line as UMass hosts Bonnies, Dukes

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This weekend UMass will play host to St. Bonaventure (Friday at 2:30 pm) and Duquesne (Sunday at 1 pm) at Rudd Field. The Minutemen are currently in a five-way log-jam for ninth place in the 16-team Atlantic 10 standings. Three teams are a mere one point ahead in a tie for fifth. The top eight teams after the end of next weekend's regular-season will advance to the A-10 Championship in Charlotte.

Here's a weekend preview written by Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian.

Pair of sophomores stepping up for UMass

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Dan Malone from the Daily Collegian has a story on the emergence and importance of sophomore Matt Keys and Josh Schwartz.

While it may not be obvious to the majority of fans, it should really come as no surprise that Matt Keys and Josh Schwartz have played with such successful coherence for the Massachusetts men's soccer team this season.

To the outside observer, there might not be a more mismatched pair of players on the team. Keys, at 6-foot-4 inches tall, is a physically-imposing presence, while the 5-foot-6-inch Schwartz, is anything but. UMass assistant coach Devin O'Neill knows there's more to this talented sophomore duo than meets the eye, however.

Mike Gillmeister of the Springfield Republican spent some time with the UMass swimming & diving teams last week and authored a piece on the season outlooks on the various strokes and specialties.

CBS Sports: Chaz Williams Among Top 50 Point Guards

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I'm pretty sure most Minuteman fans know how good Chaz Williams is at the point guard spot, but now he has appeared on a couple of lists that bring the point home.

SB Nation and CBS Sports have each had him among their Top 100 Players and now CBS has him among their ball handling elite, ranking him No. 25 on their list of the Top 50 Point Guards.

Other players on the list that are on UMass' schedule or could face the Minutemen in Puerto Rico include: No. 5 Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), No. 10 Lorenzo Brown (NC State), No. 15 Tim Frazier (Penn State), No. 18 Vincent Council (Providence), No. 20 Rotnei Clarke (Butler), No. 24 D.J. Cooper (Ohio), No. 37 Kwamain Mitchell (Saint Louis), No. 38 Kevin Dillard (Dayton), No. 41 Trae Golden (Tennessee) and No. 42 Semaj Christon (Xavier).

#43 UMass Minutemen: College Basketball 111 in 111

| No TrackBacks web site has posted its top 111 basketball teams and is counting them down over the 111 days leading up the start of regular-season games on Friday, Nov. 9. UMass comes in at No. 43.

Other teams announced on their list thus far include Butler (45), Saint Louis (48), Temple (51), Harvard (77), Xavier (78), Providence (83) and Dayton (91).

Raphiael Putney seeks consistency for UMass hoop

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Derek Kellogg has said on more than one occasion that Raphiael Putney is a key piece to UMass' success this season. Last year he averaged 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game. Putney is stronger than ever and still one of the most athletic players in the country.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an article on his progress as he begins his fourth season with the program.

Field Hockey Runs Undefeated Streak To Five Games

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The UMass field hockey team continued its strong second-half performance on the 2012 season with a pair of road victories against A-10 foes La Salle, 4-1 and Saint Joseph's, 5-1 to move the squad's undefeated streak to five consecutive games. The Minutewomen now own a 10-8 overall record and 4-1 mark in conference play entering the final regular season weekend.

As a result of the recent success, UMass has gone from unranked in to NFHCA Top-25 Poll to holding down the No. 18 spot in the current standings.

The pair of wins also netted the Minutewomen three individual honors as senior forward Nicole Cordero was named A-10 Player of the Week, freshman goalkeeper Sam Carlino totaled A-10 Rookie of the Week and senior defender Thando Zono tallied Co-UMass Athlete of the Week laurels.

Matt Levine of The Daily Collegian has the recap for this weekend's action.

Breaking Down The Five Best Non-Conference Tournaments

| No TrackBacks columnist Chris Johnson broke down the five best non-conference tournament this season. Among his list is the Puerto Rico Tip-Off which includes UMass and will take place in Bayamon, Puerto Rico Nov. 15-18.

