For the Daily Collegian spring sports edition, staff reporter Anthony Chiusano spoke with head coach Greg Cannella, sophomore Nick Mariano and Tom Mariano, Nick's older brother, for a story on the attackman from Yorktown, New York, covering his decision to attend UMass, his freshman year success with the Minutemen and how the squad is working to rebound from a tough finish to the 2014 season.
One telling quote from Nick about how the team is approaching 2015:
"All the work you put in is what you get in return."
UMass men's lacrosse sports a roster heavy on youth in 2015, with 24 student-athletes in their first of second seasons and only 13 in at least their third year with the program. Jason Kates spoke to head coach Greg Cannella and freshmen Buddy Carr and Peter Lindley for a story on the youthful look to the roster this season.
The UMass Sports Network (@UMassSportsNet) put together a 2015 season preview for the men's lacrosse program, which starts it campaign at McGuirk Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. Take a look below to get caught up on the Minutemen ahead of their first game of the year:
UMass men's lacrosse redshirt-senior short-stick defensive midfielder Ryan Izzo was selected by Ohio Machine during the 2015 Major League Lacrosse draft on Friday, Jan. 23. Lacrosse Magazine highlighted Izzo's pick as a good decision by the Machine - read about it below:
"Izzo, on the other hand, is a great addition and a selection it seems everyone in the media loves. That's for good reason. UMass head coach Greg Cannella raves about Izzo's toughness and character. He'll do the dirty work on the field and give the team a good locker room presence."
Inside Lacrosse columnist Peter Lasagna caught up with a whole bunch of NCAA Division I head coaches, including UMass' Greg Cannella, to discuss the importance of "Glue Guys." Here was Cannella's take on the players that make the team go and don't necessarily see the accolades that should correspond with their successes:
"Greg Cannella considers the prototypical "glue guys" those that receive few accolades. For the coach who leads UMass lacrosse in NCAA Tournament wins, these are 'your hardest workers, selfless, fearless leaders, ultimate team players who never fear failure.' They understand how to deal with consequences and know that their ability to convey this lesson creates team-wide trust.
"In a program history filled with an abundance of worthy candidates, Cannella regards Greg Rushing '12 as one of the Minutemen's finest. Rushing came from Fort Collins, Colo., as a face-off specialist. He developed into a 'GB machine,' outstanding on face-off wings and in the defensive midfield. Cannella remembers, 'He hit harder than anyone his size I've ever coached... [He didn't] care who you were, where you came from or how big you were -- he wanted to kick your ass.' This brand of relentless effort 'kept his teammates accountable, created bonds of trust that could never be broken.' Rushing elevated having a teammate's back above all other stat categories."
UMass men's lacrosse received votes for the 2015 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Preseason Coaches Top-20, which was released on Monday. The Minutemen occupy the No. 23 spot. Head coach Greg Cannella will again challenge UMass with one of the toughest schedules in the nation as 10 of the 13 regular opponents are a part of the preseason top-20 or those receiving votes.
Major League Lacrosse's Boston Cannons franchise compiled a "catching up" feature with former UMass standout Will Manny. The feature, available here through the Boston Cannon's official website, highlights Manny's favorites memories from playing as a Minuteman as well as his current involvement in the game as a competitor for the Cannons and coach at Wagner College.
University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus Efosa Guobadia will begin an 8+ month trip around the world to 20 different countries at the end of November. Guobadia, who earned a degree in kinesiology as he competed for the Minutemen from 2004-07, will promote health and wellness as well as build international relationships during a trip that will take him through Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Take a look at Guobadia's plans and why he is undertaking this endeavor through UMassAthletics.com.
The New England Lacrosse Journal recently named former UMass men's lacrosse head coach Dick Garber as the greatest coach to patrol the sidelines in New England. Garber guided the Minutemen for 36 seasons and became the first collegiate coach to reach 300 career wins in the process. Read Phil Shore's story on Garber's legacy and his impact on the sport of lacrosse below:
Inside Lacrosse staff writer Matt Kinnear stopped by Amherst, Mass., and visited a UMass men's lacrosse practice to catch some fall ball preparations. Check out Kinnear's report regarding the Minutemen below:
We hope you enjoyed our coaches sharing some of their favorite motivational quotes this week as part of #UMassCoachQuotes. We'll have another round of those coming next week as well. For now, let's look back at what our coaches submitted this past week.
