Zach Babo of Inside Lacrosse was on-site at Homewood Field in Baltimore for UMass men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny's STX photo shoot. Manny recently signed with STX as a sponsor and will represent the brand with its "Surgeon" line of lacrosse gear.
Babo took a couple minutes to talk to Manny about a variety of things, including the Boston Cannon's playoff run, signing with STX and his continued presence in the New England lacrosse community.
University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny (2010-13) is among five current Major League Lacrosse competitors named to the MLL's 2014 Most Improved Player Watch List. Manny, in his second professional season, ranks among the most successful attackman in MLL this year. Read more on Manny's successes courtesy of Major League Lacrosse's release below:
The sophomore attackman is a powerhouse on offense and a consistent goal scorer for the Boston Cannons. He falls right behind teammate Paul Rabil in team points (51) and ranks among the top five in the MLL for points, goals and assists (51pts, 32g, 19a). During his rookie season with the Cannons, he proved his ability to be a threat on offense, scoring 18 goals and tallying 12 assists in just 10 games. With one season under his belt, he's built upon his rookie success and continues to exceed expectations. He will have to step up to the plate this weekend against the Rattlers to give Boston a chance to nail a spot in the playoffs.
A duo of UMass men's lacrosse alumni provided impactful weekend performances for their respective teams as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) combined to total eight points through five goals and three assists.
Manny, who plays for Boston, secured five points as the Cannons narrowly defeated Florida, 16-15 on Saturday evening. Playing attack, Manny totaled both his assists during the first quarter as the Cannons raced out to a 7-2 lead. After the Launch fought back to close the gap, Manny spearheaded the Boston offense throughout the third quarter as he scored each of his goals during the frame.
With at least four points in each of the previous six contests, Manny has vaulted himself up the leaderboard for scoring in MLL during the 2014 season. He currently sits tied for third with 51 points on 32 goals and 19 assists.
Leveille notched three points through two goals and an assist during Rochester's 17-15 loss to Ohio on Saturday. Leveille's first goal of the evening tied the contest at 3-3 during the first quarter while his second brought the Rattlers within 10-8 of the Machine at the start of the third. His only assist closed the Rochester gap to 11-10 later in the third, however, a late four-goal run by Ohio sealed the outcome.
With 25 points on the season, Leveille current ranks in the top 25 for MLL attackman in the category. He has accumulated his 25 points on 17 goals and eight assists spread over 11 games played.
Two former UMass men's lacrosse standouts combined for six points for their respective teams as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) provided offensive boosts as the MLL season winds down toward the playoffs.
Leveille scored twice on his only two attempts of the game and scooped up one groundball for Rochester as the Rattlers improved to 9-3 overall with a 13-9 win over Charlotte on Saturday, July 26. Leveille provided both tallies during the fourth quarter, staking Rochester to an 11-9 lead with more than 10 minutes left before capping scoring with 92 seconds left to play.
The 2003 UMass graduate has 22 points on 15 goals and seven assists over 10 games played while he has also picked up 16 groundballs. He has recorded 20 or more points in all but one of his 10 professional lacrosse campaigns.
Manny totaled four points through a hat trick and one assist, but it was not enough for Boston as the Cannons fell to Florida, 23-17 on Saturday, July 26. Manny dished an assist to Scott Ratliff to put Boston ahead, 4-2 early and tallied his first goal of the day during the second quarter to extend Boston's lead to 8-6. After Florida rallied during the second and third quarters, Manny spearheaded a late fourth-quarter push with back-to-back goals, but it was too late.
His three goals and one assist give Manny 46 points (29 goals, 17 assists) through 12 games, the fourth-most points among all Major League Lacrosse players. His 29 goals also rank him fourth while his 17 assists place him fifth in those respective categories.
Manny notched four points via three goals and an assist while he also scooped up a groundball. The 2013 UMass graduate opened scoring only two minutes, 23 seconds into the first quarter and added another goal less than eight minutes later. Manny provided a buzz-beating tally only one second before the first quarter expired to push Boston ahead, 5-4 and assisted on the strike that put the Cannons in front, 14-13 late in the fourth quarter.
Reid was active on close defense for the Cannons, making his fifth appearance on the season. In addition to his work on the field for Boston, Reid is currently fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which battles childhood cancer, alongside his teammates and head coach.