He writes...
First, NC State will test its preseason reputation on a Caribbean island, and the test will not be an easy one. Getting by Penn State in the first round isn't the issue, nor is the second round tilt with either Providence or UMass (though I do expect UMass to make some noise in a loaded A-10 this season).

Read his entire list and a little about each one here.

UMass men's soccer splits weekend road contests

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Taylor Snow of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the weekend's play that saw the men's soccer team split on the road with No. 18/25 Charlotte and George Washington. UMass dropped a 4-0 decision to the 49ers, who are also 12th in the most recent NCAA RPI, before rebounding for a 3-0 triumph over the Colonials on their Senior Day.

Speaking of Senior Day, UMass will celebrate its four seniors this weekend with a Friday contest against St. Bonaventure at 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday versus Duquesne at 1 p.m.

Rowing Head Coach Jim Dietz Featured In Boston Herald

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Jim Dietz is featured in the Boston Herald to preview Head of the Charles Weekend.  Dietz will be rowing in the masters double sculls this weekend.  

The full article can be found here: Jim Dietz Celebrates Head's History

UMass heads south, hopes tournament chances don't as well

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Dan Malone of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a preview of this weekend's men's soccer road contests, at No. 12 Charlotte Friday night and George Washington on Sunday afternoon.

With six games remaining, the Minutemen are tied for 11th place in the 16-team league. The top eight teams with the highest point totals in conference play will qualify for the postseason tournament, held Nov. 8-11 in Charlotte.

Boston Globe Features Rowing Head Coach Jim Dietz

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John Powers of the Boston Globe previews the Head of the Charles Regatta Weekend with a feature on decorated UMass rowing coach Jim Dietz.  The Minutewomen will row alongside their famed coach this weekend at the prestigious regatta. 

Hockey Announces Captains

Those listening to the Bud Light UMass Hockey Show last night on WHMP were first to hear that seniors Rocco Carzo and Kevin Czepiel will serve as UMass' co-captains for the 2012-13 season.

Harry Plumer posted about the announcement on, while Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette led off his notebook with the news about Carzo and Czepiel.

An action packed UMass Sports Luncheon is on tap for today as field hockey assistant coach Shannon Taylor will speak about her time at the 2012 London Olympics with Team USA and the 2011 Dad Vail Regatta rowing champions will be honored.

The guest speakers today will also include men's soccer coach Sam Koch and hockey coach John Micheletto. Lauren Allymohamed will be honored as the Athlete of the Week after guiding the field hockey team to a 3-0 week highlighted by the scintillating win over No. 1 ranked Syracuse at Garber Field.

The luncheon begins at Noon in the Massachusetts Room of the Mullins Center with free parking at the rear of the building (next to the tennis courts).

Bishop Ford's Chaz Williams not short on talent

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Joseph Staszewski of the Brooklyn Courier chatted-up Chaz Williams and head coach Derek Kellogg over the past week and wrote the following article on the hometown kid and his journey to UMass, bringing his "New York City toughness and Brooklyn swagger" to the program.

Cady Lalanne has big shoes, role to fill

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Stephen Sellner of the Daily Collegian has the first feature of the year on sophomore big man Cady Lalanne. Lalanne, who is coming off a foot injury that sidelined him for most of last season, has grown an inch and seen his body fat percentage drop from 11 to nine pct. over the summer.

UMass Hockey Radio Show Tonight At The Hangar

The second Bud Light UMass Hockey Show of the season will air tonight from the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive at 7 p.m.

First-year head coach John Micheletto, along with player guests Kevin Czepiel and Rocco Carzo, will join hosts Brock Hines and Adam Frenier this week. The show will also recap the season-opening win over Connecticut and preview this Friday's matchup with #3 Boston College at the Mullins Center.

Submit a Question For Coach Micheletto

The show is broadcast live on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. on WHMP (AM 1400/1240/FM 96.9), which is also available streaming online and via the TuneIn app. Podcasts of past shows are available on WHMP's website.

