UMass men's lacrosse took care of business in the final two weeks and, with losses by Hofstra and Saint Joseph's on Saturday, will be headed to University Park, Pa., to take part in the CAA Tournament as the fourth and final seed. The Minutemen defeated Delaware, 16-8 during Senior Night on Friday to cap the regular season at 7-7 overall and 2-4 in CAA play. UMass will face No. 1 seed and host Penn State (11-3, 6-0) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. to begin the semifinal round. Here are a few news stories related to the upcoming event and how UMass made it into the postseason:
Cameron McDonough of MassLive.com covered the final game home game on Friday and had this follow-up after it became official that UMass was in the CAA Tournament.
UMass men's lacrosse defended Garber Field with the Blue Hens of Delaware in town on Friday night, putting together a complete performance to double-up the visitors, 16-8 in front of 1,623 fans. Kyle Smith earned a career-high nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) while classmate and fellow starting attackmen Will Manny earned seven more (4 goals, 3 assists) to pace the offense. On the other end of the field, seniors Ryan Hollenbaugh and Jake Smith combined for six groundballs and five caused turnovers to lead an even-paced UMass defense that did not allow Delaware more than two goals in any individual quarter.
With the win, UMass remains in contention for the final seed in the CAA Tournament, needing Penn State to defeat Hofstra and Towson to claim victory over Saint Joseph's on Saturday in order to secure a postseason berth. Below are a few recaps of the contest from members of the media present for competition:
The Daily Collegian's Nick Canelas caught up with senior attack Will Manny of UMass men's lacrosse recently to discuss the all-American's career and the road back from a broken thumb suffered in the 2013 season-opener.
Will Manny is as comfortable as ever when he steps onto Garber Field for the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team.
He's energized, but he's relaxed. He's excited, but he's focused. Everything is the same as it ever was.
He sports his usual white jersey with the No. 1 stitched in maroon
and has the No. 7 sketched in eye black facing in toward his nose under
He knows he can rely on his skills. He knows he can rely on his
teammates. And he knows he can rely on the preparation of his coaches.
Above all, he knows he can rely on his durability.
Manny had never suffered a serious injury in his entire athletic
career and had never been kept off the lacrosse field for more than a
week. He was always a fixture on the top UMass attack unit, even in the
But that all changed on Feb. 10.
Read the entire article through the Daily Collegian website here. The Minutemen continue their season with a home game on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.
Cameron McDonough highlighted the family tradition being continued by UMass lacrosse senior attack Kyle Smith as the Longmeadow, Mass., native competes for the Minutemen on the Springfield Republican's MassLive.com.
AMHERST -- For generation after generation, lacrosse has been a family affair in the Smith family.
The Smith family's love of lacrosse began with Neville, a member of the
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and continued on down to his son Norm.
Now, that love has spread to Norm's son, Kyle, a senior attackman for the University of Massachusetts Amherst men's lacrosse team.
It was apparent from a young age that the family's lacrosse gene would
not skip a generation. Kyle picked up a lacrosse stick and never let it
Continue reading the story on Kyle, his family ties to the sport and the Smith's history with UMass lacrosse here.
Warrior provided Hydrographic TII helmets for men's lacrosse this year, with the new gear featured on Inside Lacrosse's ILGear.com on Thursday. The website previously showed off the new Minutemen Warrior MD4 gloves that debuted earlier this season. Casey Vock has a full look at the Hydrographic TII here.
Former UMass men's lacrosse star Tom Celentani (2009-12) was featured on the Boston Cannon's website recently following his addition to the team's roster. Celentani was selected in the supplemental draft by Boston and will join the team beginning with training camp next month. A USILA All-American and three-year starter on defense for the Minutemen, check out the spotlight on Celentani here.
Justin Lafleur contributed to Inside Lacrosse with a feature story on the lifelong friendship of UMass' Will Manny and Lehigh's Dante Fantoni, who will face each other for the first time on Wednesday after years of competing together through high school. The duo played at St. Anthony's High School and have developed into two of the strongest players in Division I college lacrosse, combining for 325 career points entering the upcoming contest, which will be featured as the ESPNU Game of the Week at 6 p.m. on March 20. You can also catch Manny and Fantoni in action through WatchESPN.com.
