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12. UMass (15-1)

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%)

Three Questions:

  • 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.

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.
A quartet of UMass student-athlete birthdays on May 12. Happy Birthday to lacrosse attacker Art Kell, women's soccer goalkeeper Emersyn Pullan, women's runner Samantha Sacchetti, and hockey defenseman Colin Shea

Art Kell  Emersyn Pullan  Samantha Sacchetti  Colin Shea

Republican With Pair Of Lacrosse Stories

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Check out Dick Baker's coverage in the Springfield Republican from what he calls the greatest day in college lacrosse in Western Massachusetts history. 

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.

CBS 3 Springfield Feature On Art Kell's Return

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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."

Videos & Recaps Of Lax's 16-9 Win At St. Joe's

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UMass junior attackman Art Kell was this week's special chat guest on Inside Lacrosse. Kell chatted with lacrosse fans around the world. He is one of three UMass players with 10 goals this season along with seven assists.

  • Inside Lacrosse Chat With Art Kell.

  • Recaps Of #10 Men's Lacrosse Beating Providence

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    Previews Of #11 UMass Lacrosse Vs. #13 Ohio State

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    Here are previews about the #11 UMass vs #13 Ohio State men's lacrosse battle set for Saturday at Garber Field.

    • Inside Lacrosse: Quint Kessenich: What to Watch For, Feb. 25

    • Hoyas look to upset rival Terps

    • Lacrosse Magazine: Ten to Watch: LM Calls Fives on the Hot Seat

    • Springfield Republican: UMass lacrosse team, ranked No. 11, faces challenge Saturday against Ohio State

    • Daily Hampshire Gazette: UMass men's lacrosse takes aim at another ranked foe

    • Daily Collegian: UMass prepares for Ohio State

    • Daily Collegian: Kell returns to form for Gorilla Lax

    Daily Collegian Previews Lacrosse Vs. Ohio State

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    #11 UMass men's lacrosse is ready to take on #13 Ohio State on Saturday at Garber Field. Here are two previews from the Daily Collegian.

    • Kell returns to form for Gorilla Lax

    Recaps Of UMass' 14-10 Win At Hartford

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    Two Gain Recognition From Lacrosse Magazine

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    Lacrosse Magazine lists both Art Kell and Will Manny among "Weekend's Best" Honorable Mention for their play in the Minutemen's 14-10 win at Hartford.

    Also, Lacrosse Magazine has a feature on this week's lacrosse opponent, Ohio State. OSU Coach Nick Myers is a product of Springfield College.

    A Division III All-American at Springfield College, a school with international recognition as a pioneer in physical education and that has produced several current college lacrosse coaches, Myers led the Pride to a 16-2 mark and NCAA tournament berth with 52 goals and 39 assists in 2001. He met Breschi through his younger brother, Pat, then an Ohio State standout.

    Lax Magazine also mentions: Ohio State's brutal, non-conference schedule continues Saturday at UMass. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Buckeyes and Minutemen, and Myers' first time trolling the sidelines at Garber Field, a notoriously difficult place to play for visitors. 

     "I grew up with a 'Garber Gorillas' t-shirt when I was a kid," Myers said. "My stepfather introduced me to Dick Garber. He's a legend in the game."