Chaz Williams and UMass ready to take the next step

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Paul Gotham of the basketball site Pickin Splinters wrote a piece on the path the program has taken in four years under coach Derek Kellogg. He also touches on the progress junior guard Chaz Williams has made in two seasons, while making note that the 5-9 Brooklyn dynamo's potential is still climbing.

UMass backup point guard Trey Davis on fast track

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on what Trey Davis is doing to grasp the backup point guard spot as a true freshman.

Three-Game Weekly Sweep Earns Praise For Field Hockey

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After three games in four days, the UMass field hockey team recorded an undefeated week that included a 2-1 come-from-behind win over No. 1 Syracuse and a pair of A-10 Conference victories. The three-game winning streak earned the team and a few of its individual players considerable praise this week...

Mike Moran covered the victory over No. 1 Syracuse for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Peter Cappiello with the Daily Collegian recapped the hard-fought upset of No. 1 Syracuse, which included a goal for the ages from senior defender Thando Zono.

J. Anthony Roberts provided a photo gallery and Harry Plumer added a short recap for the Springfield Republican following the defeat of No. 1 Syracuse.

Matt Levine with the Daily Collegian had coverage of UMass' strong play against conference opponents this weekend.

The Atlantic 10 Conference named Zono to its players of the week listing for her efforts while sophomore defender Lauren Allymohamed was named the UMass Athlete of the Week. 'What I can't wait to see: Atlantic 10'

| No TrackBacks writer Dana O'Neil offered some notes and questions about the Atlantic 10 basketball season. You can read the entire piece here.

Here's an excerpt from the article on UMass...

Is this the breakthrough year UMass fans have been waiting for? Since Derek Kellogg returned to his alma mater in 2008, folks have been waiting for the glory years he enjoyed as a player to return to Amherst. Of course that would be a rather tall and ridiculous order, considering Kellogg went to the NCAA tournament four years in a row, including the Elite Eight, and won four consecutive Atlantic-10 regular season and tournament titles as a player.

But this could at least be the year the Minutemen return to NCAA tournament relevance.

UMass rolled to the NIT semifinals last season, riding on the coattails of guard Chaz Williams. The Hofstra transfer averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 assists per game and is exactly the sort of bona fide star you can build something special around.

If Williams picks up where he left off (he upped his scoring numbers through the NIT to 21.8), UMass might see itself on the big ticket for the first time since 1998.

Williams, Kanacevic starring after transferring from Hofstra

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New York Post sports writer Zach Braziller penned an article on UMass junior guard Chaz Williams and St. Joseph's big man Halil Kanacevic on how they started their careers at Hofstra before transferring to their current Atlantic 10 schools. Both were named to the league's preseason all-conference teams at last week's media day in Brooklyn.

...Two of them -- city products UMass point guard Chaz Williams and St. Joseph's forward Halil Kanacevic -- have developed just as he envisioned when Pecora landed them at Hofstra, crowns jewels to his recruiting class.

Now juniors, they were predicted by Atlantic 10 coaches to be a few of the best players in the conference on Thursday during the league's media day at the Barclays Centers in downtown Brooklyn, and keys to their respective teams, both picked to finish in the top four of the A-10.

"It speaks volumes for how good those kids are as players," said Pecora, who is entering his third season at Fordham. "Chaz is one, if not the best, point guards in the league and Halil is probably the best passing big man in the league."

Read the complete article here.

Basketball Officially Opens Practice

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Friday night the UMass basketball team officially opened full practice for the 2012-13 season. A number of reporters were on hand for the 2-hour workout at the Curry Hicks Cage.

The UMass men's soccer team split a pair of contests over the weekend and now stand at 4-6-2 overall and 1-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The three points with six games remaining in the schedule place the Minutemen tied for 11th place in the 16-team league. The top eight teams with the highest point totals in conference games will qualify for the postseason tournament, held Nov. 8-11 in Charlotte.

