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December 2012 Archives

MBB Gameday Previews: at Northern Illinois, 12/29/12

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Its gameday in the midwest as the UMass Minutemen will take on the Northern Illinois Huskies in snowy DeKalb, Ill. today at 3 pm CT/4 pm ET. UMass returns from the Christmas break with a two-game road trip against a pair of Mid-American Conference teams, beginning at Northern Illinois (2-9, 2-2 at home) before a contest at Miami (Ohio) (4-6, 3-0 at home) on Wednesday. UMass is looking to win five-consecutive games for the first time this season and the first time since reeling-off six-straight during a similar stretch of games in December of last year. The Minutemen are making their first trip to Illinois in five seasons, dating back to the first two games of the Derek Kellogg era when his 2007-08 squad opened the season against Arkansas-Monticello and Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Prior to those games, UMass hadn't played in the Land of Lincoln in 11 years when Bruiser Flint's group played in the 1997 Great Eight in Chicago's United Center against Georgetown.

The Minutewomen basketball team showed its holiday spirit recently, wishing every supporter of UMass athletics a happy holiday season with their second annual "thank you" video. This year, the Minutewomen completed a rendition of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

Have a safe and happy holidays!

MBB Recaps From Saturday's 88-81 Win Over East Carolina

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MBB Gameday Previews: vs. East Carolina, 12/22/12

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UMass concludes its pre-Christmas slate by playing host to East Carolina Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. UMass is looking to win four-consecutive games for the first time this season and the first time since reeling-off six-straight during a similar stretch of games in December of last year. Last year's run started with a 63-58 win at East Carolina following a loss at Miami (Fla.).

MBB Recaps From Wednesday's 85-76 Win Over Ohio

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MBB Gameday Previews: vs. Ohio, 12/19/12

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UMass returns to the Mullins Center to play host to Ohio as the Minutemen close-out the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with a pair of home games. East Carolina will pay a visit on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. UMass is looking to win three-consecutive games for the first time this season and the first time since last year's NIT run.

Victor Cruz paid tribute on Sunday to Jack Pinto, one of the children killed last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

After finding out that he was Pinto's favorite football player, Cruz wrote "Jack Pinto 'My Hero'" and "R.I.P. Jack Pinto" on his cleats and gloves.

Cruz spoke to the family prior to Sunday's game against Atlanta and has said he will visit the family later this week. Pinto was laid to rest on Monday.

Former UMass Catcher Conley To Manage Pittsfield Suns

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Congratulations to 2012 graduate, former UMass catcher Tom Conley, who was named the new manager for the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

From the Berkshire Eagle:

A former University of Massachusetts baseball player is the new manager of the Pittsfield Suns.

Tom Conley, a four-year starter at catcher for UMass, has been hired to manage the Futures League baseball team this summer. Conley replaces Jamie Keefe who stepped down after last season.

Conley, 22, is in the middle of his first season as an assistant coach at Division I Bryant University in Rhode Island.

To say this first year after he graduated with a Sociology degree has been a baseball whirlwind is an understatement.

"I didn't even get to go to my graduation. We were away," he said during an interview prior to a press conference Thursday announcing the hiring. "I feel like my season just ended. Then all of a sudden, I'm with Bryant and now I'm with Pittsfield. It's kind of a whirlwind, but it's exciting."

Conley joined Suns owners Jeff Goldklang and Tyler Tumminia, general manager Kevin McGuire and Futures League Commissioner Chris Hall at the press event, held in the main lobby of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank on South Street.

In addition to his four years at UMass, the Quincy native played three summers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

"We started this process from, essentially, scratch. Every person Tyler spoke to, one name kept coming back to us and that was you really need to talk to this guy Tom Conley," said Goldklang. "He's got a future in this sport.

"We did our due diligence on everybody. At the end of the day, it wasn't even a question. Tom was the correct choice."

UMass' DiSarcina Named PawSox Manager For 2013

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UMass Hall of Famer Gary DiSarcina was tapped to manage the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, last Friday.

DiSarcina played for the Minutemen from 1986-88 and hit .336 for his career in a UMass uniform. The shortstop went on to appear in 1,086 games over 11 Major League seasons.

The Pawtucket Red Sox web site had this piece on DiSarcina

Several media outlets also covered the hiring:

Providence Journal: Job with PawSox is a homecoming for DiSarcina
Woonsocket Call: For New PawSox Manager DiSarcina, Communication Is Vital

Izzie Delario Joins UMass Field Hockey Team

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The University of Massachusetts and head coach Carla Tagliente announced the addition of midfielder and forward Izzie Delario on Thursday morning. Delario is an incoming-freshman who will start her collegiate career during the 2012 spring semester after graduating high school early. Delario brings a wealth of playing experience to Amherst as the 5-foot-5 attacking player has already found success at the high school, club and national levels.

Delario went 72-3-0 during high school competition, capping the four-year starter's career with regional and academic All-America honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. In tandem with her scholastic success, Delario played for the WC Eagles club program and earned a U19 National Championship with the squad while also competing for the U17 U.S. Junior National Team.

"We are very excited for Izzie to join the program," Tagliente said. "To be able to graduate and come to college a semester early requires a tremendous amount of hard work, discipline, maturity and excellence in and out of the classroom. Izzie embodies all of that, but what's most impressive is her character. She is a great person and will make this program better on and off the field."

UMass field hockey will announce the rest of its incoming signees during the NCAA's national signing period in February.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican recently spoke with freshman big man Tyler Bergantino about the increased role the Florida native may play in the coming weeks and beyond as the season moves into its fifth week of play.

