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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Saturday at Al-Marzook Field in West Hartford, Conn., there will be two undefeated records on the line when the No. 16 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team takes on Hartford.
The Minutemen enter into this weekend's affair with two undefeated records in their hands, the first being their season record of 1-0, which featured an 8-5 win against No. 12 Army, and the other being an 8-0 undefeated streak against the Hawks.
The Baltimore Sun has a feature on the UMass men's lacrosse team as they prep for the 2011 season.
Last season was a disappointing one for Massachusetts, which went 8-6 and failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. A contributing factor was injuries, and Minutemen coach Greg Cannella said avoiding the injury bug is important again this year.
"A lot of things have to go your way," he said Monday. "This is a team that needs to have better leadership than the previous team from last year and also stay healthy. We're not as deep as we'd like to be. So health is definitely critical to us."