Team: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
MLAX Greg Cannella
University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alum Kevin Leveille (2000-03) broke the Major League Lacrosse all-time goals record with a hat trick, including the game-winner in double-overtime, as Rochester defeated Chesapeake on Friday, 8-7. Molly Shunney with Major League Lacrosse caught up with Leveille to talk about his 271 goals, being a veteran leader on the Rattlers and his chance to make the Team USA travel roster for the upcoming World Championship.
"The first double overtime in Major League Lacrosse history took place Thursday night in a matchup between the charged Rochester Rattlers and the buckled down Chesapeake Bayhawks. As if the back-and-forth momentum wasn't exciting enough, Rattlers attackman Kevin Leveille earned yet another hat trick, scoring six goals in the last two games.
Let's keep in mind that this was no ordinary hat trick. In a tenacious battle to the finish, Leveille's third goal of the game solidified the Rattlers win and rewrote the record books. Leveille earned the top spot for the MLL All-Time goal scoring record, previously held by Tim Goettelman. With that, he was able to tie Goettelman for All-Time game-winning goals. Currently in his 10th season, Leveille sits at the top of a couple of extremely accomplished lists. In a phone Q&A, we were able to hear a few thoughts from the noteworthy veteran..."
UMass head coach Greg Cannella was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame on the evening of Friday, May 9. Cannella was one of seven honored as part of the Class of 2014.
Click here for the full release through LaxPower.com or read below on how Cannella earned his entrance into the hall.
"An outstanding attackman who not only led Nassau Community College to the NJCAA national title in 1985 but was selected as an all-American and National Player of the Year.
Cannella then accepted a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts where he had 33 goals and 31 assists during his two years as a starter.
After working as an assistant coach at both Stony Brook and UMass, the Lynbrook native was named the Minutemen's head coach in 1995 and became one of the most successful Division I coaches in the country. As he enters his 20th season in Amherst, Greg has forged a record of 171-101, guided the team to eight NCAA tournament berths, including a runnerup finish in the 2006 playoffs. In 2012 guided UMass to its best regular season ever. The Minutemen finished with a perfect 15-0 regular season record and was ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time before entering the NCAA tournament.
Cannella has built a deserved reputation as a coach who exhibits integrity mixed with a sharp eye for talent and strategy. He has brought great credit to himself, his University and junior college lacrosse."
More on the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program is available through UMassAthletics.com.
The men's lacrosse program wraps up the regular season with a trip to the University of Delaware for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, April 25. If you can't be at Delaware Stadium to cheer on the Minutemen all the information on how you can follow the game is below.
University of Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
[RV/RV] Massachusetts (7-5, 1-3 CAA) at Delaware (6-8, 0-4)
Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian highlighted the production of the freshman class with a recent article as the youngest Minutemen have played an integral role in the team's successes during the 2014 season.
"When you look at the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, it's nearly impossible to overlook the production the freshmen class has brought to the table this year.
Whether it's been Nick Mariano and his team high 26 goals, good for second amongst freshmen in the NCAA, Grant Consoletti, who's started in all 11 games he's played in, or Aaron Madaisky, the 6 feet 7 inch long stick midfielder that is tied for the tallest player in the country, the freshmen always seem to make big plays when the game is on the line.
'They've all been pretty solid,' said coach Greg Cannella. 'I think we are in the situation we are in because we might have relied on them a little too much. As a coach you never really want to count on five or six freshmen on your team.'
Cannella added that while it's great to have two or three complimentary freshmen, it's a hard transition not only with the games, but with school as well..."
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program hosts its 2014 Senior Night against No. 12 nationally ranked Hofstra on Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m. The five-man senior class of Joe Calvello, James Fahey, Reed Goodhue, Connor Mooney and Matt Whippen will be recognized on Garber Field prior to the contest. Information about the game is available below:
University of Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
[RV]/#20 Massachusetts (7-4, 1-2 CAA) vs. #12/11 Hofstra (9-3, 3-0)
UMass men's lacrosse takes to the road with a trip to Drexel in Philadelphia, Pa., for a Saturday, April 12 game at Vidas Field. The Minutemen are 7-3 overall and 1-1 in CAA games while the Dragons hold a 7-4 mark this year and won two of their first three conference matchups. All your game information is available here:
University of Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
#14/16 Massachusetts (7-3, 1-1 CAA) at [RV/RV] Drexel (7-4, 2-1)
"Massachusetts men's lacrosse coach Greg Cannella can be sure of one thing when he looks ahead to Saturday's matchup with Drexel - a fast game.