University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse alumnus Will Manny (2010-13) signed an endorsement agreement with STX, LLC, a global sporting goods leader that specializes in lacrosse gear among other sports, as announced by the organization on Monday. Manny currently plays professionally for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse and ranks fifth in the league for points (38) through 10 games. Here is the official release:
"Baltimore, MD - Baltimore-based STX, LLC, a global sporting goods leader, Monday announced a two-year endorsement agreement with Major League Lacrosse (MLL) star Will Manny.
The Boston Cannons attackman will represent STX's Surgeon line, appearing in marketing and advertising campaigns. Manny will also represent STX at camps, clinics, tournaments and in-store events. He will also compete with STX equipment while playing for the Cannons..."
Another big weekend for UMass men's lacrosse alumni competing in MLL contests as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) helped their respective teams to key victories as both sides push for playoff spots.
Manny provided a clutch four-point performance to help Boston secure a 17-13 road victory at league-leading Denver, which had not lost at home in more than two years. Manny is fifth in MLL with 38 points, which he has earned through 23 goals and 15 assists over 10 games played.
Against Denver, Manny came alive with back-to-back goals near the end of the first quarter to turn a one-goal deficit into a 5-4 advantage entering the second stanza. He went on to provide an assist on the goal that put Boston up 12-11 at the conclusion of the third quarter and struck for an insurance goal during the final frame to help seal the win.
Leveille assisted on one goal and scooped up a groundball as Rochester improved to 7-3 overall with a 15-13 victory over Charlotte. The win moved the Rattlers into a tie for first place in MLL with Denver. Leveille's assist came during the first quarter as the Rattlers struck to an early lead with three of the first four goals of the game.
Two UMass men's lacrosse alumni were active in Major League Lacrosse during the previous weekend as Kevin Leveille (2000-03) helped Rochester to an important win and Will Manny (2010-13) provided another five-point game on attack for Boston. Check out more on how each did below:
Prior to the game, Leveille was recognized by Rattlers COO Brad Ford and Rochester Head Coach Tim Soudan, also a University of Massachusetts graduate, for his MLL record-break career goals total, which is up to 275 through 116 games played in the league.
Manny earned five points via a hat trick plus two assists, but the Boston Cannons dropped a 15-12 game to Charlotte. Manny pushed Boston in front with the first two goals of the second quarter to put the Cannons ahead, 5-3. He added his third to pull Boston within 11-10 of Charlotte and assisted on the final Cannons goal that dropped their deficit to 15-12 with 4:18 to play.
Manny now has 34 points on 20 goals and 14 assists over nine games played in his second year playing professionally. Manny's goals and assists totals also rank second among Cannons.
Stay up-to-date with Major League Lacrosse through the organization's website. More on the Minutemen can be found through UMassAthletics.com.
Four UMass men's lacrosse alumni were in action again this weekend during a pair of Major League Lacrosse contests. Big performances on attack by two of them helped Rochester earn sole possession of second place and Boston push back to .500 entering the all-star break. Check out more below:
Kevin Leveille (2000-03) got the weekend going for former Minutemen in Major League Lacrosse with five points as the Rochester Rattlers defeated the Florida Launch to claim sole ownership of second place in MLL. Leveille scored his first goal of the evening to put the Rattlers ahead, 9-8 in the second before he added three points (1 G, 2 A) during the third quarter to give Rochester a 14-11 advantage entering the fourth.
Three Minutemen faced off as Ohio challenged Boston and forced overtime before 2012 UMass graduate Will Manny (2010-13) ended the game in overtime with one of his five goals. Manny, who finished with six points in total, scored twice in the first quarter before he added two more points on a goal and assist in the second. He added another goal in the fourth quarter to extend the Cannons lead to 13-9, but a late Ohio rally forced his overtime heroics.
Three former University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse standouts were active during the seventh week of the Major League Lacrosse season as Jim Connolly (2006-07, '09), Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) combined to earn four points for the Ohio Machine, Rochester Rattlers and Boston Cannons, respectively. Check out how each did individually below:
Connolly did not record statistics but rotated into the lineup for Ohio's attack as the Machine earned a comeback win over Leveille's Rattlers, 18-13 on Saturday. The appearance marked Connolly's second of the year for Ohio and first since a win at Charlotte on April 26 as the squad is 2-0 with Connolly in the lineup.