Below you will find the accompanying "Who Knows Who Better" challenge video related to the feature story.
UMass was featured among Inside Lacrosse's Photos of the Week, with junior midfielder Joe Calvello shown winning a faceoff against Harvard in the picture. Calvello finished 10-for-16 on faceoffs against the Crimson and has won 37 through three games. Check out the full set of photos of the week here.
Part of the UMass men's lacrosse gameday kit was featured by Casey Vock on Inside Lacrosse's ILGear.com recently, with the MD4 Glove by Warrior shown as part of a collection of the best gear from around the country. A full look at the glove is available on the site here.
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, including redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri, received praise for the recent 12-11 come-from-behind victory over No. 4 nationally-ranked North Carolina over the weekend. In the contest, the Minutemen erased a three-goal deficit entering the final quarter through a mix of strong defense and balanced offense to earn the win. Below are a few links related to the Minutemen victory:
The Minutemen continue their 2013 slate at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday, Feb. 23, before returning to Garber Field to host Brown on March 2 at 2 p.m. Ticket information for all home men's lacrosse games is available through 866-UMASS-TIX (862-7784).
During play against the Black Knights, Whippen notched his first collegiate point with the first Minuteman goal and went on to add three more during the decisive second and third quarters. After the teams tied at 4-4 through the first stanza, Whippen spearheaded the UMass offense with a trio of goals during the middle portion of the contest, in which the Minutemen built a 13-8 lead entering the final frame. The Chelmsford, Mass., native went on to add one more tally in the fourth before assisting Kyle Smith on the contest's final goal.
The Minutemen continue their season with a neutral-site contest at Kennesaw State University's KSU Stadium against No. 4 North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Coming off of a season that saw the UMass men's lacrosse program reach No. 1 nationally in the rankings and finish the year with a single-season program-record 15 wins, the Minutemen have earned national top-25 placement entering the upcoming campaign.
Inside Lacrosse released the organization's preseason media poll while USILA announced its top-25 simultaneously this week, with the Minutemen placing among the rankings in each.
The Minutemen begin their CAA Title defense against Army at Garber Field on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Noon. Tickets are available for the contest through 866-UMASS-TIX (862-7784).
In the annual Major League Lacrosse draft, a trio of UMass men's lacrosse standouts were taken during the eight-round event on Friday evening. 2012 Tewaraaton Award finalist Will Manny was taken by Boston in the second round (14th overall) before teammate Jake Smith was picked by the Cannons as well, going two rounds later (30th). Colin Fleming was the final Minuteman picked, with the Ohio Machine taking the 6-foot-6 senior attack in the seventh round (49th). Below are a few links related to the draft results:
WIth the help of SAAC, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, five representatives of the whole of UMass athletics sat down with the students at Crocker Farm Elementary School prior to the start of classes this morning. In addition to just interacting with the youngsters, each student-athlete took the opportunity to discuss the importance of eating healthy, staying active and working hard in school. Minutemen Joe Snyder (men's lacrosse) and baseball's Billy Jones and Alex Tuneski, as well as Minutewomen Katie Bettencourt (softball) and Jocelyn Providence (women's tennis) all participated in the day's activity.
For more information about SAAC can be found through the UMass Athletics website here.
And don't forget, this Saturday is the home-opener for football. Indiana of the Big Ten Conference will mark the first FBS program to visit Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 with lots of activities in MinuteFan Park beforehand.
2012 Final Regular-Season Rank: 1 2012 Preseason Rank: 12 Key Returnees: Will Manny (44g, 33a), Kyle Smith (33g, 19a), Colin Fleming (26g, 8a), Jake Smith (28gb, 11ct), Ryan Hollenbaugh (25gb, 12ct) Key Losses: 11 seniors. Art Kell (33g, 20a), Anthony Biscardi (21g, 7a), Mike Fetterly (7g, 19a), Tom Celentani (32gb, 24ct), Greg Anderson (26gb, 5ct), Tim McCormack (7.09 GAA, 60.6%)
Can the Minutemen repeat their magic? It would be tough for anyone to predict another 15-win, undefeated regular season, but this is especially the case with the Colonial Athletic Association's ever-increasing strength. Before UMass' NCAA tournament loss Penn State, Hofstra and Drexel gave the Minutemen a run for their money. Related: Will UMass consider beefing up its schedule with tough out-of-conference games? Despite ranking No. 2 in the RPI, UMass was given the 6-seed by the Selection Committee and drew Colgate in the first round; it didn't face its first tournament team until...the tournament.
