UMass Athletics:

July 2014 Archives

Boston Globe: Sam Koch, 59; reinvigorated UMass soccer program

Marvin Pave of the Boston Globe has a very touching article on the life of former UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch. 

Sam Koch coached at UMass Amherst for 23 seasons and was named Atlantic-10 coach of the year four times.Here are a couple of quotes from BU head coach Neil Roberts and former Minuteman Stuart Amick that reiterate the type of person Sam was.

"He was a good friend and a good person," said veteran Boston University head coach Neil Roberts. "Sam stood for what he believed in. His teams played hard and clean and never quit, and neither did he."

Stuart Amick, a freshman starter on the 2007 UMass squad and later a team captain, said Mr. Koch knew how to get the best out of his players.

"He stuck to his guns. We played the game simple, but we did the simple things well," Amick said. "We had great camaraderie and a blue-collar, defensive-minded approach to the game, and I'll always remember him telling us that he would only cancel practice when it was colder in Amherst than it was in Anchorage."

@UMassFootball Breaks Out on Snapchat

If you haven't already begun following the UMass Football team's Snapchat account, don't worry! You and your friends still have all season to get exclusive access to life behind the scenes with our players when the pads and helmets come off, as well as the rest of the story of UMass Football. Don't let anyone fool you, these student-athletes are real people just like you.

Over the past month our players wanted to show their jovial personalities off the field and agreed to share short video clips lip syncing some of their favorite songs (we even got Coach Whipple to partake in the fun!). We were wowed just like you were. The response has been awesome throughout all of social. Your reaction and that of other College Athletics Departments across the country has encouraged the players to want to do more!

Below, we compiled all of the Snapchat music snaps into one video for your viewing and listening pleasure. A special thanks to our talented social media artist, Anthony Zonfrelli of Sports Media Challenge, who made our players look like rock stars! Be sure to follow UMassFootball on Snapchat throughout the season for more unique content surrounding the team. And send ideas of what you would like to see. Maybe your idea will be chosen, and you could even score a cameo role on the official UMassfootball Snapchat account with your favorite Minutemen. Send your ideas via social media along with the hashtag #Snaps2Entertain.

Per a press release on the team's website, The Ontario Reign have agreed to terms with former UMass hockey captain Rocco Carzo for the 2014-15 season. Carzo was acquired by Ontario from the Florida Everblades in February and enjoyed success with the Reign in his first full season of professional hockey, tallying 18 points (5g, 13a) in 17 games, highlighted by a nine-game point streak from Mar. 8 through Mar. 29, in which he buried four goals and added nine assists.

Click here for the full press release from the Ontario Reign

Tony Androckitis of the Highland Park Hockey blog (@H_P_Hockey), which provides coverage of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, caught up recent UMass hockey grad Conor Sheary during Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp a few weeks ago and has this blog post on the former Minutemen captain:

Read: Conor Sheary Aims To Make An Impression

Minutemen In Major League Lacrosse (7.28)

Two former UMass men's lacrosse standouts combined for six points for their respective teams as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) provided offensive boosts as the MLL season winds down toward the playoffs.

Leveille scored twice on his only two attempts of the game and scooped up one groundball for Rochester as the Rattlers improved to 9-3 overall with a 13-9 win over Charlotte on Saturday, July 26. Leveille provided both tallies during the fourth quarter, staking Rochester to an 11-9 lead with more than 10 minutes left before capping scoring with 92 seconds left to play.

The 2003 UMass graduate has 22 points on 15 goals and seven assists over 10 games played while he has also picked up 16 groundballs. He has recorded 20 or more points in all but one of his 10 professional lacrosse campaigns.

Manny totaled four points through a hat trick and one assist, but it was not enough for Boston as the Cannons fell to Florida, 23-17 on Saturday, July 26. Manny dished an assist to Scott Ratliff to put Boston ahead, 4-2 early and tallied his first goal of the day during the second quarter to extend Boston's lead to 8-6. After Florida rallied during the second and third quarters, Manny spearheaded a late fourth-quarter push with back-to-back goals, but it was too late.

His three goals and one assist give Manny 46 points (29 goals, 17 assists) through 12 games, the fourth-most points among all Major League Lacrosse players. His 29 goals also rank him fourth while his 17 assists place him fifth in those respective categories.

