UMass Athletics:

September 2013 Archives

MBB at Commonwealth of Massachusetts Media Day

Massachusetts head coach Derek Kellogg spent Thursday at the TD Garden talking about the newly announced Coaches vs. Cancer Boston Tip-Off and the 2013-14 basketball season. He was joined by the other six Division I head coaches in the Commonwealth and select student-athletes from each of the institutions. UMass was represented by it's senior trio of Sampson Carter, Raphiael Putney and Chaz Williams.

The event was held in conjunction with the Coaches vs. Cancer Breakfast, hosted by ESPN.com writer Jeff Goodman and featuring Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and the seven D-I coaches.




Coverage of Men's Soccer's 5-2 Win Over Siena

The men's soccer team broke out of it's funk in a big way, posting a 5-2 win over Siena on Saturday for the team's first win of the season. Junior F Josh Schwartz had a career day with two goals and two assists, while netting the game-winning strike in the process. Sophomore MF Mark Morris was also big with a pair of goals, including a crowd-pleasing bicycle kick in the second half.

Anthony Chiusano and Patrick Strohecker of the Daily Collegian have a pair of recaps on sidebars on the victory.


Here are some highlights and commentary taken by Jesse Mayfield Sheehan of the Daily Collegian.
Former UMass hockey captain Mike Kostka, coming off a stellar rookie campaign with the Toronto last season, is currently in preseason camp with the Chicago Blackhawks and looking to earn a roster spot for the upcoming 2013-14 season after signing with the organization this past summer.

Mark Lazerus had this piece in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

When he's out on the ice, Michael Kostka isn't wondering if one bad pass, one wrong stride or one lost opponent is going to be the one that costs him a spot in the NHL this season. He's not constantly looking over his shoulder to see if Joel Quenneville's glare has found him. He's not sweating every little detail. He's just out there playing hockey.

But when he's sitting around the hotel with nothing to keep his mind occupied? That's a different story.

"I've gotten to a point where I feel I can relax out there and just play my game," Kostka said. "If anything, I'm more stressed when I have free time, and you're sitting there, and you've got friends texting you, 'Are you [on the team]?' Man, shut up! I don't know! I'm trying not to think about that right now!"

There are only four days left before the Blackhawks open the 2013-14 season against Washington on Tuesday night, and the final roster likely will be set shortly after Saturday night's preseason finale against the same Capitals.

And while five forwards are jockeying for three spots, on defense, it's a one-on-one matchup. Joel Quenneville said he will be keeping an eighth defenseman out of camp, so it's Kostka, the veteran, against Ryan Stanton, the rookie. One of those two will be a member of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. One of them will be a Rockford IceHog.

Read more of Kostka, Stanton -- friends and rivals -- battle for Blackhawks' last defenseman spot

Collegian: Late Goal Gives Women's Soccer Win Over Bryant

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With its victory over Bryant yesterday at Rudd Field, the UMass women's soccer team won its second straight and improved to 4-2-1 in its last seven games.

Joey Saade had a recap of the match in today's Daily Collegian:

Before Sarah Pandolfi checked into the scoreless game late in the second half, Massachusetts women's soccer coach Ed Matz instructed his freshman forward where to position herself in order to score.

In the 83rd minute, she listened to him.

Heading to the far post, Pandolfi hauled in a cross-field pass from the left sideline by teammate Jackie Bruno and headed the ball home to break the scoreless struggle and give the Minutewomen a 1-0 victory over Bryant University at home on Thursday.

"Before Sarah went in, I said, 'you just need to get to the far post' because I thought we were generating a lot of crosses," Matz said. "I challenged her to do that, and she got on the end and scored."

Continue reading: Late Goal Gives UMass Win Over Bryant

Check out head coach Ed Matz's postgame comments:

Collegian: UMass field hockey hopes to continue success at home

Daily Collegian writer Jason Kates has a weekend preview covering UMass field hockey, which hosts New Hampshire on Friday at 4 p.m. and No. 2 Maryland on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Minutewomen will look to defend Garber Field during the two-game slate as the squad is 4-0 at home this season.
 

With two games remaining in a three-game homestand, the seventh-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team continues to find success at Garber Field, as it has started out the season 4-0 at home.

The Minutewomen (7-2), coming off of a 5-1 win over Hoftra on Sunday, hope to make Garber Field a place where opponents dread going into conference play. UMass coach Carla Tagliente believes that the level of familiarity a home field brings to a team is one of the main reasons for her team's great start...

Read the rest of Kates' story on the Daily Collegian website here. More information on the field hockey program can be found on UMassAthletics.com.

Hockey East Media Day Coverage

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Both the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Springfield Republican have coverage of yesterday's Hockey East Media Day in Boston:

MassLive: Hockey East Slimmed Down conference slate means more on the line
MassLive: Around Hockey East: Goalies' Genes Handed Down
UMass picked 10th In Expanding Hockey East Preseason Poll

Coach Micheletto also did these video interviews at Media Day:

Former UMass star Tony Gaffney given second chance at NBA

Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian recently spoke with UMass head basketball coach Derek Kellogg about former Minuteman standout Tony Gaffney, and his recent invite to the Memphis Grizzlies' training camp.

Kellogg offered some insight into what NBA executives and coaches are looking for when it comes to making it in the league.
"NBA teams are looking for guys that can help them win," he said. "They love rebounders and players who specialize on a specific craft. Every team has their superstars, but it's these guys who can help make a difference coming off the bench."

Collegian: Women's Soccer Completes Comeback Win In Overtime

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Tom Mulherin has a recap of women's soccer's overtime win against Northeastern in today's Daily Collegian. The Minutewomen went 1-1-0 last week and will play their final non-conference match this Thursday at home vs. Bryant before opening up A-10 action at Saint Joseph's on Sunday.

The Massachusetts women's soccer team may be making a habit of overtime wins.

The Minutewomen picked up their third win in extra time in their last two contests with a 2-1 comeback victory over Northeastern at Rudd Field on Sunday.

The 1-1 match was broken just five minutes into overtime as forward Megan Burke took an overhead pass from Madison Smith and found the back of the net on a chip shot over the goalkeeper.

"Personally, I was just trying to get my body in front of [the ball]," Burke said on the play. "I was hoping to just get a touch, or anything. I got the touch and I guess the shot was perfect."

Read more of UMass women's soccer completes comeback win in overtime

UMass men's soccer loses seventh game in a row

Patrick Strohecker of the Daily Collegian spoke with UMass head coach Sam Koch following Sunday's tough 2-1 loss at Harvard. The Minutemen have dropped their last seven games following a tie to open the season. Of those seven, five have been one-goal affairs. UMass will play at Syracuse on Wednesday and return home to Rudd Field to face Siena on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Recaps & Coverage Of UMass Football's Loss To Vanderbilt

Daily Collegian staff writer Jesse Mayfield Sheehan was present for UMass field hockey's 5-1 victory over Hofstra on Sunday afternoon and took a look at the success of the penalty corner unit against the Pride and throughout the first nine games of the regular season.

The No. 7 Massachusetts field hockey team's offense looked strong again in its 5-1 win over Hofstra on Sunday, and there was one important aspect that has been a recurring key to the Minutewomen's play throughout the season: penalty corners.

UMass (7-2) scored three of their five goals on penalty corner plays against the Pride (3-6) and 16 of its 26 goals on penalty corners, according to UMassAthletics.com.

UMass coach Carla Tagliente said she has been very pleased with the team's execution on penalty corner plays this season...