Here is a recap of both contests from Dan Malone of the Daily Collegian.

MassLive Photo Gallery (vs. Temple)

New England Hockey Journal: Micheletto's Moment

First-year UMass head coach John Micheletto is featured in this month's New England Hockey Journal:

A Dartmouth College and Milton Academy graduate, Micheletto comes to UMass with a history of working with programs trying to build. He was an assistant on the Union staff when Kevin Sneddon arrived as head coach in 1998, and though Micheletto left before Sneddon got that program into better shape, he helped put building blocks in place that pulled the Dutchmen out of the ECAC cellar.

Micheletto went from Union to Notre Dame, serving as an assistant under Dave Poulin for four years as the Irish steadily improved into a contender.

Before college hockey, Micheletto spent five years at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., and as the head coach reversed the team's fortunes in his first year, taking the Rams from a 4-17 record in 1991 to a 14-7 mark in 1992.

At Vermont, Micheletto was reunited with Sneddon in 2003 and served as his top recruiter, also running the Catamounts' power play and being promoted to associate head coach in 2006, helping push the Catamounts to appearances in the 2008 Hockey East final and 2009 Frozen Four.

H.T. Lenz, a UVM junior this year and the Catamounts captain, called Micheletto "knowledgeable about all aspects of the game.

Read more of Andrew Merritt's piece from the October New England Hockey Journal

TSN: Kostka A Genuine Late-Bloomer For The Marlies

Earlier this week, TSN featured former Minuteman Mike Kostka who is coming off a Calder Cup-winning season with the Norfolk Admirals and is now with the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization.

Mike Kostka realizes that his ambitions are not particularly unique as it pertains to the game of hockey.

"I've still never played in the NHL," said Kostka, an engaging personality born in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke and raised in not-so-distant Ajax. "It's still a dream of mine, that's still my goal."

The now 26-year-old defender was on the cusp in the Sunshine State last fall, among the final cuts at training camp for the Florida Panthers. "They were like 'Yeah you did a great job, you outplayed some of our D that we have here, but they're on one-way [contracts]'. They're like 'Go down, you'll get called up, you'll get a ton of games, don't worry about it'. And then in two months I was traded."

He eventually landed with the Norfolk Admirals, the American League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, a club whose dominance last season included not only a Calder Cup - defeating the Toronto Marlies no less - but a ridiculous 29-game winning streak.

Undrafted out of the University of Massachussetts-Amherst, Kostka might just be your prototypical late blooming defenceman. The shaggy-haired local product began his pro career with two inconsistent seasons in Portland before breaking out in full offensive force with Rochester in 2010-2011, blasting 16 goals and 55 points from the blueline. While not quite as strong statistically last season - he ranked 15th among defencemen in the regular season - Kostka wrapped up the American League post-season in superb form, totalling more points than any other defender.

Read more of Kostka A Genuine Late-Bloomer For The Marlies

Take a look at the feature story on Rachel Hilliard's success in the classroom and in athletics written by Jackson Alexander of The Dailey Collegian. The feature also includes an interview with the head coach of the women's cross country and track and field teams Julie LaFreniere.

Massachusetts women's track and field coach Julie LaFreniere received an e-mail in mid-March that perplexed her.

The e-mail, from the academic services within the athletic department, notified her that all women's sophomore track and field athletes could sign up for fall courses.

But on the list was freshman cross country and track and field athlete, Rachel Hilliard.

Read on

Recaps Of Hockey's Season-Opening Win Over UConn

Congratulations to John Micheletto for earning his first head coaching victory as the UMass hockey team defeated Connecticut, 4-1, last night in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Mullins Center. The 7,123 attendance figure was the largest turnout for a home opener in program history.