More on MLL is available through Keep up-to-date with the Minutemen via

Here is a look at Saturday's alumni tour of the new UMass Football Performance Center which was part of the program's "We Built Weekend".
You have to give UMass football alum Victor Cruz for his creative ability and showmanship as he demonstrates here in his marriage proposal to longtime girlfriend Elaina.

The UMass Sports Network was on hand to get highlights and interviews at the UMass Hockey Pond Club Golf Outing which is an annual fundraiser for the program held at The Orchards Golf Club.

Coverage Of @UMassFootball At MAC Media Day

Remembering Sam Koch, 1955-2014

UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 59 following a two-year battle with sinus cancer. He was an excellent coach and an even better human being. Remembrances from across the nation have been posted on Twitter and Facebook. Below are some news articles covering his life and some very nice commentaries from area writers Matt Vautour, Dan Malone, Mark Chiarelli and Bob McGovern. Many have similar stories of cutting their teeth on the soccer beat for the Daily Collegian, as do countless others who have gone on to other jobs and professions away from sports. But they all come back to what a great person Sam was. And he was.

Funeral services will be held at Noon on Sunday, Aug. 3 in the Memorial Chapel at Northfield Mount Hermon.

Minutemen In Major League Lacrosse (7.20)

A pair of former Minutemen represented UMass in Major League Lacrosse during the previous week, as Will Manny (2010-13) and Jack Reid (2003-06) were active for the Boston Cannons during their heartbreaking overtime loss to New York, 16-15 on July 19.

Manny notched four points via three goals and an assist while he also scooped up a groundball. The 2013 UMass graduate opened scoring only two minutes, 23 seconds into the first quarter and added another goal less than eight minutes later. Manny provided a buzz-beating tally only one second before the first quarter expired to push Boston ahead, 5-4 and assisted on the strike that put the Cannons in front, 14-13 late in the fourth quarter.

Reid was active on close defense for the Cannons, making his fifth appearance on the season. In addition to his work on the field for Boston, Reid is currently fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which battles childhood cancer, alongside his teammates and head coach.

Keep up-to-date with everything Major League Lacrosse through the organization's official website. More on the Minutemen can be found on

Former UMass men's lacrosse standout Kevin Leveille (2000-03) provided another three-goal performance for the United States National Team at the FIL World Championship on Saturday evening, but it was not enough in the title game as Team USA fell to Canada, 8-5.

Leveille finished the tournament with 15 points on 14 goals and an assist accumulated over six games played. He had a hat trick in each of the last three games. Check out more coverage of the championship game and the entire knockout round of the tournament below:

World Game: Day 10 - Canada Takes Goal | Inside Lacrosse
Crowley, Ball Control Give Canada FIL Gold, 8-5 | Sean Burns, Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Canada Downs USA 8-5 For FIL Gold | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
Canada 8, Team USA 5 | Box Score
World Games: Day 8 - U.S. Tops Australia 22-3 in Semifinals | Inside Lacrosse
United States Advances to FIL Final With Rout of Australia | Sean Burns, Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA Dominates Australia; Into FIL Final | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
Team USA 22, Australia 3 | Box Score
World Games: Day 6 - USA Dominates Iroquois, Takes Top Seed | Inside Lacrosse
Team USA Defense Puts Clamps on Iroquois | Corey McLaughlin, Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: USA Dominates Iroquois to Snare Top Seed | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
Team USA 18, Iroquois Nationals 5 | Box Score
Team USA Dorm Tour with Captain Kevin Leveille | Corey McLaughlin, Lacrosse Magazine
Dispatches from Denver: Scenarios, US Award and More | Lacrosse Magazine

More on UMass men's lacrosse can be found through

University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus and Boston Cannons defenseman Jack Reid (2003-06) is in the middle of a fundraising effort for St. Baldrick's Foundation, which is a volunteer-driven charity that raises money for the battle against childhood cancer. Reid is joined by teammates Matt Smalley, Jordan Burke, Brodie Merrill, Eric Hagarty and head coach John Tucker in the on-going fundraising project.

Read more about the reasons behind Reid's support of St. Baldrick's Foundation through the Boston Cannons website. Fans can support Reid through his page on the St. Bandrick's website. The event will culminate in a St. Baldrick's signature head-shaving event postgame on Aug. 9 after the Cannons host the Rochester Rattlers. All six participants will get bald to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer.