Cannella expects a fast-paced duel between the Dragons (7-4, 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) and his own speedy team. UMass (7-3, 1-1 CAA) is looking to pick up the pace after a 6-5 home loss to Towson, who successfully slowed down the game to suit its style of play on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Drexel.
Drexel (11.6 goals per game) won last year's series meeting with the Minutemen, 15-14, in a game reminiscent of a shootout. Midfielder Ben McIntosh and attack Nick Trizano, both seniors with 42 and 35 points respectively, return to give the Dragons' offense teeth..."
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse squad returns to Colonial Athletic Association competition when Towson heads to Amherst, Mass., for a Saturday, April 5 contest on Garber Field. The Minutemen are 7-2 overall and 1-0 in CAA games following their bye week while the Tigers are 7-3 this year, including a 1-1 mark in the conference. Check out more in this week's UMassAthletics.com men's lacrosse preview below:
University of Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
#11/12 Massachusetts (7-2, 1-0) vs. [RV/RV] Towson (7-3, 1-1)
Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian staff spoke with head coach Greg Cannella, senior midfielder Matt Whippen and redshirt-sophomore goalie Zach Oliveri as the UMass men's lacrosse prepares to face Towson at home on Saturday, April 5. Read his preview ahead of the contest below.
"It's crunch time for the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team.
With only four games remaining on its schedule, No. 12 UMass (7-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) looks to make one final push toward having the CAA championship come through Amherst.
However, the Minutemen aren't looking that far down the road just yet. Instead they are focusing all of their attention to Saturday's matchup against Towson after a 14-day layover between games.
'It's been a while since we've played,' senior Matt Whippen said. 'These past two weeks we took a step back to focus on our individual skills, but now we are getting ready for Towson because they're going to be a good team (and) ready to play us.'
The Tigers (7-3, 1-1 CAA) are one game behind UMass in the standings, so Saturday's game has the potential to shake up the landscape in the CAA..."
UMass men's lacrosse focused on improving the basics that have helped the team open the season with seven wins through nine games, writes Daily Collegian staff reporter Andrew Cyr.
"Rest is something that's often hard to come by in the middle of a lacrosse season.
But the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, which is in the midst of a 14-day layover, has made the most of the time to improve and reflect on the season thus far.
'We got to focus on the nicks that we really haven't done too well this year and worked on what we struggled with,' short stick defensemen Ryan Izzo said. 'It was a good chance for us to look back on previous games and understand what we need to do better for the upcoming part of the season.'
The No. 12 Minutemen (7-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) currently are in second place in the CAA, after an 8-6 victory over Penn State earlier in the season. UMass, which has four games remaining on its schedule, is entering the roulette of conference play with the race for first wide open..."
UMass Athletics spoke with men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella, close defenseman James Fahey and midfielder Connor Mooney after the No. 11 Minutemen defeated Hartford, 12-6 at Garber Field on Saturday afternoon to improve to 7-2 on the season. Check out what the trio had to say about the game below:
Daily Collegian staff writer Andrew Cyr spoke with UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella, midfielder Connor Mooney and attackman Nick Mariano after the Minutemen dispatched Hartford, 12-6. Check out Cyr's recap and what Cannella, Mooney and Mariano had to say below.
"Tied at 5-5 with three minutes, 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team found itself in another game that was destined to go down to the wire.
But sometimes in lacrosse, one goal is all it takes to jumpstart an offense. And on Saturday, the No. 11 Minutemen's late offensive explosion proved to be the key in their 12-6 win over Hartford.
Jeff George fired a shot at Hartford goalkeeper Frank Piechota that caught a piece of his stick and trickled out in front of the net. Then Ryan Curley - who hasn't made a huge impact on the scoresheet this season - was in the right place at the right time to give UMass the 6-5 lead.
The Minutemen never looked back, scoring six consecutive goals to quickly put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter."