You can read the rest of Mayfield Sheehan's story on the Daily Collegian website. More on UMass field hockey can be found through UMassAthletics.com.


Collegian: UMass begins homestand with 5-1 victory over Hofstra

Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian recapped UMass' 5-1 victory over Hofstra on Sunday afternoon, highlighting the success of the offense, especially the penalty corner unit...

In its two losses this season, the No. 7 Massachusetts field hockey team was done in by a lack of shot attempts offensively.

Brooke Sabia wouldn't let it happen again on Sunday.

The sophomore scored two goals on 11 shots to lead the Minutewomen to a 5-1 win over Hofstra at Garber Field in the first leg of a three-game homestand...

The remainder of Kates' story is available through the Daily Collegian website. More information on the UMass field hockey program can be found on UMassAthletics.com.

UMass Basketball: 5 Biggest Games of the 2013-14 Season

Wes Popolizio of the Bleacher Report posted what he believes are the 5 Biggest Games of the 2013-14 season for the UMass men's basketball team.

He writes...
The release of the college basketball schedule at the end of summer is one of the most exciting events all year for followers of the sport. Players, fans and media invariably focus on a select few games, circling them on the calendar to highlight their significance.
College basketball teams can make or break their season based on how they perform in their five or six biggest games. They are afforded only so many opportunities to impress the selection committee, and it is imperative to make the most of those opportunities.
Unfortunately, the 2012-13 UMass Minutemen whiffed on each of their best chances to pick up a signature win. They lost at VCU and Saint Louis, not to mention at home against Temple, Butler and Miami. Winning any two of those games would have gone a long way towards helping UMass slip into the tournament.
Thanks to strong scheduling by the athletic department, the 2013-14 Minutemen will have a handful of opportunities to show the college basketball world what they are capable of accomplishing. Without further ado, here are UMass' five biggest games of 2013-14.

He lists the top five games as: 5. Florida State, 4. Boston College, 3. Nebraska, 2. Saint Louis and 1. VCU. He also lists the LSU and La Salle contests as big ones, awarding them honorable mention status.

Read about each of those five by clicking the story link below.
Marc Bertrand of 98.5 The Sports Hub interviews UMass head coach Charley Molnar on the state of the Minutemen heading into week 4 and gives a preview of this weekend's action against Vanderbilt.

Republican: A.J. Doyle excited for Saturday's SEC test

Dan Malone has a preview of the Vanderbilt game focusing on the test that the Vanderbilt defense will pose to the UMass offense. Quarterback A.J. Doyle says that he and the Minutemen are excited once again to see how they play against a team from one of the top conferences in the country.

Remembering Ray Ellerbrook

Below are a few articles that do a very nice job of remembering former UMass baseball and basketball standout Ray Ellerbrook, who passed away on Wednesday. He was a star in both sports, leading each team to one of the more significant athletic achievements in their history - the first College World Series and first NIT appearance. He played freshman and varsity ball from 1967-70 during the end of one of the most successful decades in UMass history.


The following article was written earlier this summer...

Calling hours will be Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Czelusniak Funeral Home, 173 North St. in Northampton. A celebration of Ellerbrook's life will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Ray Ellerbrook Athletic Field at 48 Burts Pit Road.

UMass Football Game Week Information - Vs. Vanderbilt On Saturday

 Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-2 SEC) at Massachusetts (0-3, 0-0 MAC) 
 Date Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12:00 p.m. (EST)
 Location Foxboro, Mass. | Gillette Stadium (68,756)
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info | Student Ticket & Bus Info
 TV ESPNews
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield) 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester); 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore);   
 91.1 FM WMUA (Amherst) Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch www.WatchESPN.com
 Promotions n/a
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Social Media
  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog
 Football Radio Show Monday's Bud Light Football Coach's Radio Show
 MAC Teleconference Molnar's Monday Conference Call Quotes (9/16)
 Game Notes Massachusetts Notes | Depth Chart | New Clips | 2013 Media Guide

Coverage of Men's Soccer's 2-0 Loss To Fairfield

The men's soccer team had some solid scoring chances on Wednesday but were unable to capitalize and dropped a 2-0 decision to Fairfield. UMass took a season-high 19 shots.


Here are some highlights and commentary taken by Jesse Mayfield Sheehan of the Daily Collegian.

VIDEO: Judy Dixon Previews The 2013-14 Tennis Season

Judy Dixon previews the 2013-14 tennis season and this weekend's season-opener at the Brown Invitational.

Boston Herald: UMass looks to Stacey Bedell

Adam Kurjian of the Boston Herald has a feature on UMass running back Stacey Bedell who is off to a great start this year after missing the bulk of last season due to an injury.

ESPNBoston: UMass, QB Doyle taking steps

Jack McCluskey of ESPNBoston.com has a preview of the Vanderbilt game and a feature story on sophomore quarterback A.J. Doyle. The story focuses on Doyle's recruitment by head coach Charley Molnar and the progression he's made since first coming to UMass.

Molnar likes to say the Minutemen are pounding at a rock as they continue to work in Year 2 of the transition, and that eventually that rock is going to break. 

"I honestly feel we're just a play away from this exploding where we're putting up 30, 35, 40 points a game," Doyle said. "When that rock explodes it's gonna be a scary thing and we're gonna be a scary team to play against." 



Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a preview of Saturday's non-conference finale for UMass as Vanderbilt comes to Gillette Stadium.

Grizzlies Invite Tony Gaffney To Camp

Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies have invited UMass basketball alum Tony Gaffney to their training camp. They are taking their camp on the road this season in an attempt to expand their fan base outside of western Tennessee. The squad will workout at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium from Oct. 1-5. Media Day is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 30 in Memphis.


You can also follow Tony here... @TonyJGaffney

Men's Soccer Hosts Fairfield Today At 3:30 p.m.

The men's soccer team will be on display this afternoon when it takes on Fairfield at Rudd Field at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and schedule posters will be available. Live streaming video and Gametracker stats are offered via the links below.

Massachusetts vs. Fairfield 
 Date Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 3:30 p.m. (ET)
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Rudd Field
 Directions Click Here
 Tickets  Free admission
 Online Video watch Click here
 Live Stats gametracker Click here
 Social Media  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics


Here is a preview from Patrick Strohecker of the Daily Collegian - Minutemen still searching for first win | The Daily Collegian

Collegian: Defense continues to be key for UMass field hockey

UMass field hockey opened the 2013 season with a 6-1 record and jumped to the No. 7 spot in the national rankings thanks in part to the strong play of the defensive unit. Daily Collegian reporter Jason Kates takes a closer look at the defense and examines how the group has fared and what has made it successful through seven games.

The No. 7 Massachusetts field hockey team is off to a 6-1 start, and it has its defense to thank for the early success.

Senior Hannah Prince (six points) and Lauren Allymohamed (four points) have served as the anchors of the defense, which has held their opponents to one goal per game.

One of the things that UMass coach Carla Tagliente is looking for from her defense is organization.

"I think it's very important to be organized early on and for each player to find out their marking responsibilities right away," Tagliente said. "Early pressure on the ball is also very important, and just making sure our defenders are mobile and not standing still. We just try and use every ounce of athleticism that we can."

Putting pressure on the opponent's offense has always been a part of Tagliente's style, and is one of the key components of UMass' strong start...


The rest of Kates' story can be found on the Daily Collegian website here. Fans can also keep up with the team through UMassAthletics.com.


Collegian: UMass field hockey to take on regional rival UConn

UMass field hockey (6-1 overall) continues its challenging non-conference schedule with a game at regional rival and No. 3 nationally ranked Connecticut (5-0). Daily Collegian staff writer Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan previews the contest while highlighting the successes of both programs this season.