Alexandria Valdez of the Denver Post took time to speak with UMass men's lacrosse alumnus Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Team USA head coach Richie Meade about the experience and leadership Leveille has provided to the U.S. National Team during competition at the 2014 FIL World Championship. Check it out:

"COMMERCE CITY -- Kevin Leveille's journey to the World Lacrosse Championships was tumultuous. He tried out for Team USA four times in 12 years. It wasn't until his fourth attempt, which came this year, that he made the final 23-man roster.

'It didn't sink in for a couple days,' said Leveille, 32. 'I felt I've played pretty well and done the right things. You never know because the competition level is so high.'

The veteran attackman from Delmar, N.Y., is putting his perseverance and knowledge of lacrosse to use at the world tournament being played at Dick's Sporting Goods Park..."

Read the conclusion of the story through the Denver Post website. More on the Minutemen can be found on

Former UMass men's lacrosse standout Kevin Leveille (2000-03) provided another hat trick for Team USA as the U.S. exploded for 22 goals in their 22-3 victory over Australia in the FIL World Championship semifinals. Leveille, the team captain for the tournament, now has 12 points via 11 goals and one assist over five games played.

United States Advances to FIL Final With Rout of Australia | Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: USA Dominates Australia; Into FIL Final | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
Team USA 22, Australia 3 | Official Box Score
World Games: Day 8 - U.S. Tops Australia, 22-3 in Semifinals | Inside Lacrosse

Keep up-to-date with the tournament through the FIL World Championship website, Lacrosse Magazine and Inside Lacrosse. More on the Minutemen can be found via

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his countdown of the Top 25 UMass football players to watch for the 2014 season. At No. 14 on the chart is Penn State transfer Alex Kenney who will add depth and speed to the wide receiver corps.

Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger has a story on UMass football alum Michael Cox who was a seventh-round draft pick of the New York Giants following the 2012 season. Cox earned a spot on last year's active roster with the Giants and will continue to fight for a place on the team entering the 2014 campaign.


Tom Chard of the Portland Press Herald has a feature story on incoming UMass football freshman Andrew Libby who will take part in this weekend's Lobster Bowl all-star game. Libby suffered a season-ending injury in the last year's opener missing his senior season. He was the Maine Player of the Year as a junior.

Andrew Libby, who missed all but one half in the season with a knee injury, practices Tuesday at Hebron Academy for Saturday's Lobster Bowl. Libby says his knee is 100 percent.

UMass men's lacrosse alumnus Kevin Leveille (2000-03) led Lacrosse Magazine on a tour around the Team USA headquarters at the FIL World Championship. The U.S. National Team is into the semifinal round, which begins on Thursday, July 17. Check it out:

Team USA Dorm Tour With Kevin Leveille | Corey McLaughlin, Lacrosse Magazine

The United States continues its tournament with a 6:30 p.m. game against Australia on ESPNU.

Adam Birt of and the American Journal spoke with former UMass field hockey standout Hannah Prince (2010-13) recently about her experience training as part of the U.S. Field Hockey National Team, which Prince was elected to on June 25. Check it out:

"Hannah Prince, 2010 Gorham High School grad and field hockey standout, went on to play four superb years at UMass Amherst. On leaving college behind, she accepted a job as an assistant coach at Bryant University, in Smithfield, R.I. - a post she promptly had to depart, as she was selected to the U.S. women's national team, which, when she reported to training in Lancaster, Pa., on Monday, July 14, became her new, day-in, day-out occupation.

'It's crazy. It's like my full-time job,' she says of joining training camp. 'In college, you have class, living in the dorms, all these other aspects. This is such a structured lifestyle. The rate that I'll improve will be pretty steady, just because this is, really, my full-time job.'

Greg Prince, Hannah's father, never knew her talents would take her this far..."

Read the conclusion of Birt's feature story here. More on UMass field hockey is available through

Former University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse standout Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and the United States National Team claimed the No. 1 seed in the knockout round and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIL World Championship with an 18-5 victory over the Iroquois Nationals on Tuesday evening.