Boston Globe correspondent Peter Cappiello wrote a feature on four UMass men's lacrosse standouts who all hail from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Check out Cappiello's feature, which focuses on Grant Whiteway along with Bob Fahey, James Fahey and Matt Whippen, below:
"It wasn't the first time that Grant Whiteway had left an opponent a bit stunned.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst junior from Billerica entered Tuesday's matchup against visiting Providence with five goals for the men's lacrosse team in its 4-1 start.
After the game's final whistle, the attack walked off Garber Field with 12 on the season, after powering the Minutemen to a 16-11 victory with a seven-goal performance.
Teammate James Fahey, a former rival at St. John's Prep, recalls a Billerica Memorial High-St. John's matchup in May 2010, when Whiteway ran up 10 yards from the goal line and extended before launching a shot 180 degrees into a corner of the net..."
Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian caught up with UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella after the No. 14 Minutemen traveled to No. 5/7 Penn State and earned an 8-6 victory over the Nittany Lions in University Park, Pa., on Saturday afternoon. Check out what Cannella had to say about the win in Cyr's recap below:
"Going into Saturday's game, the No. 15 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team knew its matchup against preseason Colonial Athletic Association favorite Penn State would be one of its biggest games of the season.
UMass responded with an 8-6 win against the No. 7 Nittany Lions in State College, Pa., behind a solid performance from goalkeeper Zach Oliveri..."
Daily Collegian staff writer Andrew Cyr spoke with men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella and junior attackman Grant Whiteway following Tuesday's 16-11 win over Providence, during which Whiteway tallied a career-high seven goals to lead the team to victory. Cyr highlighted Whiteway's big day with his game wrap-up below:
"To say Grant Whiteway had a good game is an understatement.
The attackman finished with a career-high seven goals and an assist as the No. 14 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team defeated Providence 16-11 on Tuesday at Garber Field.
'It feels good,' Whiteway said of his performance. 'The offense was moving good today and I was on the receiving end of a lot of stuff. My teammates were finding me when I was open and everyone was moving off ball so it made it easy.'
Whiteway entered Tuesday's game with just five goals on the season to go along with three assists. He was the Minutemen's leading returning scorer this season after finishing his 2013 campaign with 26 goals.
Whiteway received a pass from Connor Mooney in front of the cage just two minutes, 27 seconds into the game. He snuck it past Friars goalkeeper Tyler Hines, who was pulled after the first quarter, and from that point forward the Minutemen never looked back..."
Daily Hampshire Gazette contributing writer Eugene Kucinski stopped by Garber Field to catch UMass men's lacrosse best Providence, 16-11 on Tuesday afternoon. He focused his recap of the contest on the team's ability to bounce back from its weekend loss to No. 18 Albany.
"The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team used a 10-goal second half and much-improved defense to defeat Providence, 16-11, Tuesday at Garber Field.
After giving up 25 goals at home on Saturday to Albany, the 14th-ranked Minutemen (5-1) tightened up on defense and limited the Friars (3-3) to four first-half goals.
'Our guys are prideful. Their egos were bruised a little bit,' UMass coach Greg Cannella said. "We buckled down a bit today.'
While the 11 goals allowed was an improvement on Saturday, it matched the second-most given up by the Minutemen this year.
The offense, led by Grant Whiteway, helped compensate and earned UMass the victory..."
UMass men's lacrosse was supported in its 16-11 win over Providence by strong offensive showings from junior Grant Whiteway and senior Connor Mooney, who combined to total 15 points in the victory. Peter Cappiello of the Daily Collegian was at the game and wrote a recap of the action.
"Massachusetts men's lacrosse senior Connor Mooney flung a desperation shot through traffic from 15 yards out in the dying seconds of the first quarter. The buzzer to end the frame provided a soundtrack to his goal celebration. No. 14 UMass (5-1) led Providence, 6-2.
The tone was set.
UMass junior attack Grant Whiteway took advantage of the energy tilt and totaled seven goals in a 16-11 win over the Friars (3-3) on Tuesday at Garber Field. Whiteway had five goals heading into the game..."
Read the conclusion of Cappeiello's story here. More on the men's lacrosse program is available through UMassAthletics.com.