How will UMass handle the loss of Art Kell and Anthony Biscardi? Tewaaraton Award finalist and Crafty lefty quarterback Will Manny and partner in crime Kyle Smith return, but fellow attackmen Kell and Biscardi combined for nearly 100 points last year. The nation's No. 3 offense will score, but defenses are going to pay more attention to Manny.
Who will replace Tim McCormack? The fifth-year senior and leader of the defense started 28 games over the last two seasons, and he saved 55.3 percent of shots in 2012. The heir apparent is Zachary Oliveri, a U.S. U-19 team member and highly regarded recruit. He's an outspoken, active goalie who will command the unit. Top cover defenseman Jake Smith, who went toe-to-toe with Peter Baum, will anchor the defense after losing multi-year starters Greg Anderson and Tom Celentani.
Matt Forman of LaxMagazine.com compiled a list of players of Unsung Heroes through college lacrosse. This is how Forman defines the challenge:
The task: Compile the nation's most underrated, under-appreciated and under-hyped team of silent stars. These are the best players in the country who did not make All-American teams, and being listed on the watered-down, all-inclusive "Honorable Mention" list does not count. To make matters more challenging, only one player from each college could be selected -- or else I would have been tempted to pick every player not named Mike Sawyer and Scott Ratliff on Loyola, or not named Jesse Bernhardt on Maryland.
D - Jake Smith, UMass Physical, tough-as-nails defenseman and leader of UMass' third-ranked defense. Held Colgate's Peter Baum to two late scores in NCAA tournament first round game. Picked up 28 ground balls and caused 11 turnovers.
Entering his senior campaign this spring, Anthony Biscardi was drafted by Major League Lacrosse's Ohio Machine. He joined the squad following the season teaming up with former Minutemen Jim Connolly and Brett Garber. The Machine posted a Q&A with Anthony this week on their web site.
In the March 19 edition of the USILA Coaches Poll, UMass holds steady at No. 3 in the nation for the second straight week. In the Nike Media Poll, the Minutemen also remain at No. 4 following the 9-8 OT win at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday.
In Quint Kessenich's weekly breakdown of the polls, he has this to say about UMass:
3 UMass -- The Minutemen had their first close shave, beating Penn State in overtime. Greg Cannella's team is getting offensive production from Will Manny, Art Kell, Kyle Smith and Anthony Biscardi. Stopper Tim McCormack (.615) ranks fourth nationally in save percentage.
Colin Fleming and Kyle Smith each scored three goals, but it was the defense that stood tall allowing just one Buckeye goal in the final three quarters of play as No. 8 UMass won at No. 11 Ohio State on Saturday. Tim McCormack was outstanding in goal making a season-high 11 saves and allowing the season-low three goals. The Minutemen will return to action on Saturday afternoon at Brown.
An all-around effort paced by Will Manny's three goals and career-high four assists gave the No. 11 UMass men's lacrosse team an 11-9 win over No. 12 Bucknell on Saturday in the Garber Field home opener.
The 2012 Men's Tewaaraton Award Watch List was announced yesterday with UMass' Anthony Biscardi among the initial names up for the award. In late April, the list will be narrowed to 25 players which will be the official group of nominees for college lacrosse's highest honor.
Congratulations to UMass lacrosse alum Rory Pedrick, who was recently named an assistant coach at Plattsburgh State.
Pedrick becomes Plattsburgh's top assistant after an impressive career with Division I University of Massachusetts under Coach Greg Cannella. While at UMass, Pedrick played in the NCAA tournament three times including a second-place finish after losing in the NCAA Final to Virginia in 2006. During the Minutemens run to the final, Pedrick netted goals in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final.