The 7th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team will be taking on one of its toughest opponents so far on Wednesday when the team travels to 3rd-ranked Connecticut.

The Huskies (5-0) come into the matchup with one of the strongest defenses in the nation, allowing just one goal per game through their first five games...

The remainder of the article is featured on the Daily Collegian website here. More information on UMass field hockey can be found through UMassAthletics.com.


UMass Sports Luncheon Today At Noon In The Mullins Center

Be sure to join us today at Noon for the UMass Sports Luncheon which will be located in the Mullins Center First Floor Concourse. Field hockey's Brooke Sabia along with soccer's Sarah Pandolfi will be honored as the UMass Athletes of the Week.

The guest speakers today will be women's cross country coach Julie LaFreniere and head football coach Charley Molnar or one of his assistant coaches.

Cost of the salad-to-dessert buffet is $13 and free parking is available in the lot directly behind the Mullins Center.


Listen To Monday Night's Bud Light UMass Football Coaches Show Podcast

Check out the Bud Light UMass Football Show from Monday night with Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer and head coach Charley Molnar. The player guests were Ed Saint-Vil and Tajae Sharpe - both of whom are off to terrific starts this season.

Gazette: UMass TE Rob Blachflower eager, closer to return

University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower carries the state flag as the team takes the field before a game in Foxborough last season. AP PHOTO

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Rob Blanchflower who has continued to practice this week after missing the first three games due to an injury. Blanchflower and head coach Charley Molnar both say they aren't sure about the time frame in which Blanchflower will return to game action, but both are eager to have him back in the lineup.

Molnar said whenever Blanchflower returns, it will give his struggling offense a big lift.  

"He exemplifies the toughness of a Minuteman. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough," Molnar said. "He'll play hurt. He stays in when he's tired. He never wants to come out of the game. We had some games last year that were decided well before the end of the game, but he played every snap like it was his last. His skill set is well above average. Super hands. Excellent blocker. His knowledge of the offense. He went out there Tuesday. He hasn't practiced in a long time and he's right up there with all the players who have been out there every day since the beginning of August. He's stayed very, very sharp mentally."

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican writes that A.J. Doyle will start against Vanderbilt on Saturday as announced by head coach Charley Molnar on Monday.

Republican: Joey Colton emerging as a leader on struggling UMass defense

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Joe Colton and how he has been making his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball.

"His actions really speak on the field," said coach Charley Molnar, who described Colton's performance against the Wildcats as "absolutely outstanding."

"I think the guys, whatever Joe says, they listen. I listen when he talks. He just has a real command about himself on the field."

You're probably familiar with Colton's inspirational story by now. A standout player at Westwood's Xaverian Brothers High School and Avon (Conn.) Old Farms, Colton received little attention after his senior year, due largely to his less-than-Football-Bowl-Subdivision stature (5-foot-8, 195 pounds).

Undeterred, he wound up walking on at UMass last season. And despite his perceived shortcomings, Colton appeared in 11 games (starting two), finished fifth on the team with 50 tackles and earned himself a full scholarship in the process.

He was the quintessential "Made in Massachusetts" player.

Joey Colton emerging as a leader on struggling UMass defense | masslive.com



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on the return of Rob Blanchflower to practice on Monday. Though his work was limited, Blanchflower stated that being back on the field was a relief.

"I came out and did what they told me to do, did the work that I was allowed to by the trainers and just got as much work in as I could," he said. "It felt great to get out here and run around and finally do some football-related activities."

His status for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough is still up in the air, but Blanchflower said he feels "very close" to returning to game action.


Republican: Week 3 helmet stickers for the Minutemen's top performers

Dan Malone gives his analysis of which Minutemen performed best at Kansas State over the weekend. Joe Colton, Stacey Bedell and Tajae Sharpe each are singled out for their performances against the Wildcats.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the play of quarterback A.J. Doyle last Saturday at Kansas State writing that he handled adversity well against the Wildcats.

Doyle and UMass responded to adversity, and actually lifted their level of play because of it, taking a 7-6 lead and 138-33 yardage advantage into the second quarter. That, if nothing else, is reason for hope for this struggling team as it continues a difficult schedule.

"I thought our team fought - both sides of the ball fought to the end," coach Charley Molnar said. "I've been to this show before when the wheels have come off, and today, the wheels were loose, but they never came off. And I think that's progress. It's a small sign for me, but certainly something we can sink our teeth into and grow from."

Molnar said Doyle, who finished with 186 yards and two interceptions on 21-of-31 passing, "never flinched" after tossing the pick-6.


Herald: UMass offense shows spark in loss

John Connolly of the Boston Herald writes on Monday that positive signs were shown by UMass in the loss at Kansas State especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Charley Molnar highlights the play of Joe Colton on the defensive side of the ball and says it was a bad quarter that really impacted the game. The defense didn't allow any first quarter points and held KSU to just 10 points in the second half.

Gazette: UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle gives offense a lift

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes that the move to A.J. Doyle at quarterback gave the Minutemen some momentum for the Kansas State game. Although the offense was improved, Doyle and head coach Charley Molnar state that there are many things which need to improve during the next week of practice.

UMass senior tight end Rob Blanchflower returned to practice on Monday after missing the first three games due to injury. Though he was limited in drills, his return is a good sign for the Minutemen.

Collegian: A.J. Doyle was strong, but still has plenty to prove

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian examines A.J. Doyle's start at quarterback at Kansas State saying that despite an early mistake against the Wildcats, the sophomore was able to regroup and remain poised throughout the game.

Men's Lacrosse Partners With Vs. Cancer Foundation

The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program and head coach Greg Cannella announced a partnership with the Vs. Cancer Foundation to help raise awareness and donations for the battle against pediatric cancer on Monday afternoon. A station will be set up at the team's annual alumni game, hosted at Garber Field on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m., where anyone who wishes to donate funding for the battle against cancer or shave his or her head can do so.

"Our men's lacrosse program is thrilled to have been asked to make our alumni game part of the Vs. Cancer Foundation' s charge," Cannella said. "It provides us with an opportunity to help young people with cancer and be part of something that is greater than us all. It has always been a privilege to be part of our men's lacrosse program - that privilege is now greater as we represent these young people in their fight to beat cancer."

With the partnership, UMass is joining the Lacrosse Vs. Cancer Campaign, which creates an avenue for programs from across the country to come together with their fan bases to fundraise for the battle against children's cancer. Half of the proceeds raised will benefit national childhood cancer research while the other half will help kids directly through local children's hospitals.

Donations can be made through the UMass Lacrosse page on the Vs. Cancer website while those who wish to help but cannot attend the alumni game or donate through the website can do so through a check mailed to:

UMass Men's Lacrosse
Boyden Building
131 Commonwealth Avenue
Amherst, MA 01003

UMass Basketball players offer free clinic at Big E

The UMass men's basketball team chalked up another strong showing at the Big E on Saturday. A couple of basketball goals were set-up un front of the Massachusetts Building once again as fair-goers were invited to play basketball with the Minutemen. A few brave souls even went one-on-one with Raphiael Putney and Cady Lalanne at times.

The players signed autographs visited some vendors and sampled some of the numerous food options at the sixth-largest fair in the country. We followed some of the guys around and got their opinions on their favorite fair food, including Derrick Gordon who seemed quite fond of the fried Oreos.