Several media outlets had coverage of the game:

Boston Globe: New UMass hockey coach aims for change
Daily Hampshire Gazette: UMass hockey takes down UConn 4-1 in season opener
Springfield Republican: UMass hockey gets 4-1 win over UConn in opener
Daily Collegian: UMass hockey takes season-opener against UConn

Harry Plumer also had this column on Micheletto

Check out the highlights and postgame interviews as well:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Media Day Coverage

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UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and senior forward Terrell Vinson spent Tuesday in Boston participating in the second Commonwealth of Massachusetts Men's Basketball Media Day. All six head coaches from the state's Division I program - Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Holy Cross, UMass and Northeastern - were in attendance.

Matt Vautour conducted a preseason poll of writers from around the state as to the top hoops program this season and saw UMass earn all eight first-place votes.

CBS Sports Conference Predictions & Top 100 Players

| No TrackBacks and its collection of college basketball writers released their votes for regular-season champions among the top conferences, including the Atlantic 10.

The group composed of Jeff Goodman, Doug Gottlieb, Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello combined to select four different winners. Goodman chose UMass, Gottlieb had Butler, Parrish and Borzello has VCU, while Norlander likes Saint Louis.

Additionally, the group collaborated to pick the top 100 players among the Division I ranks and have UMass junior guard Chaz Williams among its list, coming in at No. 78.

They wrote:
Man, Williams is fun to watch. He is an ideal fit for the Minutemen's system, given his quickness and ability to create points off turnovers. Led the team in points and assists last season. -- J.B.

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Rutherford of SB Nation had Chaz at No. 47 on a similar list.
Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk put out his list of ten men's basketball programs on the rise entering the 2012-13 season.

UMass: UMass basketball history is limited to, more or less, two people. Julius Erving played for the Minutemen from 1968-1971 before going on to become Dr. J. The other person is John Calipari, who took over a program in 1988 that had 10 straight losing seasons. In his fourth year, he led UMass to the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA tournament. He would accomplish that feat for five consecutive years, which culminated in his run to the 1996 Final Four, riding on the shoulders of Marcus Camby, before leaving the program. Bruiser Flint took over and led the Minutemen to two more NCAA tournaments, but they've only won one A-10 title -- the 2007 regular season -- since then. Outside of those seven consecutive NCAA tournaments, UMass has been to one. Ever. In 1962.

That could change this season, as Derek Kellogg has put together arguably the best team in Amherst since the late 90′s. The Minutemen return all but one member of their rotation from last season, including Chaz Williams, who is one of the most exciting and underrated point guards in the country. They also bring back Sampson Carter and Cady Lalanne, both of whom were injured for much of last season. The Atlantic 10 is going to be a rugged league this season, but UMass has the horses to make a run at a top four finish.

Daily Collegian Recap Of Women's Soccer's Win Over URI

The UMass women's soccer team won it's second Atlantic 10 match in a row this past Saturday, closing out it's homemstand with a 3-1 victory over URI.

Kaitlin Boyer of the Daily Collegian had this recap of the match.

Also, checkout the postgame interviews with head coach Ed Matz and junior Grace Coombs:

Sortino Field Comes To Life

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Saturday was a special day out at the UMass Softball Complex as the playing surface was officially renamed Sortino Field in honor of longtime softball coach Elaine Sortino.

Here are a couple of articles and photo galleries of the day, which also featured the annual alumni game and the team's banquet.

UMass Athletics Photo Gallery Photo Gallery
Mike Loftus of The Patriot Ledger has a feature on Khary Bailey-Smith of Weymouth who has made an impact on the UMass defense as a true freshman.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of Saturday's game at Western Michigan. 

Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian previews the Western Michigan game and says the improvement of UMass over the last two weeks is encouraging progress.

Globe: UMass football seeking first win at Western Michigan

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Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe has a preview of Saturday's game at Western Michigan along with some commentary on the transition to the FBS level.

CHN: Hockey East Team-By-Team Preview

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College Hockey News released its team-by-team preview yesterday. Here is the UMass portion:

Massachusetts Minutemen

Head Coach: John Micheletto

2011-12 Record: 13-18-5, 9-14-4 Hockey East (8th)

Who's Back: Jr. F Mike Pereira (17-17-34), Jr. F Conor Sheary (12-23-35), Jr. F Branden Gracel (7-14-21) Jr. D Joel Hanley (7-18-25), Jr. Conor Allen (7-7-14), Soph. G Kevin Boyle (8-7-4, 3.00, .895)

2012-13 Outlook: Again this season, the story of the Minutemen is their junior class. With a deep and wide talent breadth, this group forms the nucleus from all four sets of forwards to the blue line.