Leveille scored one goal as Rochester battled with Ohio in a 18-13 loss to the Machine. Leveille scored career tally No. 272, adding to his league record, to make it 5-2 in favor of Rochester, but a seven goal third quarter for Ohio erased the Rattlers lead and led the Machine to victory.
Manny assisted on three Boston goals, but the Cannons suffered a 16-15 loss on the road at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial to the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday. Manny helped get the offense rolling with an assist on Boston's first goal before he added helpers to tie the game at 7-7 and 13-13; however, Chesapeake scored three of the final four goals to earn the win.
Leveille's hat trick against Chesapeake pushed him in front of Tim Goettelman for most career goals in Major League Lacrosse as Leveille now owns 271. He tied the game at 2-2 before the UMass grad added the final Rochester tally to force overtime and capped the game with a double-overtime strike from close range to seal the win and secure the record. His record-setting performance received additional coverage from MLL and garnered him Player of the Game laurels:
Manny provided timely offense for the Boston Cannons during their 17-16 victory over Ohio with seven points via four goals and three assists. Manny assisted on the first and second tallies of the game for the Cannons before he scored to make it 5-4 at the beginning of the second quarter. He also notched one to push Boston back in front, 6-5 before he later tied it at 14-14 and assisted on the goal that evened play at 16-16 with less than four minutes left in the game.
Smith was on close defense to help Charlotte earned their second victory of the year and snap Denver's 25-game regular season winning streak with an 18-15 decision. During the game, Smith picked up one groundball for the Hounds.
Three former Minutemen made impacts for their respective Major League Lacrosse teams during this weekend's slate of games. Check out how Kevin Leveille (2000-03), Will Manny (2010-13) and Jake Smith (2010-13) performed below:
Leveille provided five points on three goals and two assists as Rochester defeated Florida, 18-11 for the team's third win of the season. Leveille earned his hat trick on only three shots while he also scooped up two groundballs during the win. Leveille is only three goals away from breaking the all-time MLL record for the category as he now owns 262 in 107 career games.
Leveille's game earned his a starring role in the highlight tape from the game. Check it out:
Manny had a multi-goal game with two tallies for Boston, but the Cannons faltered against the New York Lizards, 11-10. Manny tied the game at 6-6 in the third quarter and pushed Boston in front, 9-8 during the fourth, but NY added three of the final four goals to pull off the comeback. It was his second consecutive multi-goal game and third overall during the 2014 season.
Smith earned a pair of groundballs as a member of the Charlotte close defense unit, but the Hounds dropped a close battle with league-leading Denver, 13-11. Smith has at least two groundballs in three of the previous four games in his first full MLL season.
Three former Minutemen were a part of the Boston-Charlotte Major League Lacrosse game on Saturday evening as Will Manny (2010-13) and Jack Reid (2003-06) helped the Cannons take a 14-6 game from Jake Smith (2010-13) and the Hounds.
Manny provided three points on two goals and an assist to go with one groundball on attack for Boston. He scored his first goal of the game with six seconds to play in the first quarter. Manny went on to add another goal during the second quarter before he assisted on one tally. Through four games of the 2014 season, Manny has 11 points on six goals and five assists.
Reid helped the Boston defense limit Charlotte to just six goals as the Cannons never trailed during the contest. Four contests into the season, Boston is only allowing 8.25 goals per game.
Smith was on close defense for Charlotte and scooped up two groundballs during the game. Smith has appeared in each of Charlotte's four games this season and has four groundballs so far in his second year playing in MLL.
Four former Minutemen were active for their respective Major League Lacrosse organizations over the weekend in Kevin Leveille (2000-03), Will Manny (2010-13), Jack Reid (2003-06) and Jake Smith (2010-13). Check out how they performed below:
Leveille helped Rochester earn a 15-9 victory over the New York Lizards with a goal and three groundballs. Leveille provided his tally to start scoring in the third quarter and push the Rattlers' lead to 8-6 in the process. With six points through three games this season, Leveille now owns 345 for his MLL career on 265 goals, including a pair of two-pointers, 78 assists.
Manny provided an assist on Boston's first goal against Denver and also picked up one groundball, but the Cannons fell to the Outlaws, 10-9 in overtime.