We also had a visit from Elizabeth Roman (@Lizro27) of the Springfield Republican. Elizabeth is living in a trailer on the Eastern States Exposition grounds during the Big E and was kind enough to stop by and hang out with the team for a bit. Her story is below and you can read her daily updates as an embedded reporter here. Feel free to follow her on twitter via the link above.

WEST SPRINGFIELD -- University of Massachusetts Basketball players spent Saturday afternoon at the Big E in front of the Massachusetts House. 

"This is a day for us to come out to the community and do an informal basketball clinic," said Derek Kellogg, head coach of the team.

"It gives kids the chance to meet some college athletes," he said.

Players interacted with kids, mostly boys under the age of 12, playing two-on-two games and teaching them a few tricks.

College senior Chaz Williams, a UMass point guard, said he enjoys participating every year.

"It's a great event, I always like giving back to the community. They come out to support us at games, and it's only right for us to support other community events," he said.

Senior Sampson Carter, the small forward, said he has done the clinic for three years.

"I try to have fun and interact with the kids, maybe they can learn something from us," he said.

The team's season kicks off in November. The Minutemen will play Boston College.

UMass stumbles against Big Green offensive attack

The UMass men's soccer team suffered its fourth-consecutive loss on Sunday, falling 2-0 at Dartmouth. The Big Green got two goals form their top offensive threat, junior Alex Adelabu. You can read a complete recap from Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian below.

Sometimes only a single mistake or play can change the complexity of a game. For the Massachusetts men's soccer team, 2013 has been an ongoing struggle to find its way onto the correct side of those outcomes.

UMass (0-5-1) fell to Dartmouth 2-0 on Sunday afternoon, allowing two goals to junior phenom Alex Adelabu in a 14-minute span. Adelabu, who was named first-team All-Ivy League a season ago, commanded constant attention throughout the game. He currently leads the Big Green (2-0-2) with five points this season.

The weekly Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show, hosted at the Hangar Pub and Grill (55 University Drive) in Amherst, Mass., will occur tonight, Monday, Sept. 16, beginning at 7 p.m. In addition to head coach Charley Molnar, linebacker Ed Saint-Vil and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe will join us as the weekly player guests. 

Questions for the 'Ask The Coach' portion of the show can be submitted online here.

Fans who are unable to be present for the show can listen in through through their mobile devices using the TuneIn App or online with WEEI 105.5 FM website. More information on this and all upcoming UMass Football Radio Shows is available on UMassAthletics.com and through the UMass Sports Network Twitter account.

Collegian: Field Hockey Weekend Recap

Daily Collegian reporter Jason Kates spoke to UMass field hockey head coach Carla Tagliente as part of a weekend recap covering participation at the Syracuse Invitational. The Minutewomen fell to No. 6 Syracuse, 2-1 on Friday before defeating Ohio State, 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

An early second half goal by sophomore Brooke Sabia gave the No. 7 Massachusetts field hockey team a 1-0 victory over Ohio State Saturday afternoon in the Syracuse Invitational.

After a scoreless first half, Sabia scored her eighth goal of the season off a penalty corner assisted by senior Alexa Sikalis and freshman Charlotte Verelst about nine minutes into the second half to give UMass (6-1) a lead it would not surrender.

Just one day after losing a hard fought battle to No. 6 Syracuse, UMass coach Carla Tagliente was happy with the way her team bounced back against the Buckeyes (2-3)...


The remainder of the story can be read on the Daily Collegian website here. More information on the Minutewomen is available through UMassAthletics.com.

UMass vs. Vanderbilt To Be Televised On ESPNews

UMass' home game at Gillette Stadium against Vanderbilt this Saturday, Sept. 21 will be televised on ESPNews as announced on Sunday morning. 

Tickets are on sale now through http://www.umassathletics.com/tickets/.

Also, be sure to join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive on Monday for a special edition of the Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show starting at 7 PM. 

A complete listing of show dates can be found at http://www.umassathletics.com/radio-football.html. You can also submit a question to have answered on the air at http://www.umassathletics.com/ot/ask-coach.html

Game Recaps & Highlights From Football's Loss At Kansas State

Game Previews For UMass Football At Kansas State

Gazette: UMass' Tajae Sharpe wants role of No. 1 receiver

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Tajae Sharpe and the extra attention the wide receiver will get from the Kansas State defense after his performance against Maine.

UMass men's soccer looks to overcome youth, inexperience

Mark Chiarelli wrote a season preview piece on the men's soccer team for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. 

Change is in the air for the University of Massachusetts men's soccer program.

The team hasn't won more than five games in each of the last three seasons, prompting coach Sam Koch to overhaul his roster by bringing in 13 true freshmen. While the production may take some time -- the team has only two goals in five games (0-4-1) -- Koch is generally pleased with the direction of the team.

"Is (the offense) a concern? It's a concern. Is it a major concern? Not right now," Koch said. "The whole emphasis right now is defending well and I think we showed this (past) weekend we can do that and now we can move on to working on the offense."

Heading into the season, Koch knew the youth on the team would need time to jell. He also knew it was a necessary change to reverse the program's fortune.

"We had two years where we didn't do very well, three years where we had players who weren't as invested in trying to make us a better team," Koch said. "In all honesty, their passion wasn't there and they really didn't want to play that much.

Read the complete article here...

Coverage of Men's Soccer's 1-0 Loss To Hartford

The UMass men's soccer team fell to 0-3-1 on the season with a 1-0 loss to unbeaten Hartford on Wednesday. The back-and-forth affair saw both teams with solid scoring chances, but it was the Hawks who capitalized on a turnover deep in the UMass end of the field in 71st minute. The next game is at Dartmouth on Sunday, while the next home game is next Wednesday against Fairfield at 3:30 p.m.

Check out some photo galleries and a recap from the Daily Collegian below.


VIDEO: UMass Rowing Boathouse Dedication Ceremony

A.J. Doyle named UMass starting quarterback vs. Kansas State



Several news outlets reported yesterday that sophomore A.J. Doyle will start at quarterback against Kansas State on Saturday (7 PM, UMass Sports Network) as announced by head coach Charley Molnar after practice.

For Doyle, this will be the second career start after getting the nod in last year's season-finale against Central Michigan.

Doyle battled an injury during the the bulk of spring practices and summer workouts that Molnar said hampered his ability to compete with Wegzyn for the starting job when training camp rolled around. Now that he's gotten healthy, Doyle's performance at practice has picked up.

"It's not that Mike's has gone down, it's just that A.J.s has improved," Molnar said.

In two years, Doyle has thrown for 516 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions on 67-of-121 attempts. His only other career start came in the Minutemen's 42-21 loss to Central Michigan in the season finale last year.

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a preview of the Kansas State game which kicks off on Saturday at 7 PM. UMass head coach Charley Molnar says that while the loss was tough on all, the team has regrouped and are focused on the upcoming weekend.

Setbacks won't keep Gorham grad from goal

Portland Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig caught up with Gorham, Maine, native and UMass field hockey senior  Hannah Prince to highlight Prince's success in the college game as well as internationally. The 5-foot-3 defender has started every contest since her arrival at the University of Massachusetts in 2010 and had the opportunity to compete with the United States U-21 National Team at the Junior World Cup in Germany this summer alongside Minutewomen teammate Sam Carlino.

University of Massachusetts field hockey coach Carla Tagliente says she isn't sure how far her senior captain Hannah Prince of Gorham can go in the game.

"But she won't ever be let down by her own effort," said Tagliente, a three-time All-American at Maryland and former USFHA Player of the Year. "Nothing really deters her and there are very few players that really have that sort of drive."