Lacrosse Magazine previewed Saturday's UMass men's lacrosse meeting with Albany as part of its Ten-2-Watch weekly series. Check out what the Lax Mag staff had to say about the game below:
"The Great Danes lost their first two games of the season, to Syracuse and Drexel, by a total of two goals and beat Harvard 14-8 for their first win last Saturday. The Thompson-led offense will be put to the test against a UMass defense that's allowed just 5.5 goals per game. Miles and Lyle Thompson share the team lead for points with 18; Lyle with six goals and 12 assists and Miles with 13 goals and five assists.
UMass has a freshman to watch in attackman Nick Mariano, who has 14 goals in four games. He scored back-to-back goals in the Minutemen's 6-5 win at Army and four goals, including the game-winner with seven seconds left in overtime, to lead UMass past Ohio State, a win that vaulted it into the Lacrosse Magazine Top 20. The Minutemen also feature former U.S. under-19 men's team goalie Zach Oliveri in net. A win here could help UMass' NCAA at-large tournament case should it miss out on winning the CAA."
More from Lacrosse Magazine's Ten-2-Watch series can be found here. The most up-to-the-minute information on the men's lacrosse team can be found through UMassAthletics.com.
Brian Coughlin of Inside Lacrosse broke down the contrasting styles of play between UMass men's lacrosse and its next opponent, the Albany Great Danes. In addition to being a clash of top-20 nationally ranked opponents, the meeting puts a high-octane offense (Albany) up against one of the most stout defensive units in the nation (UMass).
"Two Top 20 teams are set to meet this Saturday in Amherst, Mass., as No. 17 Albany makes the trip east to face No. 10 UMass. The tales of how these teams have placed themselves in the Top 20 are drastically different..."
Andrew Cyr has your Daily Collegian preview for UMass men's lacrosse's next contest, a rematch with Brown after the Bears defeated the Minutemen in overtime, 9-8 one season ago.
"They say that history always finds a way of repeating itself.
Just one season ago, the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team was 3-0 as it prepared to take on Brown. The Minutemen had wins over Army and Harvard, as well as an upset win over a nationally ranked team.
However, UMass (3-0) still feels as though it has unfinished business to deal with in a rematch with the Bears this Saturday in Providence.
'(This game) is going to be hard,' UMass coach Greg Cannella said. 'If they spread the ball out like they did last year, it's going to be hard. Last year, a bunch of different guys scored on us, so it's going to be hard to stop. We only have one film on them, so they might do some things we aren't prepared for. So we just have to stick to our principles.'
Brown (1-0) defeated the Minutemen 9-8 in overtime last season at Garber Field, after Daniel Mellynchuk put one past goalkeeper Zach Oliveri. Mellynchuk finished the game with a pair of goals, and attacker Kylor Bellistri finished with a hat trick..."
Tom Renner from the Daily Voice spoke with UMass men's lacrosse freshman Nick Mariano to discuss Mariano's immediate impact with the Minutemen, as the Yorktown, N.Y., native has nine goals through three games.
"Yorktown's Nick Mariano just wanted to contribute as an incoming freshman for the powerful lacrosse team at the University of Massachusetts. He has, and in a big way.
Mariano has nine goals in UMass' first three games and earned Player of the Week and co-Rookie of the Week honors from the Colonial Athletic Association.
The freshman attack's early success has helped UMass spurt to a 3-0 start, including a win over No. 14 Ohio State. Mariano scored the game-winning goal in overtime and had three goals in the contest.
'I wanted to come into the season with an open mind,'' Mariano said. 'I just wanted to go out and play and have fun and just contribute for the team. I prepare myself the right way every week. I go into the game with confidence, and that's been a big help.'
Mariano came from the powerful program at Yorktown High School, where he was four-year letterwinner under head coach Dave Marr. He helped Yorktown win three sectional titles, and led Section 1 with 63 goals and 48 assists as a senior, earning All-America honors..."
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team continued its strong start to the 2014 season with an 8-4 win over Harvard to improve to 3-0. The Minutemen continued their "offense-by-committee" approach as six different players recorded at least one goal while eight in total notched at least one point. Below are links for updated national rankings, photo galleries, game stories and more:
UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella and attackman Nick Mariano spoke to members of the media following the 8-4 home-opening victory over Harvard. Check out what they had to say about the win below:
UMass men's lacrosse hosts its first home game of the 2014 season when Harvard visits Garber Field for a Saturday, Feb. 22 contest beginning at 1 p.m. Get all your game information below, including a video preview featuring head coach Greg Cannella and senior midfielder Matt Whippen.
