The Inside Lacrosse staff named its winners and losers from last week, and highlighted the success of the Minutemen among its 'winners' for the squad's performance through two weeks of the season. Geoff Shannon pointed out the success of the UMass freshman class, especially during the 12-11 defeat of No. 14/9 Ohio State in overtime, while Xanders tabbed the entire team as his 'winner' this week following the 2-0 start, which also includes a 6-5 victory at Army in the season-opener. Below are excerpts from the article covering the Minutemen:
Geoff Shannon (@Geoff_Shannon)UMass Freshmen -- Minuteman coach Greg Cannella really is a master at recruiting and player development. Freshmen played huge roles in UMass' victory over a then-top 10 Ohio State team. Frosh attackman Nick Mariano continues to live up to his IL top 10 attackman ranking scoring four goals, including the game-winner that he racked up on a beautiful dodge from X to left GLE. British Columbia native Aaron Madaisky, who stands at a monster 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, and rookie Culver (Ind.) recruit Austin Spencer both played LSM and helped hold OSU's midfield star Jesse King to one assist. New Jersey freshman middie Jeff George also notched two goals. After a focused fall, UMass starts 2014 2-0, enters the Top 20 rankings this week, and suddenly looks like a major threat for a CAA title run. Gorilla Ball rolls on.
Ty Xanders (@TyXanders)UMass -- What better way to make a statement than to knock off a preseason top 10 team in overtime on national TV? Coming off of a 7-8 season and graduating Will Manny, I would have picked the Minutemen as underdogs in both of their games this season, so the fact that they could beat both Army and Ohio State to open the year says a lot about their chances about making a run to the NCAA tournament this spring. I loved the way Greg Cannella's heady, youth ridden team played with confidence and toughness, using a four-goal outing from sensational freshman attackman Nick Mariano (including the game-winner in OT) to give them a 12-11 win over the Buckeyes. UMass has some rest before playing Harvard, Brown and Albany between now and March 8, but I'm excited to see how they fare during that stretch.
To read the entirety of Inside Lacrosse's Winners & Losers recap check out the story here. More on UMass men's lacrosse can be found through UMassAthletics.com.