UMass Athletics

PREVIEW: Men's Lacrosse vs. Drexel

The men's lacrosse program returns to its traditional home facility, Richard F. Garber Field, with a 4 p.m. contest against visiting-Drexel on Saturday, April 18. The squad played its first five home games of the year at McGuirk Stadium due to winter weather-related damage to the playing surface at Garber Field. A preview of the contest, links to follow along, a recap of the last meeting between the teams and a scouting report on Drexel are available below:

University of Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
Game 12 Massachusetts (3-8 Overall, 1-2 CAA) vs. Drexel (6-6, 2-1)
Date | Time Saturday, April 18, 2015 | 4:00 p.m.
Location Garber Field (5,000) | Amherst, Mass.
Live Statistics GameTracker | StatBroadcast
Watch UMass All-Access
Listen WMUA 91.1 FM
Series History Tied, 3-3. Last meeting: Drexel 13, No. 14 Massachusetts 9; April 12, 2014
Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Drexel Get Acrobat Reader
Team Records Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Drexel Get Acrobat Reader
Social Media @UMassAthletics   | @UMassMLacrosse
Buy Tickets Available through the UMass Athletics Ticket Office

Scouting Drexel Men's Lacrosse
Hindered by a slow start to its season, Drexel sits at 6-6 overall with a 2-1 record in CAA play entering competition at Massachusetts. The Dragons faltered in each of their first four contests during 2015, but rebounded with wins in four of the previous five and six of the last eight overall. In his sixth year, Brian Voelker leads the team as head coach one campaign removed from advancing the team to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Ryan Belka's 42 points paves the way on offense. Belka splits his scoring between team-highs in goals (25) and assists (17) while Cole Shafer follows with 30 points on 22 goals and eight assists. This dynamic duo owns 72 of the team's 159 points for a 45.3 percent share of the total scoring output.

Will Gabrielsen started at goalie in the opening four games, but only provided a .392 save percentage with a 13.68 goals-against average. His replacement, Jimmy Joe Granito spearheads the resurgent Drexel defense with a .556 save percentage and 7.36 goals-against average. Granito is 6-2 on the year over 481 minutes in net.

Last Meeting: Drexel 13, No. 14 UMass 9; April 12, 2014
Connor Mooney led the offense with five points on three goals and a pair of assists while Grant Consoletti earned a single-game personal best four points via a pair of goals and as many assists, but UMass dropped a 13-9 decision at Drexel. James Fahey provided four caused turnovers and as many groundballs as the Minuteman defense forced 12 Drexel turnovers in-total, tied for the most UMass created in one game during the 2014 season.

Drexel produced five goals during the pivotal fourth quarter after the Minutemen entered the final frame within one of tying, 8-7. Belka started a streak of three consecutive tallies for the Dragons, who entered the game receiving votes in the USILA Coaches Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Media Top-20, with 13 minutes, six seconds left in the game.

Consoletti broke up the Drexel run at the nine minute, eight second mark of the fourth with his second score earned during play. His goal brought UMass within 11-8 of tying, but back-to-back tallies for the Dragons sealed the contest.

On Top Of The Tweet Game
Instant information about the men's lacrosse program, including an inside look at key points and statistics in each game as well as updates from practice and other team events can be found through the Twitter handle @UMassMLacrosse. Follow the Minutemen there and catch information about each UMass Athletic Department program through @UMassAthletics.

All Home Contests Available On UMass All-Access
UMass men's lacrosse will have each of its seven home games broadcast online through UMass All-Access, a CBS Interactive product. The link for each broadcast was accessible in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer is asked to purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.

Keep track of everything related to the Minutemen through UMassAthletics.com.

Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a Q&A feature with defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo and the improvement his group has made in his three years with the program. Sollazzo says there is still room for growth overall, but notes that his group has shown maturation and improvement over the years.

Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a story on what head coach Mark Whipple has seen from the football program in terms of growth this spring after his first season back with the program. Whipple says confidence is the No. 1 thing he has noticed with the players. That confidence, he thinks, is translating into more success and growth as the the Minutemen enter their fourth season as an FBS program.
Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a feature story on Ross Comis who will figure prominently in tonight's Spring Game for the UMass football program. Comis redshirt last fall as a true freshman and will push for the No. 2 back-up QB spot in 2015. The rookie was highly touted coming out of West Virginia and was one of the first signees for head coach Mark Whipple after he returned to UMass.
Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a look at the format of tonight's UMass football Spring Game and head coach Mark Whipple's decision to sit several key starters. Whipple speaks to the evaluation process and how the team has improved during the spring practice season.
Dan Malone of MassLive.com has a Q&A feature with UMass football running back Jamal Wilson who has returned healthy to spring practice after suffering a season-ending injury at Vanderbilt last year. The return of the talented Wilson adds another experienced option to the UMass backfield alongside Shadrach Abrokwah, Lorenzo Woodley and J.T. Blyden.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of tonight's UMass football spring game and how it is part of an overall evaluation package for head coach Mark Whipple. The Minutemen will sit several key players in order to get a better sense of how other players handle more minutes on the field.

Collegian: A fan's guide to the @UMassFootball spring game

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a preview and fan guide for tonight's UMass football spring game which begins at 7 PM at McGuirk Stadium. He breaks down several areas to watch on the field and has details on several other fan events which surround the game.
Matthew Zackman of the Daily Collegian has a preview of tonight's women's lacrosse game at Saint Joseph's. UMass has a key weekend between this game and Sunday's game at La Salle to lock up a spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament.

Collegian: @UMassTennis begins its bid for the Atlantic 10 title

Arthur Hayden of the Daily Collegian has a preview of the Atlantic 10 Tennis Championships and the momentum the Minutewomen have built going into postseason. Head coach Judy Dixon says the key to a good performance for UMass will be its play at doubles along with the team's overall depth in singles.

(Amanda Joinson/Daily Collegian)

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