A defender for No. 7 nationally ranked Massachusetts, Prince is coming off a summer stint as a member of the United States U21 team that competed in the Junior World Cup in Germany, which finished seventh among 16 teams...


The full story by Craig is available through the Portland Press Herald website here. More information on UMass field hockey, including a 2013 schedule and team statistics, can be found on UMassAthletics.com.
Daily Collegian staff reporter Jason Kates spoke with UMass field hockey head coach Carla Tagliente recently for a story highlighting the success of the program against ranked opposition during the previous two seasons and what contests against top-level foes means for the program. In that time frame, the Minutewomen have eight victories against National Field Hockey Coaches Association Top-20 team, including wins over No. 9 Michigan and No. 19 Boston College through five games of the 2013 season.


The Massachusetts field hockey team has made a habit of overcoming ranked opponents in recent years.

UMass knocked off six teams ranked in the Top 25 last season on its way to the NCAA Tournament and have already beaten two ranked opponents just five games into 2013.

The seventh-ranked Minutewomen (5-0) will have a shot at win No. 3 over ranked teams when they take on No. 6 Syracuse - a team they played twice last season, winning one at home and losing the other in the Tournament - on Friday at 3 p.m.

Why so many nationally-ranked opponents?

According to UMass coach Carla Tagliente, it's a perfect measuring stick for her team early in the season...


The remainder of the story is available on the Daily Collegian website here. Information on the University of Massachusetts field hockey program can be found through UMassAthletics.com.

On the heels of women's soccer's 1-0-1 weekend and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Danielle Kriscenski's Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honor, Joey Saade had this sidebar in today's Daily Collegian:

While the Massachusetts women's soccer team entered this season with speculation surrounding a young roster, it still had one assurance in its back pocket: defense.

After giving up four goals in their season-opening loss against Siena, the Minutewomen have tightened up on the defensive side of the ball, allowing only four goals in their following four games.

While the offense is undergoing a transition period without its leading scorer from last year, Moa Mattsson, head coach Ed Matz believes that his defense will continue to shoulder the load.

"Ever since our first game of the year, our defense has played pretty solidly," Matz said after his team's win against New Hampshire.

In three of its last four games, UMass has allowed only one goal at most. The other result was a 2-0 loss to Army. The Minutewomen almost came away with back-to-back road game shutouts this past weekend, but they were unable to hold onto their 1-0 lead against Providence with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation.

One of the reasons for the defense's success has been the familiarity between the four returning starters, led by senior Lauren Skesavage, who said before the season began that she expected a lot out of her unit.

Another reason that cannot be overlooked is the productive play from redshirt freshman goalkeeper Danielle Kriscenski.

Kriscenski was just named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week this past Monday after putting up an impressive 1-0-1 record over the weekend. The freshman posted her first shutout victory over UNH on Sunday, while swatting away a career-high eight shots against the Friars on Friday.

"I was always talking to my defense," Kriscenski said. "I came off strong with my line and if something did happen, I just brushed it off my shoulder and kept going."

Read the full article on DailyCollegian.com

UMass field hockey, which recently moved up to No. 7 in the national poll, faces a tough weekend slate, including No. 6 Syracuse and Ohio State on Sept. 13-14. Daily Collegian reporter Jesse Mayfield Sheehan previews the weekend with a focus on the early-season numbers for all sides.


The 7th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team will have a chance for payback on Friday, as they visit No. 6 Syracuse, the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last season.

Despite the recent history between the two teams (which also includes UMass defeating the Orange, who were ranked No. 1 at the time, earlier last year), coach Carla Tagliente said that the team is focused on the present...


The entire preview can be read through the Daily Collegian website here. More information on UMass field hockey, including a season schedule, updated statistics and important team information, is available here.
Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on sophomore wide receiver Tajae Sharpe who had a career-best 11 catches, 85 yards and a touchdown last weekend vs. Maine. 

"I think (my role) has been a lot bigger," Sharpe said. "We've had a lot of key guys that either graduated or didn't come back for this upcoming season, so I think I had to jump into that leadership role where I just try to embrace each and every day for my receiving corps and my teammates in general."

Men's Soccer Hosts Hartford In Home Opener Today At 3:30 p.m.

The UMass men's soccer team welcome Hartford to Rudd Field today at 3;30 p.m. for the first home contest of the 2013 season. The Hawks will prove to be a formidable foe as they come in ranked eighth in the NSCAA Northeast Region and sport s 2-0-1 record.

Gametime temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 90s and clear, so fans are reminded to drink plenty of water, use sunscreen and wear a hat or sunglasses.

Live streaming video and Gametracker stats are available using the links below and WKSS Radio will be on site with a live remote. The station will offer drawstring bags, sunglasses, cds, dvds, water bottles, usb/wall adapters, screen wipes and more.

Massachusetts vs. Hartford Game Day Preview
 Date Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m. (ET)
 Location Amherst, Mass. | Rudd Field
 Directions Click Here
 Tickets  Free admission
 Online Video watch Click here
 Live Stats gametracker Click here
 Social Media  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics


Here are a couple of gameday previews from Patrick Strohecker and Mark Chiarelli in Wednesday's Daily Collegian.

Republican: Wildcats' speed presents matchup problems on defense

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican looks at Saturday's match-up with Kansas State and the speed the Wildcats have as a team - particularly on offense. He says UMass will have to find a way to contend with that schematically in order to be successful.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican sat down with quarterback Mike Wegzyn to discuss the Maine game, the competition this year at quarterback, his relationship with A.J. Doyle, and how the team turns its focus to Kansas State.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the competition and strong relationship between quarterbacks A.J. Doyle and Mike Wegzyn.

Both Doyle and Wegzyn have described their relationship on and off the field as strong. But Doyle admitted the large amount of time they spend together during the week - they also share a hotel room for every road game - tends to make things "a little awkward" when it comes to the fierce battle for the QB job.

"We both understand it's a competition and we both understand only one quarterback can play," Doyle said. "We both have a very good understanding that one of us is gonna play and one of us is gonna sit."




Gazette: Quarterback competition heats up at UMass practice

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass' quarterback competition as both A.J. Doyle and Mike Wegzyn are pushing to be this week's starter at Kansas State.

Collegian: UMass field hockey continues dominance on offense

Daily Collegian staff writer Jason Kates caught up with UMass field hockey head coach Carla Tagliente this week to discuss the early production of the offense and its impact on the Minutewomen opening the season with five consecutive victories.

Despite losing several leading scorers from last year to graduation, the Massachusetts field hockey team hasn't lost a beat offensively. 

UMass has tallied 18 goals on 88 shots through the first five games of the season, 59 of which have been on goal.

Sophomore Brooke Sabia has led the Minutewomen (5-0) this season with seven goals so far. UMass is averaging 3.6 goals per game while allowing just one per game defensively.

UMass coach Carla Tagliente has attributed this great start not just to the recent performances of Sabia, but to efforts of the entire team...

Read the full story here. More information on UMass field hockey can be found through UMassAthletics.com.
Jason Menard had this feature on UMass hockey alum Danny Hobbs on Sunday. Hobbs, who spent last season with the Greenville Road Warriors in the ECHL, signed a professional tryout agreement with the Ottawa Senators organization this offseason and attended the Senators' rookie camp and tournament last week:

"Rookie tournaments are generally a place for firsts, from first-rounders to a variety of young players getting their initial taste of professional-level competition. But for some, including 24-year-old Danny Hobbs, they can also represent second chances.