Massachusetts Men's Lacrosse Game Notes
#14/15 Massachusetts (2-0) vs. [RV/-] Harvard (0-0)
Peter Cappiello with the Daily Collegian caught up with UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella, midfielder Matt Whippen, goalie Zach Oliveri and attackman Nick Mariano to preview the home-opening game against Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. The Minutemen have won both of their games this year but face a tough test in the Crimson squad that looks to open its 2014 season strong at Garber Field.
"Massachusetts men's lacrosse freshman Nick Mariano has totaled six
goals between his first two collegiate games, both wins for UMass (2-0).
The attacker was also named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the
Week and Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.
But as far as Chris Wojcik, the coach of Harvard--the Minutemen's
opponent on Saturday--is concerned, Mariano is simply playing to his
ability. Wojcik, entering his fourth season with the Crimson, scouted
the teen at Yorktown High School in Mohegan Lake, N.Y., during the 2012
and 2013 seasons.
He said that Mariano's capability to have multi-goal games at the
Division I level is a threat that Harvard will look to stop in its
season opener. The Crimson will also utilize Devin Dwyer (43 points) and
Peter Schwartz (34 points), their top returning scorers..."
The Inside Lacrosse staff named its winners and losers from last week, and highlighted the success of the Minutemen among its 'winners' for the squad's performance through two weeks of the season. Geoff Shannon pointed out the success of the UMass freshman class, especially during the 12-11 defeat of No. 14/9 Ohio State in overtime, while Xanders tabbed the entire team as his 'winner' this week following the 2-0 start, which also includes a 6-5 victory at Army in the season-opener. Below are excerpts from the article covering the Minutemen:
Geoff Shannon (@Geoff_Shannon)
UMass Freshmen -- Minuteman coach Greg Cannella really
is a master at recruiting and player development. Freshmen played huge
roles in UMass' victory over a then-top 10 Ohio State team. Frosh
attackman Nick Mariano continues to live up to his IL top 10
attackman ranking scoring four goals, including the game-winner that he
racked up on a beautiful dodge from X to left GLE. British Columbia
native Aaron Madaisky, who stands at a monster 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, and
rookie Culver (Ind.) recruit Austin Spencer both played LSM and helped
hold OSU's midfield star Jesse King to one assist. New Jersey freshman
middie Jeff George also notched two goals. After a focused fall, UMass
starts 2014 2-0, enters the Top 20 rankings this week, and suddenly
looks like a major threat for a CAA title run. Gorilla Ball rolls on.
Ty Xanders (@TyXanders)
UMass -- What better way to make a statement than to
knock off a preseason top 10 team in overtime on national TV? Coming off
of a 7-8 season and graduating Will Manny, I would have picked the
Minutemen as underdogs in both of their games this season, so the fact
that they could beat both Army and Ohio State to open the year says a
lot about their chances about making a run to the NCAA tournament this
spring. I loved the way Greg Cannella's heady, youth ridden team played
with confidence and toughness, using a four-goal outing from sensational
freshman attackman Nick Mariano (including the game-winner in OT) to
give them a 12-11 win over the Buckeyes. UMass has some rest before
playing Harvard, Brown and Albany between now and March 8, but I'm
excited to see how they fare during that stretch.
Lax.com saw UMass men's lacrosse take a 12-11 game from No. 14/9 Ohio State in overtime at the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend and put together some highlights of the contest for their website. Check them out below:
UMass men's lacrosse traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., to participate in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic and took a thrilling game from No. 14/9 nationally-ranked Ohio State in overtime, 12-11. Nick Mariano used the last of his four goals to secure the victory with 7.9 seconds left on the scoreboard clock at EverBank Field. Matt Whippen added three goals and an assist for four points while Jeff George notched two tallies. Zach Oliveri made 13 saves in goal and Joe Calvello won 19 of his 28 faceoffs. Hear head coach Greg Cannella, Mariano and Calvello's thoughts on the game and UMass' performance against the Buckeyes below:
UMass men's lacrosse takes a break from the weather in New England to take a trip to Jacksonville, Fla., to face Ohio State as part of the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic, hosted on Sunday, Feb. 16 at EverBank Field. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 9:15 p.m. Daily Collegian staff writer Andrew Cyr spoke with head coach Greg Cannella, midfielder Aaron Madaisky and attackman Nick Mariano to preview to event.