In the victory, Leveille scored once for Team USA to bump his tournament total to nine points (eight goals, one assist). The U.S. side continues competition on Thursday, July 17 against the winner of the Israel-Australia contest set to be played on Wednesday, July 16 at 7 p.m. Read more on the U.S. win below:

USA Defense Puts Clamps on Iroquois Lacrosse | Corey McLaughlin, Lacrosse Magazine
World Games: Day 6 - USA Dominates Iroquois, Takes Top Seed | Inside Lacrosse
Photo Gallery: USA Dominates Iroquois to Snare Top Seed | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine

Keep up-to-date with UMass men's lacrosse through

Following her sixth-place finish in the 800 meter run at USATF Junior Nationals, rising sophomore Heather MacLean spoke with Jean DePlacido of the Salem News for this piece:

Read: Trio of local track standouts earn Junior All-America status at Track Nationals

With women's preseason being just a few weeks away, David Carty of the Foxboro Reporter has profiled incoming Minutewomen freshman Danielle Roma. Roma will have an opportunity to face her older sister Gianna, who plays at UConn, when UMass travels to Storrs to face the Huskies on Sept. 14.

Read: Roma follows big sister's advice onto collegiate pitch

Kevin Leveille Nets Hat Trick In Team USA Victory

University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse standout Kevin Leveille (2000-03) secured four points via three goals and an assist as Team USA routed England, 20-1 at the FIL World Championship on Monday evening. The win improved the U.S. National Team to 4-0 during group play.

Through three appearances - Leveille sat out one game due to injury - the former Minuteman owns eight points via seven goals and an assist. Check out some coverage of the latest U.S. victory below:

World Games: Day 5 - Canada, USA Handle Blue Foes | Inside Lacrosse
Team USA Coasts by England in Pool Play | Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA Topples England (FIL Worlds) | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
Box Score: Team USA 20, England 1 | FIL World Championship Website - Getting To Know @UMassFootball Rob Blanchflower

The Pittsburgh Steelers website has a Getting To Know feature of Rob Blanchflower to help introduce the UMass alum and seventh round draft pick to their fans. Blanchflower says the blue-collar toughness of Pittsburgh is a great fit for him because it reminds him of central Massachusetts.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has incoming tight ends Jean Sifrin and Jon Denton, both junior college transfers, as being tied as No. 15 on his top 25 players to watch list for UMass football this season. Sifrin seems to be a strong receiving tight end, while Denton looks to be more of a point-of-attack blocker with good hands in the pass game. The combo combined with UMass' returning corps of tight ends will give the Minutemen several options in replacing Rob Blanchflower who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers this past May.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his look at the top 25 players to watch this upcoming season for the UMass football team with wide receiver Marken Michel ranking No. 16 in the countdown. Michel returns to the team after being away last season, but adds immediate depth as a speedy and athletic slot receiver. His return adds to what is beginning to look like an interesting position group with a lot of potential on the offensive side of the ball.

After he rested for one contest due to a minor injury, UMass men's lacrosse alum Kevin Leveille (2000-03) provided three goals and two groundballs for Team USA during the squad's 21-3 victory over Japan at the FIL World Championship on the evening of Sunday, July 13.

Check out coverage of the win and Leveille's performance below:

Team USA Dominates Japan, Improves to 3-0 | Sean Burns, Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA Routs Japan (FIL Worlds) | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine
World Games: Day 4 -- U.S. Tops Japan, Iroquois-Canada Live, Pool Winners and Photos | Inside Lacrosse

More on UMass men's lacrosse can be found through

UMass hockey rising-senior goaltender Steve Mastalerz and recent graduate Conor Sheary have both been invited to Penguins Prospect Development Camp, which will begin next Tuesday, July 15. The camp, which will be held at the CONSOL Energy Center, concludes on Saturday, July 19 with a scrimmage that is free and open to the public beginning at 3 p.m.

Sheary, who signed with the organization this spring, is coming off a stellar postseason with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Mastalerz is attending his first development camp.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican comments on a video produced by the UMass Sports Network which shows coach Mark Whipple introducing the team to its new locker room in the UMass Football Performance Center.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how having a trio of coaches from Charley Molnar's staff - Ted Daisher, Dave Sollazzo, and Shane Waldron - has helped make Mark Whipple's transition smooth since he took over the hiring. The veteran trio are praised for their coaching ability, but it's also pointed out that the group has helped keep recruiting strong while also keeping relationships strong with the current players.

We hope you enjoyed our coaches sharing some of their favorite motivational quotes this week as part of #UMassCoachQuotes. We'll have another round of those coming next week as well. For now, let's look back at what our coaches submitted this past week.

Dan Malone picks Tyshon Henderson as the No. 17 UMass player to keep an eye on this season as Malone continues to unveil his top 25 players list during the summer. The sophomore gained valuable experience in 2013 as a back-up for starters Anthony Dima and David Osei. With a large frame and innate strength, Henderson will vie for one of the open tackle spots during August camp.