Hobbs was drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Draft (198th overall) by the New York Rangers. After completing a four-year collegiate career, he signed an AHL deal with the Connecticut Whale, but never got into an AHL game.

While his participation at this year's Toronto Maple Leafs' rookie camp marks a new beginning for him within the Ottawa Senators' organization, he comes to it with something a lot of players participating don't have -- experience.

"Having a year under my belt in pro, I have a little bit of a different perspective coming into this," Hobbs said. "I kind of know what I need to do to catch some eyes, so I've been trying to do that to the best of my ability. It's definitely a tournament that will prepare you for camp and give you a spot to showcase yourself."

And what are people looking for, according to Hobbs?

"Work hard every shift, try to get the puck to the net, try to use my physical ability out there," he said. "Just try to play hard and be hard to play against."

Read the full article on HockeysFuture.com

Collegian Recap Of Women's Soccer's 1-0-1 Weekend

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Joey Saade had a recap of women's soccer's 1-1 draw at Providence and 1-0 win at UNH from this past weekend:

The Massachusetts women's soccer team used a dominant defensive performance to grind out its first victory of the season on Sunday, taking down New Hampshire 1-0 in Durham, N.H.

Senior Brittany Moore scored the game's lone goal in the eighth minute - her first of the season - which was more than enough for redshirt freshman goalkeeper Danielle Kriscenski, who made five saves for her first-career shutout.

The UMass defense allowed just 14 shots and four corner kicks, further emphasizing coach Ed Matz's belief that the defense has been the team's strong point so far this season.

"We have a lot of confidence in our defense," he said. "Ever since the first game of the year, our defense has played pretty solidly. Kriscenski gained some confidence back there, getting her first win."

Read more on DailyCollegian.com

UMass Football Radio Show To Air From The Hangar On Monday

The weekly Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show, hosted at the Hangar Pub and Grill (55 University Drive) in Amherst, Mass., will occur tonight, Monday, Sept. 9, beginning at 7 p.m. In addition to head coach Charley Molnar, redshirt-senior offensive lineman Vincent Westcarr and sophomore defensive back Joe Colton will appear as the weekly player guests.

Questions for the 'Ask The Coach' portion of the show can be submitted online here.

Fans who are unable to be present for the show can listen in through through their mobile devices using the TuneIn App or online with WEEI 105.5 FM website. More information on this and all upcoming UMass Football Radio Shows is available on UMassAthletics.com and through the UMass Sports Network Twitter account.

On enshrinement weekend, Rick Pitino recalls time spent at UMass

With former Massachusetts basketball player Rick Pitino ('74) being enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend, here is an article from Mike Moran of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. He played for legendary UMass head coach Jack Leaman before going into a coaching career himself. He credits Leaman, a Boston University alum, for allowing him to get his first head coaching post at BU.

Pitino joins Julius Erving as UMass players in the Hall of Fame. Erving is one of only six players in NCAA history to average 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. He was inducted in 1993.

A portion of the article is below...
Prior to Saturday's event, Pitino reconnected with Leaman's wife, Rita, and daughter, Laurie, for the first time in a long time.

"It meant an awful lot to me," Pitino said of the meeting. "Jack was a tough, hard-nosed coach and it was interesting because I wouldn't be here today, probably, if he didn't make a phone call. He's the reason I got the Boston University job. He was a great player at BU, he recommended me, they took his advice and I was hired when I probably shouldn't have been hired."

Pitino was 24 when he took the job in Boston. He had spent a few seasons in Hawaii then one in Syracuse under Jim Boeheim.


Collegian: Field Hockey Weekend Recap

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UMass field hockey won a pair of games over the weekend as the #14 nationally ranked Minutewomen defeated in-state rivals Harvard, 3-0 and #19 Boston College, 4-2. Brooke Sabia continued her offensive onslaught with three goals spread over the contests, including a pair against the Eagles defense. Sabia now owns 14 points on seven goals through five games while the Minutewomen sport a 5-0 record entering the Syracuse University Invitational.

Daily Collegian
reporter Jesse Mayfield Sheehan covered both contests and has a weekend wrap-up detailing the victories.

Molly MacDonnell may have had luck on her side, but it was enough to lift the 14th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team to a 4-2 win over No. 19 Boston College.

The forward dribbled along the left side of the attack circle and pushed a shot across the front of the net. The ball deflected off an Eagles defender and went into the back of the net for MacDonnell's first goal of the season.

The goal put the Minutewomen back on top, 3-2, in the second half after BC rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the game at two apiece...

You can read the rest of Mayfield Sheehan's recap of the weekend through the Daily Collegian website here. More information on UMass field hockey is available on UMassAthletics.com.

Coverage and Highlights From UMass Football's Loss To Maine

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Boston Globe: Pochini, Sikalis still leaders in their field

Boston Globe correspondents Marvin Pave and Lorenzo Recupero caught up with UMass field hockey head coach Carla Tagliente and Minutewomen senior co-captain and Acton-Boxborough Regional High School graduate Alexa Sikalis for a story recently. Sikalis was a co-captain of the Acton-Boxborough team that won the 2009 Division I Massachusetts Title, along with current Babson field hockey standout Julia Pochini, and both have found success on the field since their high school graduation that year.

As senior captains, Julia Pochini and Alexa Sikalis led the field hockey team at Acton-Boxborough Regional to the Division 1 state title in 2009.

The two are captains once again, as starters in the midfield -- Sikalis at the University of Masschusetts Amherst, the 14th-ranked program in Division 1, and Pochini at Babson College, the defending regular-season champion in the NEWMAC.

Pochini, who has started every game since her freshman year for the Division 3 program in Wellesley, enhanced her role as a go-to player at center-mid with six goals and seven assists last season.

Sikalis, who set the career scoring mark at A-B her senior season, started all 24 games at UMass last season, finishing with three goals and six assists in a march to the NCAA tourney...

The full story is available to Boston Globe/Boston.com subscribers here. More information on UMass field hockey, including a 2013 season schedule and team statistics, can be found through UMassAthletics.com here.
Former UMass field hockey student-athlete Sarah Williams has been named the head coach at nearby Northampton High School recently. Williams played four seasons with the Minutewomen from 2006-09, playing in 31 games as a goalkeeper.

For the third time in as many seasons, the Northampton High School field hockey team has a new coach.

Former University of Massachusetts goaltender Sarah Williams takes the helm this season, a year after the Blue Devils made an underdog run to the finals of the Western Massachusetts Division I tournament.

While seven seniors graduated from that squad, a solid core returns as Northampton looks to contend for the Central Division championship and to perhaps make another run deep into November...

Read the whole story by Jason Remilliard through the Springfield Republican here. More information on UMass field hockey, including a schedule for the current season and recent releases related to the team, can be found through UMassAtheltics.com here.
Marc Bertrand of CBS Boston interviews UMass football head coach as part of their weekly chat. 

UMass fell to the Wisconsin Badgers 45-0 in their season opener last weekend, but head coach Charley Molnar was pleased with strides his team has made following their first season in FBS play last year.

"The biggest thing was our guys have improved quite a bit form last season. The score didn't indicate it, but we played fairly clean," Molnar told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Marc Bertrand for their weekly chat. "We had some errors and some penalties I wish we could have had back, but our offensive line has improved tremendously from a year ago. We were able to manage a run game and protect the quarterback. We had no sacks of TFL, just a couple pressures and really that was due to the coverage than anything else."

"On defense we had 54 plays where we held Wisconsin to under 150 yards on offense, and then we had a dozen plays where the roof caved in. If we can eliminate half those plays against an opponent like Wisconsin, who knows how the game can end up," he said. "We've made great strides and really have improved in all areas."