"We are incredibly excited to get a former Division I player from a great program to join our staff," added Plattsburgh State head lacrosse coach Ryan Cavanagh. "He [Pedrick] comes to Plattsburgh with a similar philosophy and will help the Cardinals to continue to be an up-tempo, offensive minded team."
Pedrick was second on the team in scoring in 2006 and was in the top five for three out of his four years. In all Pedrick netted 36 goals and 35 assists in 53 career games for the Minutemen. He was also named to the NEILA Scholar-Athlete team.
After attending UMass, Pedrick began coaching for True Lacrosse in Chicago, Ill. where he was a camp director and all-star coach. Pedrick has also coached at several lacrosse camps including Peak 200 and the Sean Morris Lacrosse Academy.
It's not quite spring yet, but that's no reason not to enjoy some lacrosse next weekend - and for a good cause. Fred Hanson of The Patriot Ledger takes a look at this weekend's Catamount Classic Tournament which will be this Sunday at Thayer Academy in Braintree. Once again, the UMass men's lacrosse team will take part in the tournament which is hosted by Vermont.
Happy belated birthday wishes to Ali Houlis of women's lacrosse and football's Igor Garcia! The two celebrated their birthday on August 4. Happy belated birthday to K.R. Jurgelevich of men's lacrosse who celebrated his birthday on August 5! Happy belated birthday to Michael McDonough of men's track! Michael celebrated his birthday on August 6. Happy belated birthday to football's Ryan Carter and field hockey's Nicole Cordero! Both, Ryan and Nicole celebrated their birthday on August 7.
Happy belated birthday to Bryson Craft of men's lacrosse, Tanner Guarino of women's lacrosse, and Shiyi Zan of women's cross country/track who all celebrated their birthday on July 21. Happy belated birthday to Jesse O'Donnell of women's lacrosse and Jenna Goodwinn of women's soccer, the two celebrated their birthday on July 22. Finally, happy belated birthday to Matthew Palasek of men's lacrosse and Jennifer Harkey of women's cross country/track who celebrated their birthday July 25.
A pair of incoming freshmen, Brandon Gamblin and Zach Oliveri, from the men's lacrosse team were recently mentioned in a piece from Inside Lacrosse on 15 players who stood out at the ESPN Rise Games.
Ninety-six high school All-Americans participated in the
Champion Challenge at the ESPN Rise Games in Orlando. The athletes were separated into
four teams and faced each other in pool play, with the two top teams squaring
off in the finals.
Brandon Gamblin - Sachem North HS 2011 - signed with UMass -
midfield Gamblin was a whirling dervish at Disney World, exhibiting
endless energy in his quest to get to the goal. He is a bouncy dodger who can
slice and pop his way into the paint. He must learn to incorporate his
teammates and play without the ball.
Zach Oliveri - Connetquot HS, NY 2011 - signed with UMass -
goalie The US Under-19 goalie showcased strong hands and leadership
skills in Florida.
Oliveri is 5-8 and 195 pounds and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Sal
LoCascio and Doc Schneider, Long Island goalies who have become All-Americans
Inside Lacrosse reports that former UMass lacrosse player Brian Jacovina has been named an assistant coach at Rutgers. The former Minuteman middie was an assistant at St. John's for the last four seasons and joins new Scarlet Knights head coach Brian Brecht in Piscataway. Terry Foy's story says:
"Jacovina will handle offensive duties for Brecht. Brecht says he knows Jacovina after recruiting him as an assistant at Loyola and working summer camps with him while Jacovina was at UMass."
Incoming UMass lacrosse freshman Zach Oliveri, who was just named to the US U-19 National Team, was recently featured on LaxMagazine.com in a piece on the tryouts:
Oliveri is a vocal leader, often barking instructions to
defensemen. He grunts when making saves. He talks to himself.
Because he accidentally left his iPod at home this trip, he's been
forced to sit in the dorms at UMBC in silence trying to focus
before the day's games. (The tryout process is a series of
evaluated scrimmages that will continue Saturday and Sunday. For
the goalies, each have been given equal playing time.)