"Spring sports in the Northeast aren't always pleasant to deal with.
With temperatures still in the teens and snowfall constantly on the
horizon, it's difficult for coaches to plan their practice schedules.
Luckily for the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, a weekend trip to
Florida is just what the Minutemen need to escape the harsh playing
conditions of New England.
The Minutemen travel to Jacksonville to take on the nationally-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic on February 16. Head coach Greg Cannella and freshman Aaron Madaisky preview the matchup.
Lax.com has highlights of UMass men's lacrosse at Army's Michie Stadium and the 6-5 win the Minutemen earned over the Black Knights to start the season on Saturday, Feb. 8. Nick Mariano and Grant Whiteway each had a pair of goals while Zach Oliveri made eight saves in the cage for Massachusetts. Check out some of the key plays from the game for both sides below:
More coverage of college lacrosse can be found on Lax.com. Additional content for the men's lacrosse program, including statistics, stories and photo galleries, can be found through UMassAthletics.com.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella to preview the 2014 season, which begins Saturday at Army with an 11 a.m. game. Check out Vautour's preview and what Cannella had to say about the squad:
Massachusetts men's lacrosse coach Greg Cannella admitted he was curious
to see how his team plays when it opens the season against Army,
Saturday at 11 a.m. at Michie Stadium, in West Point, N.Y.
'We're looking all
right. We'll find out a little bit more (Saturday). When adversity hits,
you find out what they're all about,' Cannella said. 'They've been a
good group to coach so far. They've worked hard. We've prodded them to
work even harder and challenge themselves.'
The Minutemen will be playing a lot of new faces, while some of the returning players will be in significantly increased rolls..."
UMass Spots Network caught up with men's lacrosse head coach Greg
Cannella, senior attackman and midfielder Connor
Mooney and redshirt-sophomore goalie Zach
Oliveri to preview the 2014 season, which
begins on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Army. MinuteFans can watch the season preview
video through the UMass Athletics YouTube page embedded below.
Daily Collegian staff reporter Andrew Cyr put together a story discussing the UMass men's lacrosse team's mentality entering 2014 as the squad embraces its status as an underdog in the battle for the CAA Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
"It's been a while since the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team has
been an afterthought in the Colonial Athletic Conference and the NCAA.
But coming off their first losing season since 2008, the Minutemen
enter 2014 unranked in the NCAA national rankings, and predicted to
finished fourth in the CAA preseason coaches poll.
The departures of Kyle Smith and Will Manny, the team's top two scorers from a season ago, don't help the cause either.
"This is the first time in a long time we're going to be the underdog
in almost every game we play," said UMass coach Greg Cannella, who is
returning for his 20th season in Amherst. "But sometimes the underdog
role is a good place to be in."
In fact, the underdog role is something the Minutemen embrace. And
with their sights set on bouncing back from a disappointing season,
preseason polls are the least of their concerns..."
UMass men's lacrosse goalie Zach Oliveri will look to be an anchor for the Minutemen in 2014, writes Peter Cappiello of the Daily Collegian. Oliveri is in his third year with the program and second competing after redshirting the 2011 season.
"It was an accidental epiphany. Zach Oliveri, redshirt sophomore for
the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team, was looking through the DVR in
his Ronkonkoma, N.Y., home in June, when he found last year's game
against Hofstra, a 9-8 win on April 20.
The goalkeeper is academically a junior, but has two more seasons of
eligibility after this year's campaign due to redshirting his true
freshman year. Still, he became introspective watching the old matchup,
hyper-aware that his college lacrosse days are numbered....
Daily Collegian reporter Peter Cappiello focused a recent feature story on the emergence of UMass men's lacrosse redshirt-junior midfielder Ryan Izzo as a leader on the Minutemen. Izzo suffered an ACL injury as a freshman in 2011 but has recovered from the setback to become an all-conference and all-region standout.
"Ryan Izzo ran a toss sweep from the 23-yard line to the short side of
the field against Weymouth on Thanksgiving Day, 2009. He cut back
across the gridiron with five minutes to play, then broke a few tackles
up the middle, bound for the right pylon. Touchdown, 77 yards. It was
the final play of his high school football career.