You can listen to the full interview on CBSBoston.com


Mark Chiarelli had this piece in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette focusing on the team's youth and leadership:

University of Massachusetts women's soccer coach Ed Matz is cautiously optimistic.

Twenty of Matz's 27 players are either freshman or sophomores, a daunting figure for a team that hopes to be in the Atlantic 10 postseason picture.

"The learning curve of the team is huge," Matz said. "We're tremendously athletic, very fast, we have some skilled players. Sometimes those qualities in a young player are as positive as they can be negative because sometimes they're trying too hard."

Early on, the results lacked, as UMass lost three straight games to start the season.

"This team is very talented, very deep, but we're very young," he said. "We need to keep practicing and gelling together and creating opportunities for ourselves ... It's hard for young players to realize the importance of practicing hard every day and the importance of every game and every minute of the game."

Read the full article here.

Boston Globe: UMass to take on Maine in home opener

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a preview of Saturday's game vs. Maine at Gillette Stadium (2 PM, ESPN3) with a focus on running back Stacey Bedell and his return from last season's season-ending injury against Indiana.

It had been practically two years since Bedell had seen real action. A broken collarbone put an end to his freshman season in 2012 after just two games and three carries, forcing him to redshirt.

But Bedell was bursting at the seams to get back on the field, looking for ways to leapfrog returning starter Jordan Broadnax on the depth chart.

"He definitely showed that he was ready," Molnar said. "He was competing like crazy to be the starting running back. He wasn't going to be happy to be the first man off the bench."

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican wrote a piece on Rick Pitino, UMass Class of 1974, and his induction this weekend into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In the early 1970s, Rick Pitino was a flashy guard for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team.

Four decades later, he will be enshrined as a basketball immortal, just down the highway from his alma mater.

The coach of Louisville's reigning NCAA champions will join 11 other members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013 at Sunday's induction ceremony.

Enshrinement at Springfield Symphony Hall will take place at 2 p.m. The weekend's events begin Friday night with an induction celebration and ring ceremony at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

An auction, autograph session, press conference and a dinner for past and 2013 Hall of Famers will make up a full day of Saturday events at the Hall of Fame. Sunday's schedule will begin with a VIP reception and champagne brunch at the MassMutual Center, followed by Enshrinement at Symphony Hall and a post-ceremony gala at the Hall of Fame.

Pitino, 60, will be one of four coaches enshrined. He joins Guy Lewis, Jerry Tarkanian and Sylvia Hatchell.

Herald: Matt Sparks puts it on the line for UMass

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a look at center Matt Sparks and his journey from Hawaii to Massachusetts to be a member of the Minutemen. Sparks who played guard last year, has settled in nicely at center and helped solidify what many expect to be a much improved offensive line this year.

UMass had 59 offensive snaps Saturday, including 29 rushing attempts, and did not permit a single tackle for a loss. At center, Sparks was forced to handle Wisconsin's highly regarded nose tackle Beau Allen and Sparks limited the Badgers' star to two solo tackles. 

Collegian: UMass field hockey has sights set on repeat

Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian has a story on the field hockey program and how the team is once again looking to repeat as Atlantic 10 Champions.

Last season was a memorable one for the Minutewomen, who accumulated a 15-9 record that included an Atlantic 10 title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Now, it must build on last year's success and live up to lofty preseason expectations. The Minutewomen enter the year with 15 returners and earned seven of eight possible first-place votes to repeat as A-10 champions.

Although they lost several top scorers due to graduation, Tagliente believes her squad will still maintain the high-powered offense that averaged just below three goals a game last season.


Collegian: UMass men's soccer preps for weekend tournament

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story on the UMass men's soccer team and its preparation for this weekend's Windjammer Classic hosted by Vermont.
Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian has a story which features Sam Carlino and how her time this summer with the Under-21 U.S. National Team and how that helped her development heading into the 2013 field hockey season for UMass.

"I definitely gained very valuable experience on the international level," Carlino said. "The game is just so much faster and more competitive, and everyone there is incredibly talented. Just to learn from my coaches and other teammates about the game as a whole will definitely help me in the future and hopefully elevate my game to the next level."

Collegian: Leadership not a concern for UMass women's soccer team

Tom Mulherin of the Daily Collegian has a story on the UMass women's soccer team and the leadership that the group has.

"We came in a day and a half early, and had an outside group came in called 'The Program,'" Matz explained. "They put our team in leadership training, and it couldn't have been a better time for our program. It was great, and I think that it not only helped the six juniors and seniors become better leaders, but it also helped everyone become better teammates."


Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a story on Stacey Bedell's performance at Wisconsin and how his season-ending injury last year ended up being a valuable learning opportunity.

Bedell overcame the challenge of having to sit and watch his team play by turning the situation into a valuable learning tool. In that time, not only was he in the weight room physically preparing himself to play again, but he was also learning what it takes to be a college football player.

"When you make the transition from high school to college there's a lot of things. Really every aspect is different," UMass running backs coach Roderick Plummer said. "With him being someone that's really smart, he picks up on things quickly. But really there's steps to take every day at this level, especially when you're a freshman at this level for the first time."



Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a story on the improvements UMass fans saw in the Wisconsin game from the football team and how those should translate this weekend for the Maine game at Gillette Stadium.

Cameron McDonough has a feature on fifth-year transfer defensive end Justin Anderson and the role his relationship with defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo had in his decision to come to UMass. Sollazzo recruited and coached Anderson when the two were at Maryland in 2009 and 2010.

Collegian: UMass offensive line improved over offseason

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on the offensive line and its improvement, despite several new starters in the group, from a year ago. This was evident against Wisconsin as stated by coach Charley Molnar.

"It was a cleaner game by our offensive line. The penalties were very, very disappointing because we felt like we had more poise and that we had demonstrated that during camp," he said. "But the upside of it is though the quarterback was pressured at times, there weren't any sacks and we didn't have any TFLs, we had no TFLs in that game. So every play was zero or better, which is an improvement from where we were a year ago."

Cameron McDonough has a story in Thursday's Daily Collegian featuring the expectations for the UMass football team in its second year as an FBS program. 

Molnar sees an improved team from a year ago.

"(Last year felt) different because I knew we had a long ways to go," Molnar said. "I thought that maybe some of the guys from our football team would just step up and be able to carry the day. Once we got through the first game when I saw that wasn't going to be the case, I tempered my enthusiasm to understand where we're at as a football team developmentally and we were really on the ground floor.

"We've taken a step up. I can't tell you if we're on the second floor or the third floor yet. Let us play a couple of games. But we are definitely better than we were a year ago."


Republican: Broadnax out, Blanchflower game-time decision vs. Maine

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Jordan Broadnax being listed as out and Rob Blanchflower being a game-time decision for the game against Maine on Saturday at Gillette Stadium (2 PM).

He also writes that Stacey Bedell and Derek Beck, who replaced Broadnax and Blanchflower respectively at Wisconsin, performed well in place of the two veterans.

Gazette: It doesn't get any bigger for UMass than Maine

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on the importance of playing Maine this Saturday in UMass' home-opener at Gillette.

Daily Collegian: Minutewomen claim inaugural Kennedy Cup

Daily Collegian staff writer Jason Kates was in attendance for the inaugural Kennedy Cup on Tuesday evening to see the Minutewomen field hockey squad defeat UMass-Lowell, 6-0 on Garber Field. Kates spoke with UMass head coach Carla Tagliente and sophomore midfielder Brooke Sabia, who scored two goals including the game-winner, as part of the recap.