Team USA, Kevin Leveille Win FIL World Championship Opener

University of Massachusetts alum Kevin Leveille (2000-03) scored one goal and picked up a groundball to help the U.S. National Team to a FIL World Lacrosse Championship-opening victory over Team Canada, 10-7 on Thursday evening. Read about the game with coverage below:

U.S. Men Run to 10-7 Win Over Canada to Open FIL Tourney | U.S. Lacrosse
World Games: USA Clamps Down to Beat Canada, 10-7, in Opener | Casey Vock, Inside Lacrosse
USA's Defense Impresses; Canada Needs Offensive Adjustments | Quint Kessenich, Inside Lacrosse
Rabil, Pannell Show They Can Shine Together | Matt DaSilva, Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA 10, Canada 7 | Scott McCall, Lacrosse Magazine

More on UMass men's lacrosse is available through

Dan Malone's Players To Watch countdown continues to roll forward with his addition of center Matt Sparks at No. 18 on the list. Malone says Sparks has experience and has shown improvement over each of the last two seasons. The Hawaii native is also one of two returning offensive line starters returning this season which will make him a key leader on the team.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks Jalen Williams as the No. 19 player to watch this season for UMass football. Williams transferred to UMass prior to the spring from Dean College and showed his skill as a wide receiver during spring camp. Williams adds to an interesting mix of players at the position which has promise to help the offense move the ball.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his top 25 players to watch countdown as the 2014 UMass football season continues to get closer. On Monday, he had defensive tackle Daniel Maynes as the No. 20 player to keep an eye on this year. Malone says Maynes' experience on the line will make him an anchor as a nose tackle in the new 3-4 scheme.

Boston sports personality and UMass alum Steve Buckley predicted a win for the UMass football team in the season-opener against Boston College on August 30 in Gillette Stadium. Buckley made his prediction during this segment where each of his co-hosts on the Sports Tonight Crew made their bold predictions on various sports topics.

The United States Men's Lacrosse National Team, including UMass alumnus and Team USA captain Kevin Leveille (2000-03), begins competition at the 2014 FIL World Championship with a Thursday, July 10 contest against Canada beginning at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and via More information on the event and media coverage of Team USA is available below:

World Games: Burning Questions For Team USA | Inside Lacrosse
World Games: Blue Division Rosters, Schedule And TV | Inside Lacrosse
Breaking Down The U.S. Team 23-Man Roster | Terry Foy,Inside Lacrosse
Elder Statesman Leveille Voted Team USA Captain | Corey McLaughlin, Lacrosse Magazine
Schedule and ESPN Coverage for the FIL World Championship | Lax Power
FIL: USA Opens Tournament Against Canada | Pete Crowley,

Keep up-to-date with UMass men's lacrosse via

The University of Massachusetts field hockey program had a pair of current Minutewomen compete at the 2014 U.S. Junior National Camp this week as Izzie Delario and Brooke Sabia participated in organized activities from July 6-9.

The duo continued a trend of current and former UMass field hockey players and coaches training or working with the U.S. National Program this summer. Eight Minutewomen competed at the 2014 Women's National Championship (June 16-21) before two more participated in the U21 Championship (June 22-25). In addition, head coach Carla Tagliente coached at the Women's National Championship while former all-American goalkeeper Alesha Widdall was with Team USA for the 2014 World Cup (May 31-June 15).

More on the Junior National Camp is available through Keep up-to-date with everything UMass field hockey via

Additional Coverage Of Yevenko At Bruins Camp

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For's "Big Bad Blog", DJ Bean took a look at comparisons between 6-foot-7 UMass defenseman Oleg Yevenko, who is currently at the Boston Bruins development camp, and a younger 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara, who was a raw talent before developing into an NHL All-Star.

Read: Giant defenseman Oleg Yevenko hopes to make most of development camp invitation with Bruins

Rising-senior Oleg Yevenko opened up action at Bruins Development camp yesterday, where his 6-foot-7 frame was topic of conversation for many in attendance:

@HackswithHaggs (Joe Haggerty) posted this piece about Yevenko as well: Yevenko makes an impression on first day of camp

Best of luck to recent UMass hockey grad Adam Phillips who has received an invitation to Minnesota Wild Development Camp and will begin action tomorrow, July 9.

Phillips is one of 26 forwards who will be in attendance at the camp that runs through July 14.