John Micheletto begins his first season as coach after Don "Toot" Cahoon retired over the summer. Having seen this primary core of Minutemen three times a year for the past two seasons, the UMass coach had an impression of his new team before even stepping on campus.

"I've always been impressed with their speed and their work ethic," Micheletto said. "Those things continue to impress me. You never know how coachable or receptive guys are going to be when you're on the outside. That's one thing that's really struck me. Their sponges. They're wide-eyed. They're assimilating information into their everyday work habits. Those things are good to see. I shouldn't be surprised, because I've always admired their work ethic. To see it first hand has been great, but you never really know until you're there."

Read the full preview here.

Coach Micheletto is also mentioned in Joe Meloni's "Hockey East: What To Watch, 2012-13"

CHN: Q&A With UMass Coach John Micheletto

With the season opener just one week away, College Hockey News has rolled out its season preview coverage, which includes a Q&A with UMass head coach John Micheleletto.

John Micheletto spent the last nine seasons at Vermont as recruiting coordinator and an assistant coach to Kevin Sneddon. In his time, he helped the Catamounts in their transition to Hockey East in the 2005-06 season, while overseeing NCAA Tournament teams. Now, he takes over Massachusetts, his first collegiate head coaching job. Micheletto brings with him former Vermont player and assistant Joey Gasparini, while inheriting Len Quesnelle from former coach Don "Toot" Cahoon's staff. Quesnelle is entering his ninth season as an assistant coach for the Minutemen.

The 46-year-old Micheletto takes over at UMass after Cahoon stepped down this summer following 12 seasons in Amherst. Micheletto inherits a team that went 13-18-5 last season, good for eighth in Hockey East. But with only three seniors on the squad and four losing seasons in its last five, UMass is picked to finish ninth in the preseason polls.

In his time at Vermont, 12 different Catamounts were drafted to the NHL, including Viktor Stalberg of the Chicago Blackhawks. Micheletto was also an integral part of the Catamounts' appearance in the 2009 Frozen Four. Prior to Vermont, Micheletto also served as an assistant at Union and Notre Dame.

Read the full Q&A here.

WIth the help of SAAC, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, five representatives of the whole of UMass athletics sat down with the students at Crocker Farm Elementary School prior to the start of classes this morning. In addition to just interacting with the youngsters, each student-athlete took the opportunity to discuss the importance of eating healthy, staying active and working hard in school. Minutemen Joe Snyder (men's lacrosse) and baseball's Billy Jones and Alex Tuneski, as well as Minutewomen Katie Bettencourt (softball) and Jocelyn Providence (women's tennis) all participated in the day's activity.

For more information about SAAC can be found through the UMass Athletics website here.

Coverage of Atlantic 10 Basketball Media Day

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The Atlantic 10 held its annual men's basketball media day on Thursday at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The building is only a week old and looks outstanding. They were still set-up for Jay-Z as the part owner of the Brooklyn Nets was continuing his run of concerts to open the facility.

UMass was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll, which was made up of all 16 coaches and a media member from each area in the A-10 membership, totaling 30 voters. Additionally, Chaz Williams was selected to the preseason first team.

Security was pretty tight so nobody was allowed inside the arena bowl but everywhere else the coaches and media went was very impressive. Here are some articles from UMass beat writers Harry Plumer and Matt Vautour, along with stories from around the league. I also posted a Storify link that summarizes as many tweets from media, coaches and administrators at the event as I could find. Podcast: Andy Katz at A-10 Media Day

Charlotte Observer: Charlotte is lightly regarded
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: SLU Picked Second In The Atlantic 10

Marc Bertrand from 98.5 FM The Sports Hub in Boston spoke with Charley Molnar in their weekly radio interview that featured a recap of the Ohio game and a preview of this Saturday's Western Michigan game.

Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican looks at the connections between the Western Michigan coaching staff and the UMass coaching staff as the two teams meet this Saturday.

Western Michigan's quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Ryan Cubit play for UMass head coach Charley Molnar and with Charley Molnar III at Western Michigan.

Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a look at the improvement of Deion Walker over the last three games and his route to UMass after graduating from Notre Dame.

Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican also takes a look at the play of Joe Colton this season and what he adds to the UMass secondary.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature story on Joe Colton who has exceeded expectations with his play as a back-up and starting strong safety for the UMass football team. A Norwood, Mass., native, Colton is able to play home games just a few minutes away from his friends and family.

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has an editorial evaluating the progression of the UMass football program five games into the FBS era.

Gazette: UMass freshmen give football program bright future

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes a look at the impact the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen classes are making on the UMass football team. All told, 26 freshmen have played this season with 7 earning game starts.

Collegian: UMass receiving corps making great impact

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Stephen Sellner of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the impact of the receiving corps on the offense which has improved drastically over the last two weeks of play.

Stephen Sellner of the Daily Collegian has a piece looking at the progress of the UMass football program over the last two weeks with a focus on quarterback Mike Wegzyn.

ABC40: UMass Feeling Strong After Nearly Upsetting Ohio

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It's Thursday night and that means another installment of the UMass Football Coach's Show With Charley Molnar at The Hangar Pub & Grill. Join us at 7 PM to talk UMass football and enjoy some of the best wings in the Pioneer Valley!

Along with Coach Molnar, player guests tonight include linebacker Perry McIntyre and wide receiver Deion Walker - both of home have been key players for the Minutemen.

If you can't make it to the Hangar, you can listen on the radio (105.5 FM WEEI), online ( or on your smart phone/tablet by downloading the TuneIn app.

Also, submit a question for coach Molnar to answer on the air by clicking on You can also tweet us a question @UMassAthletics or @UMass_Football.

UMass Hockey Receiving Votes In USCHO Preseason Poll

The preseason Division I Men's Poll, which was released this afternoon, included UMass as the eighth team receiving votes outside of the top-20. The Minutemen, who will embark upon their first season under head coach John Micheletto on Oct. 12 vs. Connecticut, garnered 13 votes.

The Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

The full poll is available here: Division I Men's Poll

The UMass field hockey squad completed a successful one-game weekend on Sunday with a 4-2 victory over No. 24 Maine - marking the fourth win over a top-25 opponent this season. Against the Black Bears, a balanced offensive performance that featured four different goal scorers (Lindsay Bowman, Nicole Cordero, Noralie Weusthuis and Kim Young) paced the way while freshman Brooke Sabia showed her precision passing abilities by earning a pair of assists.

With their fourth victory over a ranked opponent, UMass ties the mark for most top-25 wins in a single season since the 2004 season when opponent rankings can be tracked back to. In 2009 the Minutewomen also won four games over NFHCA-ranked teams. This season, UMass has downed No. 15 Ohio State, No. 17 Boston College and No. 18 New Hampshire in addition to the win over the Black Bears.

UMass-Maine Wrap Up: Recap | Box Score | Highlights | Postgame Interviews

The Minutewomen wrap up their six-game homestand with one of their toughest challenges of the season as No. 5 Connecticut (10-0) heads to Garber Field for a 6 p.m. contest on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Admission to the contest is free.

Stephane Lasme headed to Greece

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Eurobasket has confirmed that former UMass big man Stephane Lasme will head back overseas to play for Panathinaikos in Athens, Greece. He played with the Celtics' NBA Summer League team in Orlando and Las Vegas this past July where he averaged 3.0 points in just over 11 minutes over eight games.

He spent last season in Spain while logging previous playing time in Israel, Russia and Serbia, in addition to a stint with the Maine Red Claws on the NBA D-League.