AMHERST, Mass. - Fresh off an upset victory over No. 9 Michigan, the Massachusetts field hockey team dominated in its home opener on Tuesday, defeating in-state rival UMass Lowell, 6-0, and claiming the inaugural Kennedy Cup.

Paced by sophomore Brooke Sabia's second straight two-goal game, the 14th-ranked Minutewomen (3-0) didn't take long to open up the scoring.

Sabia scored her first goal of the game seven minutes and 38 seconds into the first half on a rebound over the goalkeeper after her initial shot was saved. Just under 15 minutes later, she tallied her second goal of the game on a penalty corner, set up by Alexa Sikalis and Charlotte Verelst...


Fans can read the rest of the article through the Daily Collegian website here. The Minutewomen return to the field on Friday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. against in-state rival Boston College. Admission to the contest is free.



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on UMass' pass protection against Wisconsin as a positive the offensive line can build from. The Minutemen gave up no sacks in the game and gained positive yardage on every play from scrimmage.



Photo Galleries: UMass Field Hockey 6, UMass-Lowell 0

A pair of local photographers were present for the inaugural Kennedy Cup, in which the University of Massachusetts field hockey team defeated UMass-Lowell, 6-0 at Garber Field on Tuesday evening. To chronicle the evening, Thom Kendall provided a gallery on on UMassAthletics.com while J. Anthony Roberts attended the event for the Springfield Republican and MassLive.com.

The Minutewomen return to action on Friday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. as Harvard visits Garber Field. Admission to all home games is free of charge.

Brooke Sabia leads the charge on offense for the Minutewomen

Jesse Mayfield Sheehan of the Daily Collegian noted the offensive development of sophomore midfielder Brooke Sabia and the results it has netted the UMass field hockey team through three games of the 2013 season in a recent post. Sabia tallied her second consecutive two-goal performance on Tuesday evening as the Minutewomen defeated UMass-Lowell to improve to 3-0 on the year.

AMHERST, Mass. - After the Massachusetts field hockey team lost its top three goal scorers to graduation last year, there was much speculation about who would step up for the team on offense.

Three games into this season, the team seems to have found a player who can lead the attack. Sophomore midfielder Brooke Sabia recorded her second straight multi-goal game of the season on Tuesday against UMass Lowell, bringing her season total up to a team-leading four goals...


Fans can read the entire story through the Daily Collegian's website here.The Minutewomen return to action with a home game against Harvard on Friday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge for all.

This Week In UMass Athletics #PassionPridePower

It's a busy week for MinuteFans and as the first week of classes start on campus, that means more and more events to check out.

All the action starts on Tuesday at Garber Field as the nationally ranked field hockey team hosts in-state rival UMass Lowell at 5 PM.

Tuesday, Sept. 3
Field Hockey vs. UMass Lowell - 5 PM - Garber Field

Wednesday, Sept. 4
UMass Sports Luncheon - Noon - Mullins Center
Bud Light Football Coaches Radio Show - 7 PM - Hangar Pub & Grill

Friday, Sept. 6
Men's Soccer vs. New Hampshire (at Vermont) - 1:30 PM
Women's Soccer at Providence - 7 PM
Field Hockey vs. Harvard - 5 PM - Garber Field

Saturday, Sept. 7
Football vs. Maine - 2 PM - Gillette Stadium

Sunday, Sept. 8
Men's Soccer at Vermont - 1:30 PM
Women's Soccer at New Hampshire - 1 PM
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Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a look at the collegiate debut of freshman linebacker Steve Casali who made his first career tackle last Saturday on the opening kick-off.

"That was just my goal - to go down there and get the first tackle of the season," said Casali, who was one of 10 true freshmen making their debuts. "I was so pumped and the crowd was going crazy."

The tackle was one of three for the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder out of Sachem East High School on Long Island. On top of special-teams duties, Casali also saw extended playing time at inside linebacker, where he looked considerably well-adjusted given his lack of collegiate experience.


Gazette: Charley Molnar, UMass upbeat following loss to Wisconsin

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story highlighting the positive aspects from Saturday's loss at Wisconsin as noted by Coach Charley Molnar today following practice.

One of the notable positives to come from the loss was the emergence of some of the younger players of the roster. Among the standouts were sophomore center Matt Sparks and redshirt freshman running back Stacey Bedell, who made his first career start.

"Matt Sparks was up against, in my opinion, maybe the best nose guard in the country and he fought through the whole game," Molnar said. "It wasn't a bloodbath; he didn't take over the game. We were prepared to help our center out any way possible and never had to use those strategies."

Bedell amassed 70 yards on 19 carries in his first collegiate game.

Rick Pitino prepares for Hall of Fame induction

Former UMass basketball player Rick Pitino ('74) will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend, becoming the second Minutemen student-athlete to earn the honor.

He is also being careful not to say the wrong thing or look the wrong way as he prepares his various speeches.

NY Post: Cox follows Cruz's path to Giants

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post has a story on Michael Cox and his journey towards making the New York Giants 53-man roster over the weekend. Schwartz echoes that Cox's journey was similar to that of Victor Cruz.

Perhaps the Giants have a Cruz redux in Michael Cox, the rookie running back who remains on the 53-man roster. This wasn't much of a surprise on cut-down day, as his body of work this summer made it obvious he was going to stick -- just as Cruz performed his way onto the team in 2010.

Without UMass, Cox wouldn't have gotten a sniff of the NFL. He barely got on the field at Michigan. In 2009 he got 13 rushing attempts, 113 yards and two touchdowns, but after that he sat the bench, managing to find only six more carries the next two years. He earned his degree, though, and, with one more year of playing eligibility, he moved closer to home, enrolled at UMass, took post-graduate courses and started all 12 games at running back. His 198 rushes for 715 yards and five TDs got him on the fringe of the draft radar.

Cox, after struggling at Michigan, follows Cruz's path to Giants - NYPOST.com

Seven Minutemen Make 53-Man NFL Rosters

Seven former Minutemen survived the weekend's NFL cuts and are now on the 53-man rosters for the regular season. Additionally, Julian Talley was signed to the New York Giants practice squad, while John Griffin was assigned to the New York Jets injured reserve list after being hurt during preseason camp.

Michael Cox - New York Giants
Victor Cruz - New York Giants
Vladimir Ducasse - New York Jets
Emil Igwenagu - Philadelphia Eagles
James Ihedigbo - Baltimore Ravens
Jeromy Miles - Cincinnati Bengals
Josh Samuda - Miami Dolphins

Practice Squad: Julian Talley - New York Giants
Injured Reserve: John Griffin - New York Jets




Boston Herald: UMass' focus moves on to Maine

Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald has a look at how UMass will bounce back this week in preparation for Maine on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. This will be the first time the two teams have met since UMass made the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Paul Bowker of the Springfield Republican has a story on how running back Stacey Bedell was a bright spot for the UMass offense on Saturday at Wisconsin.

For Bedell, Saturday marked his return after being sidelined for the all of last year after being injured in the second game against Indiana.

Coverage Of UMass' Season Opening Loss At Wisconsin

It was a tough day for the Minutemen as No. 23 Wisconsin defeated the Minutemen 45-0 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday in the season-opener for both teams. Big plays set the tone for the Badgers as they posted eight over 20 yards including four 50+ yard touchdown plays.

UMass will return to action next Saturday in its home opener at Gillette Stadium against long-time rival Maine. Kick-off is at 2:00 PM and the game will be shown on ESPN3 and on mobile devices via WatchESPN.




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