Oliveri has been tutored by former Team USA and professional
goaltender Brian Dougherty, so this type of show should come as no
surprise. The outspoken Dougherty coached Oliveri on a
seventh-grade travel team, and Oliveri said he tries to emulate
Dougherty and Sal LoCascio, the three-time world champion U.S.
goaltender and National Hall of Famer.
"Both are great leaders. I really try to match that," Oliveri
said. "If a defense doesn't have a leader behind them, it really
doesn't complete the unit. I try to be very vocal and be there for
the guys, and the saves will come. If I direct them where I want
the ball to be shot from and make it easier for myself, it will
help me out."
Chris Fiore scored a pair of goals and added two groundballs to help the Long Island Lizards down the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Jake Deane 14-11 last night on ESPN2. Deane finished the game with a pair of groundballs and was 2-of-4 on the faceoff.
On Saturday night, Jack Reid and Jim Connolly will lead the Boston Cannons to New York to face the Rochester Rattlers and Brett Garber at 7 PM. UMass fans can watch the game live on several outlets including ESPN3.com and The Comcast Network.
That would make the Wolverines the first BCS-playing football school since Notre Dame in 1981 to add the sport.
Michigan is expected to add men's lacrosse as soon as 2012 with the women's team coming on board the following year. No word on what conference the women would play in, but the men's team is expected to join the ECAC.
Headed into their first-round playoff matchup against Syracuse in 2005, the University of Massachusetts men knew just who they were facing.
They knew the Orangemen were the defending national champions, with nine NCAA championships to their credit. They knew Syracuse hadn't lost a preliminary-round game since 1981 and had made 23 consecutive trips to the Final Four.
But UMass also knew it could win, and its white-knuckle 16-15 victory catapulted the program to the next level.
Jason Yellin was announced as the Assistant Athletic Director of Media Relations at Tennessee yesterday after serving for seven years at UMass. Jason worked with the football, basketball and men's lacrosse teams during his tenure in the Bay State. In addition to overseeing the media relations office, Jason will be tasked with serving as a member of the football communications team handling one of the highest profile football programs in the country.
UMass Hall of Famer and former lacrosse All-American Brooks Sweet is having a great season as the head coach at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. The Blue Devils are 14-2 and will play against Riverdale Country Day School on Monday in a game that will be televised on MSG Varsity in New York.
With the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals set there are several connections to the UMass program including several alums on the coaching sidelines and Minutemen relatives still in action.
• No. 1 seed Syracuse will be playing Maryland at Gillette Stadium after a 10-4 win over Siena on Sunday night. The Orange got a huge effort from Tom Palasek, the brother of UMass sophomore Matthew Palasek. Tommy had a goal and four assists for five points in the win.
• The other game at Gillette on Sunday will feature many connections to UMass. In a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Championship game, No. 4 Notre Dame takes on No. 5 Duke. Both teams feature defensive coordinators that are UMass alums. Gerry Byrne '86 for the Irish and Chris Gabrielli '01 for the Blue Devils. Gabrielli also served as an assistant with the Minutemen from 2003-05.
• On the field between Duke and Notre Dame will be a pair of Tripuckas. The brother of UMass' defenseman and football long snapper Travis Tripucka -- Jake Tripucka had a goal in Duke's 15-14 win over Delaware on Saturday. The Irish come off a 13-6 win over Penn as Travis' cousin Taylor Tripucka is a senior midfielder for Notre Dame.
• One more connection with Notre Dame is senior Colin Igoe, who had three goals in the win as part of a career-high four points. Igoe began his career at UMass but transferred to ND be a closer to his native Ohio.
Here's a look at UMass alums in action on the opening day of action in Major League Lacrosse on Saturday.
The Boston Cannons topped the Long Island Lizards 15-12 in front of more than 9,000 fans at Harvard Stadium. Jack Reid played solid defense for the Cannons and had a groundball. With the Lizards Chris Fiore had a goal and assist in the fourth quarter.
The Chesapeake Bayhawks topped the Rochester Rattlers in the New York team's return, 14-10 in Annapolis. Jake Deane had four groundballs, playing for his hometown Bayhawks. With the Rattlers, Brett Garber and Diogo Godoi each saw action, but didn't post any points.