Read: Wild Development Camp To Feature Green vs. White Scrimmage

Incoming UMass hockey freshman Brandon Montour was interviewed by the Anaheim Ducks for a feature on their website at the conclusion of the organization's prospect camp yesterday. Montour scored twice in the final scrimmage of the week.

Read: Montour Reflects on his Time at Development Camp

With incoming freshman Brandon Montour finishing up Anaheim Ducks Development Camp yesterday, redshirt-sophomore Frank Vatrano becomes the second Minuteman in action at an NHL team's development camp. Vatrano is attending Winnipeg Jets Development Camp, which began on Monday and runs through Friday.

Follow @NHLJets for camp updates.

UMass men's lacrosse alum Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and the United States National Team arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center ahead of participation in the FIL World Lacrosse Championship, set to begin on Thursday, July 10 in Denver, Colo. The team received a tour of the facility in Colorado Springs, where Leveille was given the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron.

Check out a photo gallery of the day through the Lacrosse Magazine website here. Lax Mag also has a short story detailing the visit available here.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks Da'Sean Downey as the No. 21 player to watch on his Top 25 for 2014. A freshman who enrolled at UMass during the spring semester, Downey turned heads of fans and media during the Spring Game with an outstanding performance from his outside linebacker position. 

Former UMass men's lacrosse all-American Anthony Biscardi (2009-12) and rising-sophomore Nick Mariano were named to the 2014 Vail Shootout All-Tournament Team after they helped lead their squad, On The Hop Nation/Lacrossewear, to the Vail Lacrosse Shootout Men's Elite Championship.

Biscardi and Mariano, both playing attack during the title game, combined for five goals to help their team earn a 12-8 win to secure the championship.

Related Coverage
Lacrossewear Prevails, Team STX Repeats at Vail Shootout | Lacrosse Magazine

Check out more on the Vail Lacrosse Shootout through the event's website here. Keep up-to-date with UMass men's lacrosse via

Dan Malone's countdown of the top 25 players to watch in 2014 hit No. 22 on Saturday with wide receiver Shaukur Nesmith taking the honors. Nesmith showed flashes of high productivity during last year's preseason camp, but an injury during the season-opener at Wisconsin sidelined him for the rest of the season. A healthy Nesmith along with several other new wide receivers, could give the Minutemen a lot of capable targets in the passing game this season.

Will Manny, Men's Lacrosse Alumnus, Signs With STX

University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny (2010-13) signed an endorsement agreement with STX, LLC, a global sporting goods leader that specializes in lacrosse gear among other sports, as announced by the organization on Monday. Manny currently plays professionally for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse and ranks fifth in the league for points (38) through 10 games. Here is the official release:

"Baltimore, MD - Baltimore-based STX, LLC, a global sporting goods leader, Monday announced a two-year endorsement agreement with Major League Lacrosse (MLL) star Will Manny.

The Boston Cannons attackman will represent STX's Surgeon line, appearing in marketing and advertising campaigns. Manny will also represent STX at camps, clinics, tournaments and in-store events. He will also compete with STX equipment while playing for the Cannons..."

Read the press release in its entirety through More on the Minutemen can be found on

Minutemen In Major League Lacrosse (7.7)

Another big weekend for UMass men's lacrosse alumni competing in MLL contests as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) helped their respective teams to key victories as both sides push for playoff spots.

Manny provided a clutch four-point performance to help Boston secure a 17-13 road victory at league-leading Denver, which had not lost at home in more than two years. Manny is fifth in MLL with 38 points, which he has earned through 23 goals and 15 assists over 10 games played.

Against Denver, Manny came alive with back-to-back goals near the end of the first quarter to turn a one-goal deficit into a 5-4 advantage entering the second stanza. He went on to provide an assist on the goal that put Boston up 12-11 at the conclusion of the third quarter and struck for an insurance goal during the final frame to help seal the win.

Leveille assisted on one goal and scooped up a groundball as Rochester improved to 7-3 overall with a 15-13 victory over Charlotte. The win moved the Rattlers into a tie for first place in MLL with Denver. Leveille's assist came during the first quarter as the Rattlers struck to an early lead with three of the first four goals of the game.

