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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.
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.
Here are some stories from Inside Lacrosse on selections: Printable Bracket, Coaches, Chairman Reaction, Snubs, Surprises
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.
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