UMass alum and All-American lacrosse player Jeff Zywicki will be playing for his second straight National Lacrosse League title this afternoon. Watch Zywicki (No. 67) and his Washington Stealth as they play at the Toronto Rock in the NLL Title game, televised on VERSUS at 2 p.m.
Here are some stories on the game that include Zywicki.
UMass 2005 grad Jeff Zywicki is looking forward to this weekend when his Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League seek their straight league championship. Here are various stories including the former UMass All-American. Zywicki and the Stealth take on the Toronto Rock on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m., on VERSUS.
UMass alum Mike Corey, class of 1999, will be the play-by-play announcer for two NCAA men's lacrosse tournament games on ESPNU this weekend. The former voice of WMUA from 1995-99 will call the games involving the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the tournament. He will broadcast the Saturday night game between Hartford and No. 2 seed Cornell as well as Sunday night's game between No. 1 Syracuse and Siena.
Corey has been the voice of the Delaware Blue Hens since graduating UMass in 1999, finishing his 12th season as the voice of UD this past season. He has been calling games for ESPNU men's lacrosse package this spring and has worked for NBC Sports during the Olympics.
With the new polls, posted after the unveiling of the NCAA Tournament bracket, four UMass opponents are in the final polls (USILA/Inside Lacrosse): Hofstra (13th/11th), Delaware (14th/15th), Harvard (15th/14th), Hartford (19th/20th). UMass was 2-3 against those teams with wins over Delaware and Harvard.
After missing most of the season with an injury, UMass alum Jeff Zywicki has returned to star for the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League playoffs. The 2005 grad of UMass scored three goals and added three assists to lead the Stealth past Calgary, 10-8 in the NLL Semifinals. They will rematch with the Toronto Rock in the 2011 Championship game next weekend. Here are several stories on Big Z, who played just three regular-season games before returning for the postseason.
The Toronto Rock (12-6) will face the Washington Stealth (10-8) in the 2011 NLL Championship Game on Sunday, May 15th at 2PM Eastern. The Rock will host the Championship Game at Air Canada Centre. The game airs live on VERSUS and The NLL Network.
Last season, Washington defeated Toronto 15-11 as the Stealth won their first championship in franchise history.
The UMass men's lacrosse team did not receive an at-large berth to the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the bracket was announced Sunday night. The Minutemen suffered a 9-7 loss to Delaware in the CAA Championship on Saturday which kept them out of the NCAAs, which would have been the 19th time in school history.
During last night's selection show on ESPNU, there were several references to UMass as being one of the last teams out of the tournament. They were shown on the full screen of teams that came up just short.
There are many connections to UMass among the teams in the tournament. UMass played three teams in the tournament: CAA foes Delaware and Hofstra along with America East Champ Hartford. UMass was 2-2 in four games vs. the tourney teams.
Among the alumni connections: 2001 grad and former Minuteman assistant Chris Gabrielli, who was at the UMass-Delaware game on Saturday, is the defensive coordinator at Duke, the defending champion and No. 5 seed. 1986 grad Gerry Byrne is an assistant coach for the No. 4 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
It's May Madness for local college lacrosse teams with conference titles and potential NCAA playoff berths at stake on home turf.
Both the men's and women's teams at the University of Massachusetts and Western New England College along with the men's team at Springfield College highlight a Saturday slate that is composed of arguably the largest number of championship-type lacrosse matches ever to be played by Western Massachusetts college teams at home on the same day.
In addition to the Saturday night Colonial Athletic Association men's title showdown between UMass and Delaware at Garber Field at 7, the UMass women, already Atlantic 10 champions, have a 1 p.m. NCAA play-in contest with Canisius at McGurk Stadium. In both contests, a UMass victory results in a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Sitting in the stands at Garber Field as a kid, Reed Goodhue used to daydream about moments like the one he had Wednesday. Read Matt Vautour's great feature on the freshman goalie for the Minutemen and how the first save of his college career may have been the biggest of the season for the Minutemen.
If the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team were still in the ECAC, its season probably would be over.