Related Coverage
Boston, Ohio Rally for July 4th MLL Victories | Lacrosse Magazine
Rochester Tops Charlotte to Pull into Tie With Denver | Lacrosse Magazine

The most up-to-date information on Major League Lacrosse is available through the organization's website. More on the Minutemen can be found on

UMass hockey great and two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick was back in his hometown this weekend where he used his time with the Stanley Cup to help raise funds for his youth hockey coach Jason Pagni who passed away earlier this year. The money will go to the Gabriella & Madelyn Education Fund to help Pagni's daughters go to college one day. The event raised over $5,000.

Justin Rogers of has a look at how some of the new changes in Detroit have brought a great sense of hope for the Lions sparked in part because of UMass football alum James Ihedigbo. 


Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continued his top 25 countdown of UMass football players to watch with safety Joey Colton coming in at No. 23. Malone writes that Colton is one of the top players on the defense and is one of the "foundation guys" and will be a key to success this season.

On the heels of the announcement that UMass hockey's Oleg Yevenko will be attending Boston Bruins' Development Camp, Matt Vautour spoke with the 6-7 defenseman for this piece in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette:

Read: UMass' Yevenko invited to Bruins rookie camp

Saba Aziz of the Boston Herald sports staff wrote up a piece on UMass field hockey alumna Hannah Prince earning a spot on the United States National Team following the conclusion of the 2014 Women's National Championship. Check out what Prince and UMass head coach Carla Tagliente had to say below:

"As so often is the case in sports, when you dream big, good things happen. Former UMass-Amherst field hockey captain Hannah Prince is a prime example.

Prince, 22, realized her life-long dream of making the U.S National senior team last week, following the 2014 Women's National Championship contested at the Spooky Nook Sports complex in Lancaster, Pa. Prince joins 11 Olympians and seven newcomers on the 30-athlete roster, announced by U.S. Head Coach Craig Parnham..."

The conclusion of the story is available through the Boston Herald website here. More on UMass field hockey is available on

UMass baseball lefthander Evan Mackintosh was named Futures League Pitcher of the Night last night after helping his team, the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, to a 15-6 win over the Seacoast Mavericks.

Macintosh pitched four scoreless innings of relief and allowed just two hits and a walk while fanning six to earn a save in the contest.

Rising UMass hockey senior defenseman Oleg Yevenko has been invited to Boston Bruins' Development Camp, the team announced this afternoon.

The camp, which will be held in Wilmington, Mass., opens on Wednesday, July 9 and runs through Sunday, July 13. also had coverage of the announcement.

Foxboro Reporter: Valenza Ready To Compete For Minutemen

David Carty of The Foxboro Reporter staff spoke with UMass men's lacrosse incoming freshman Luc Valenza recently to get Valenza's thoughts on his approaching collegiate career at UMass as well as to reflect on his successes at Foxboro High School.

"To play a varsity sport at a high level for all four high school years is difficult enough. Doing so in two different sports is even more of a rarity, but that's exactly what Luc Valenza accomplished in his Foxboro High athletic career.

Valenza cracked Jack Martinelli's football roster mid-season as a freshman, and made an immediate impact as a running back and linebacker, but his true forte came on the lacrosse field. The defender thumped, stymied and otherwise frustrated the best of the Hockomock League over his four years as a Warrior..."

Read the conlusion of Carty's piece through the Foxboro Reporter website here. More on UMass men's lacrosse can be found on

Saba Aziz has a feature on Mark Whipple's return to the sidelines of the UMass football program with quotes from Tajae Sharpe and Trey Dudley-Giles on their expectations for the 2014 season.

With his selection on Team USA for the FIL World Lacrosse Championship and the resurgence of MLL's Rochester Rattlers franchise, University of Massachusetts alum Kevin Leveille (2000-03) has received quite a bit of deserved coverage in recent days. Check out a sampling of it all below:

Team USA's Ultimate X-Factors; Final Roster Thoughts | Lacrosse Magazine
Getting To Know Team USA | Lacrosse Magazine
Photo Gallery: Team USA's 23-Man Roster | Lacrosse Magazine
Rochester Rattlers Lead Week 9 MLL Power Rankings | Major League Lacrosse
Breaking Down The U.S. Team 23-Man Roster | Terry Foy, Inside Lacrosse
Team USA's Final 23-Man World Championship Roster | Inside Lacrosse
Resurrection of the Rattlers | Kyle Devitte, Inside Lacrosse
U.S. Team Analysis vs. Team MLL | Terry Foy, Inside Lacrosse
Evaluating Team USA's Performance on the Eve of Selection | Phil Shore, Lacrosse Magazine
Team USA Hopefuls Edge MLL All-Stars | Inside Lacrosse
Team USA Edges MLL Stars, 10-9 | Kat Cornetta, Lacrosse Magazine
USA Hopeful Kevin Leveille More Than Just a Finisher | Sean Burns, Lacrosse Magazine

And last but definitely not least, here is a highlight video courtesy of Major League Lacrosse of some of Leveille's show-stopping moments from throughout his MLL career:

More on UMass men's lacrosse is available through

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his look at the top 25 players to watch this season for UMass football. At No. 24, he goes with Logan Laurent and newly added Brian McDonald as the pair battle for the top spot at punter.

