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Minutemen In Major League Lacrosse Update (June 3)

With the Major League Lacrosse season underway, select UMass men's lacrosse alumni are continuing their playing careers at the next level of competition. Here is a recap of how a few of the Minutemen performed in their most recent contest as well as an update on their season totals:

Kevin Leveille (2000-03) produced four points on two goals and a pair of assists to go with a pair of groundballs during Rochester's victory over the Ohio Machine. Leveille now owns eight points on five goals and three assists this season in five appearances with the club. The MLL veteran with nine years in the league bumped his career totals to 321 points on 248 goals (including a pair of two-point goals) and 71 assists spread over 96 appearances.

Will Manny (2009-12), playing in his first professional contest, earned one goal for the Boston Cannons against Denver while scooping up a pair of groundballs.

Jim Connolly (2006-09) secured one assist for the Machine in their contest against Rochester, also chipping in a pair of groundballs. Connolly has four points on a trio of goals and one assist in four appearances on the year, his third playing in the MLL.

Diogo Godoi (2006-10) helped out the Ohio defensive effort against Rochester with a two groundballs scooped up. Godoi has totaled four groundballs in five appearances this season, his fourth in the MLL since graduating for UMass.

Other Minutemen competing in Major League Lacrosse this season include Anthony Biscardi (2009-12), Tom Celentani (2009-12), Brett Garber (2004-07), Tim McCormack (2008-12), Mark Millon (1990-93), Jack Reid (2003-06) and Jake Smith (2010-13).

Men's Lacrosse Has Three Drafted By MLL

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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:

Boston Cannons draft roundup
Ohio Machine draft roundup
Inside Lacrosse's team-by-team draft grades
BostonLax.com: Local flavor prevalent in MLL Draft
Daily Collegian: Three former Minutemen taken 2013 MLL Draft

The Minutemen start their 2013 campaign and CAA regular season and tournament defense at home on Garber Field against Army at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

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.

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.

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