The Minutemen had a solid 2011 season at 9-4, but their resume likely falls a little short of NCAA tournament at-large bid status without enough signature wins. The ECAC has no conference tournament and the Minutemen would have been stuck waiting for next year.
But now, as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, hope is still very much alive as the No. 3-seed Minutemen (9-4) play No. 2 Penn State (7-6) tonight at 7 in the semifinal round of the CAA tournament at State College.
On Inside Lacrosse, ESPN and IL analyst Mark Dixon has a look at the national lacrosse scene in his "Tuesday Takaways." Dixon cites UMass as a team to watch heading into the CAA Tournament.
What Happened: The CAA pairings have been set
Takeaway: Hofstra goes #1 courtesy of a 9-4 win over Penn State, who clocks in at #2. UMass whipped Delaware 11-5 to take the #3 spot, while the Blue Hens slip to #4. Hofstra is surging while Delaware seems to be fading. Watch out for UMass at #3. The Minutemen looked good in rebounding from a stinging loss to Hofstra on April 23, but UMass also has history on its side; the #3 seed has won the last two CAA Tournament titles.
On May 3, we wish Happy Birthday to two-sport athlete Travis Tripucka, who plays defense for the lacrosse team and serves as long snapper for the football team. Also women's lacrosse player Paige Morelli celebrates today.
The CAA Lacrosse playoffs are set for the Semifinals.
#3 seed UMass (4-2) will play at #2 seed Penn State (4-2) on Wednesday at 7 pm at Jeffrey Field. Listen to the game on 100.9 FM WRNX. The Nittany Lions beat UMass 8-7 on March 19, 2011 at Garber Field.
#1 seed Hofstra (5-1) hosts #4 seed Delaware (4-2) after on Wednesday at 7 pm.
Should UMass and Delaware win, the Minutemen would host the Blue Hens on Saturday at Garber Field at 4 pm for the CAA Championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. If UMass and Hofstra win, the CAA title game would be played on Saturday at 7 pm at Hofstra.
On Saturday night, Hofstra topped Penn State, 9-4. Read about it here:
Friday's clash with Delaware will be more than just another game on the schedule for the No. 20 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team. It's more than the final regular season game or the conclusion of the Colonial Athletic Association regular season schedule.
The 2011 ESPNU Lacrosse Tour is a lacrosse fan fest hosted by Mike Powell, a two-time national champion at Syracuse and the only player to win the Tewaaraton Trophy twice. The tour features a lacrosse cage located outside of each stadium with two full goals, where fans can pick up a stick and shoot goals, practice tricks and even play with Powell. Highlights of the ESPNU Lacrosse Tour include:
The matchups are now set for the Divisional Semifinals of the National Lacrosse League 2011 Playoffs, which open on the weekend on April 29th. In the Eastern Division, it's the top-seeded Buffalo Bandits vs. the Boston Blazers, while the Toronto Rock face the Rochester Knighthawks.
Former UMass All-American Jack Reid helps lead the Blazers into the postseason after a 16-9 win over Buffalo in the regular-season finale. Reid scored a goal -- his second of the season and second of his pro indoor career. Reid heads into the postseason and 31 loose balls.
Sometimes the thrill of winning can quickly turn into the pain of injury.
"I knew that something was wrong, I was definitely in a lot of pain but we were in a big game, playing Hofstra, I believe they were #7 in the country," says Art Kell. "After the game, when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't even put a single bit of pressure on it, so obviously I knew when I woke up, I was in trouble."
After a disappointing month of March, the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team needed to turn the page, so coach Greg Cannella held his own version of show and tell.
"He ripped up the March page off the calendar and told us there were five games left in the season," recalled sophomore attack Kyle Smith of Longmeadow, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime in last Saturday's 9-8 win at Towson.
And now it's a three-game season for the Minutemen, who are 7-3 and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association entering Saturday's huge conference clash against Drexel (6-5, 2-2) at Garber Field at 1 p.m.
Here's a look at UMass' opponents in this week's poll (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/8th), Army (17th/18th), Delaware (19th/20th). Also receiving votes are: Drexel, Ohio State, Harvard, Penn State, Hartford and Brown.