Women's Basketball Weekly Coaches Show Update

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The UMass Women's Basketball Coaches Show continued this week with sophomore forward Kim Pierre-Louis and Director of Basketball Operations May Kotsopoulos serving as the on-air guests. Hosts Pat O'Neil and Chris Doherty touched on the season so far while also talking to Kotsopoulos about how she can use her experience playing professionally to help the team.

Check out the full weekly update here.

The Minutewomen continue their 2012-13 campaign at home with a contest against Bowling Green at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19. With the game part of a basketball doubleheader, the Minutemen will host Ohio University following the completion of the women's contest. Tickets for both can be purchased through the UMass Ticket Central.

Emil Igwenagu Promoted To Philadelphia Eagles Active Roster

Several news outlets reported the promotion of former UMass football standout Emil Igwenagu to Philadelphia's active 53-man roster this week. The fullback/tight end signed as a free agent with the Eagles in the preseason, but has spent the year as a member of the practice squad.

Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican also has a story on Rob Blanchflower being named a team captain for the 2013 season. UMass head coach Charley Molnar also stated that additional captains would be named at the team banquet.

Fitchburg S&E: Leominster's Blanchflower voted UMass football captain

Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature on Leominster native Rob Blanchflower who had a breakout season for the UMass football team in 2012. Stewart also notes that Blanchflower's leadership earned him the title of team captain for the upcoming season in a vote by the team.

Blogging With Bomben Update

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Women's basketball redshirt-junior forward Kiara Bomben added a post to the 'Blogging With Bomben' series this week, the 14th entry in her blog on This time, Bomben focused her writing on an update on the team through the first 10 games of the season as well as a recent community service project she started with a few teammates.

Check out the most recent update here.

The Minutewomen continue their season at home with a contest against Bowling Green at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19. With the game part of a basketball doubleheader, the Minutemen will host Ohio University following the completion of the women's game. Tickets for both contests can be purchased through the UMass Ticket Central.

Former Goalkeeper Luckey Empowering Women In Afghanistan

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Over the weekend, Huffington Post featured former UMass women's soccer goalkeeper Lauren Luckey. Luckey, who played for the Minutewomen from 2006-2009, has gone on to a career in the military and is doing her best to help improve the lives of women in rural Afghanistan.

When 24-year-old Lt. Lauren Luckey was stationed in a rural village with her unit, the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry regiment of the U.S. Army, her Lieutenant Colonel gave her free rein to design and lead a project focused exclusively on community building and social engagement among the Afghan women. With women being the heart of a household in Afghanistan, rearing the children of the country's future, Luckey hoped to impart the influence that comes with being a woman in a position of power, a foreign concept to some.

"I wanted them to see a strong woman -- [that] there is something else out there," Luckey tells Huffington. "If you never see it you never know what's out there. They've never seen a female officer before me."

Luckey chats candidly about her experiences and goals in a way that makes it simple to understand her success in leading a Female Engagement Team in Northern Kunar in Afghanistan, bringing the women of the village into her confidence.

Continue reading Empowering Women in Afghanistan on

MBB Recaps From Tuesday's 72-66 Win At Northeastern

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MBB Gameday Previews: at Northeastern, 12/4/12

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UMass will travel to Northeastern Tuesday night for its final game before final exams on the Amherst campus. Tip-off at Historic Matthews Arena is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on 105.5 FM WEEI (Western Mass.), 1440 AM WEEI (Central Mass.), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore) and worldwide at Live video is provided by Northeastern at

Coverage Of Hockey's Weekend Split With Northeastern

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The UMass hockey team split its pair of games against Northeastern over the weekend, bouncing back from a tough 1-0 loss on Friday with a 6-3 triumph against the Huskies on the road on Saturday, the highest scoring output of the year and the most goals against a Hockey East foe in two seasons' time.

Several media outlets had recaps of the contests: Carzo's two goals help lead Massachusetts' win at Northeastern Massachusetts discovers scoring attack in 6-3 Hockey East win over Northeastern
Daily Collegian: UMass bounces back with offensive explosion to earn weekend split UMass hockey stymied by Northeastern's Chris Rawlings in 1-0 defeat
Daily Hampshire Gazette: Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings shuts down UMass in 1-0 win

Also check out the postgame interview and highlight's from Saturday's win:

MBB Recaps From Saturday's 75-62 Loss To Miami

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Here are some recaps from Saturday's loss to Miami at the Mullins Center. UMass led for much of the first half before Miami went on a 9-0 run to take a 30-25 advantage into the locker room. The Hurricanes maintained their lead of 2-5 points for half of the second period before a Jesse Morgan layup put the Minutemen ahead 52-51. But the visitors used a 13-3 run over the next three minutes to retake the lead and pull away for a 75-62 win.

UMass is 3-3 and will now return to action Tuesday night when it travels to Northeastern. The game begins at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena and can bea heard on the UMass Sports Network, with WEEI 105.5 FM as the flagship.

MBB Gameday Previews: vs. Miami (Fla.), 12/1/12

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Its been 18 days since the UMass basketball team played inside the Mullins Center. This afternoon the Minutemen will welcome the Miami Hurricanes to town for a 2 p.m. contest. UMass is 3-2 and riding high following Wednesday's last-second, come-from-behind victory at Siena, while Miami upended 16th-ranked Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in its last game to improve its record to 4-1.