Former Minuteman, Hamden native and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is bringing the Stanley Cup to his hometown on Sunday for a fundraiser as the proceeds from the event will go to the college fund for the children of Jason Pagni, a close friend and youth coach of Quick's who died in a car accident earlier this year.

Chris Hunn of the New Haven Register has more information on the event here.

With NHL teams holding their development camps over the next few weeks, incoming UMass hockey freshman Brandon Montour was the first of several Minutemen to begin action. The recent draft pick kicked off Prospect Development Camp with the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday afternoon.

Montour was even interviewed by Ducks Daily:

More On Davidson Joining The Atlantic 10

Yesterday we linked to a story Dan Malone wrote on and today we've got a collection of stories from Davidson on how the move has been perceived in North Carolina.

And here is Davidson's home page for it's conference move...

Paige Stenberg of the Boston Herald has a feature on UMass women's lacrosse head coach Angela McMahon who was recently named the head coach for the Italian Women's Lacrosse national team which will compete at the 2017 FIL World Cup.

McMahon will be co-head coach alongside her husband Justin Serpone and says the World Cup is another stepping stone to helping lacrosse become an Olympic sport.

"The idea of bringing a sport that we are both passionate about to a country that is passionate about everything they do, is just a great fit on both sides," continued McMahon. "I believe I can speak for most coaches out there when I say it's a unified goal of ours for lacrosse to become an Olympic sport, so whatever we can do to help that become a reality, we are willing to do pretty much anything."

As we creep closer to the start of preseason football, Springfield Republican beat writer Dan Malone will share his top 25 players to keep an eye on this year for the Minutemen. Starting off the group at No. 25 is sophomore running back Shadrach Abrokwah who surprised many fans last year by averaging over 100 yards rushing in the final two games.
Ryan Petrovich of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a story last week on the NFL Rookie Symposium with several quotes from former UMass standout Rob Blanchflower. The Leominster native was the seventh round draft pick for the Steelers back in May and discusses how veterans on the team help make the transition to the NFL easier with their guidance.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story this afternoon on how the first day of July officially kicks-off preseason coverage of the Minutemen. Malone describes several interesting story lines for the season and gives fans an update as to what to expect coverage-wise as we get closer to the start of the season.

Caleb Calhoun of has a top 10 list of coaching hires in college football this past season. At No. 10, he has Mark Whipple's return to UMass which he says could have the Minutemen back on the winning side of the ledger very soon.

10. Mark Whipple: Massachusetts   
Mark Whipple's return to the Minutemen after 11 years is obviously highlighted by a drastic change in the dynamics of the program since he left it in 2003: They're in FBS now. And they have been 1-11 each of the past two seasons, they're first two in Division 1A. But when Whipple took over in 1998 the program had gone 2-9 the year before, and he turned it around immediately to go 12-3. Whipple also comes back to UMASS with more NFL experience working with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cleveland Browns. For UMASS's level, there may be some growing pains, but he could have them back to winning again very soon.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican writes about the latest tour video produced by the @UMassSportsNet crew as the new UMass Football Performance Center gets closer to being completed. The team will begin to move in to use many of the functional team spaces such as the equipment room, locker room and weight room beginning July 1.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the new Atlantic 10 logo scheme which the league officially announced on Monday afternoon. The updated brand gives the conference a more modern feel which symbolizes its growth as a basketball power.


Welcome to Davidson as the 14th member of the Atlantic 10

Today marks Davidson's first day as the newest member of the Atlantic 10 Conference giving the league 14 members now. Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the school's addition and what that means to UMass fans.

Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has a story on James Ihedigbo's ability to fit in with his new team, the Detroit Lions, and become a leader due to his familiarity with new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Ihedigbo played for Austin for the previous two seasons with Baltimore.

Lions safety James Ihedigbo