A senior fullback at Walpole High School, Izzo set the Massachusetts
career points record at 722, and his 6,316 rushing yards were good for
No. 2 in the record books. But he never received a Division I football
offer. Izzo instead audibled to lacrosse, a sport he's played since
fourth grade. His first choice? The University of Massachusetts...
LacrosseAllStars.com completed a season preview for UMass men's lacrosse recently, covering what has changed and who could step up for the squad in 2014. Author Connor Wilson took a look at the upcoming schedule and players who could be key to success for the Minutemen this coming season.
"UMass went 7-8 in 2013 after a superb 2012, which has seen the program
go 15-1. UMass started 2013 out right with 3 wins, especially as one of
them was a 12-11 win over then #1 UNC. An OT loss to Brown and three
straight losses to Top 20 teams put UMass at 3-4, but wins over Lehigh
and Hartford got the Minutemen back on track and playing with a winning
record. Three straight losses (two to Top 20 teams), two wins and a loss
to finish up there year gave UMass a 7-8 mark, and a disappointing
2014 should see UMass with a similar strength of schedule. Some
opponents have been changed out, but UMass has retained a challenging
but winnable slate of games. Early games with Army, Brown, Harvard, Ohio
State, and Albany will tell us a lot about where UMass sits, but let's
try to figure some of this out before they open the season with the Army
Black Knights on February 9th..."
Geoff Shannon of InsideLacrosse.com took a look at the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team as part of its 2014 season preview on Thursday. Shannon recapped the team's 2013 finish, took a look at a few of the key returnees and newcomers for head coach Greg Cannella's 20th year as the program leader and picked out a few key contests on the schedule.
As the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft approaches, MLL is featuring watch lists for each position on the organization's website, with Massachusetts men's lacrosse senior Joe Calvello named one of the top four faceoff specialists eligible to be picked. The draft is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m.
In three seasons at UMass, Calvello is 228-for-412 on faceoffs (55.3 win percentage) with 100 groundballs. In 2013, his first year as the main faceoff specialist for the Minutemen, he finished 184-of-316 at the X (58.2 percent) with a team-high 79 groundballs in 15 games played (5.27 per appearance).
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program and head coach Greg Cannella
announced a partnership with the Vs. Cancer Foundation to help raise
awareness and donations for the battle against pediatric cancer on
Monday afternoon. A station will be set up at the team's annual alumni
game, hosted at Garber Field on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m., where
anyone who wishes to donate funding for the battle against cancer or
shave his or her head can do so.
"Our men's lacrosse program is thrilled to have been asked to
make our alumni game part of the Vs. Cancer Foundation' s charge,"
Cannella said. "It provides us with an opportunity to help young people
with cancer and be part of something that is greater than us all. It has
always been a privilege to be part of our men's lacrosse program - that
privilege is now greater as we represent these young people in their
fight to beat cancer."
With the partnership, UMass is joining the Lacrosse Vs. Cancer
Campaign, which creates an avenue for programs from across the country
to come together with their fan bases to fundraise for the battle
against children's cancer. Half of the proceeds raised will benefit
national childhood cancer research while the other half will help kids
directly through local children's hospitals.
Donations can be made through the UMass Lacrosse page on the Vs. Cancer website
while those who wish to help but cannot attend the alumni game or
donate through the website can do so through a check mailed to:
UMass Men's Lacrosse
131 Commonwealth Avenue
Amherst, MA 01003
Former UMass men's lacrosse goalkeeper Tim McCormack (2008-12) recently accepted a position as an assistant coach with the seven-time NCAA Champion Northwestern University women's lacrosse program. McCormack was a three-year starter for the Minutemen, totaling 474 stops and a .559 save percentage in goal while earning USILA All-America, NEILA All-New England and All-CAA awards.
"I am thrilled for Tim McCormack and the Northwestern women's lacrosse program," said Massachusetts head
coach Greg Cannella, now entering his 20th season in charge of the
Minutemen. "He is an outstanding young man and coach. His tremendous
leadership ability, loyalty and commitment to excellence will serve him
well in Kelley Amonte Hiller's one-of-a-kind program. Tim lives and believes in the standards set by
Coach Amonte Hiller and the great tradition of success she has
established at Northwestern University."
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.