Jack Reid was also active for Boston during its OT loss to Denver on Saturday evening. Reid was a member of the close defense unit that limited the potent Rattlers attack to just 10 goals as the Cannons nearly ended Denver's now-23 game regular season win streak.
Jake Smith also saw time on close defense this weekend, helping Charlotte earn a 12-7 victory over Chesapeake. Neither Reid or Smith recorded individual statistics during their respective performances.
Four UMass men's lacrosse alumni saw game action in Major League Lacrosse this weekend, including two who dueled in a Friday night ESPN3 contest. Check out how the former Minutemen standouts fared this weekend and take a look at highlights from the Boston-Rochester game below:
Kevin Leveille (2000-03) and Will Manny (2010-13) matched up on opposite sides as Boston fell on the road at Rochester, 8-7 Friday evening. Manny tallied two points (1 G, 1 A) and a groundball but Leveille answered with a pair of goals, an assist and two groundballs to help the Rattlers to their victory.
Leveille capped a 3-0 Rochester run with an extra-man goal during the second to put himself on the scoreboard before he assisted on the tally that put the Rattlers up for good, 5-4 in the third. The Delmar, N.Y., native then provided his second goal of the evening to push the lead to 6-4 with 10 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third.
Manny struck early for Boston as he provided the Cannons with their first goal of the game 4:02 into play. He added an assist on Boston's fourth goal of the night as the Cannons erased a 4-1 halftime deficit to even the game during the third quarter.
Another UMass grad, Diogo Godoi (2006-10) rotated into the defensive lineup for the Cannons to help Boston hold Rochester to just eight goals, but did not record statistics during competition.
Manny's classmate Jake Smith (2010-13) was on close defense for Charlotte when the Hounds fell to the Florida Launch, 11-8. Smith secured a pair of groundballs in the game.
More on MLL, including statistics, recaps and schedules for each team, is available through the organization's official website. The latest Minutemen lacrosse news can be found through UMassAthletics.com.
Tom Bovee of LaxDirt.com spoke with UMass men's lacrosse alumnus and current Boston Cannons attackman Will Manny to get his thoughts on the program for a feature article.
So Will what made you pick UMass? I wasn't really recruited by any of what you would call the big time schools. This ended up not mattering at all. I felt a great connection with Coach Cannella and he was interested in me right away. I wanted to go to a school that offered me all the things I was looking for, not sure I would have found that had I gone anywhere else. I was going to get to play right away and they had just graduated Jimmy Connelly and Tim Balise, so I knew I would get the chance to play right away, that was important to me. It really just worked out plus you earn what you put in at UMass and it's a real blue collar mentality about everything. I love that about Coach Cannella, you have to earn it.
You played on one of the best UMass teams in history who is one teammate from college you wish was on your team now?
I had a good talk with Cannons GM Kevin Barney and Head Coach John Tucker in the offseason and they were able to add a few UMass guys and I am really excited about it so I am fortunate to already have the chance to play with many of them but I would go with Jake Smith, he is one of the toughest, meanest most fundamental defensemen I've ever played and he is now in the MLL. Going against him you know you're going to be on the ground on a regular basis. I would want him on my defensive end, if I'm on attack watching out defense I know I'll have the ball soon if he is back there.
What was your favorite tradition on campus lacrosse related or otherwise? If we played a game on a Saturday after practice on a Friday we would meet in our film room as a full team. We had FNR, its Film Night Reels it could be from 2-10 minutes long of highlights from past, present and all over and it really gets the guys going and shows them what they are playing for. It teaches guys about Garber's Gorillas. A lot of guys don't understand that and it means everything to the guys who live it, I might just write a book about it one day. Also after that all the seniors also would go to dinner and just get to spend the time together and not a lot of schools get to do that, it's a special time that as seniors you get to enjoy with your class.
In anticipation of the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, which is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10, MLL took a look back at some of the most successful players selected during the 2013 edition of the draft, among them Massachusetts men's lacrosse alum Will Manny.
The No. 14 selection of the draft (second round), Manny went to the Boston Cannons and provided 30 points on 18 goals and 12 assists in his first professional campaign. Find out who joined Manny to fill out the 2013 draft review here.
More information about Major League Lacrosse and the 2014 Collegiate Draft can be found here. The most up-to-date information on UMass men's lacrosse is available on UMassAthletics.com.
Five former UMass men's lacrosse stand-outs were active in Major League Lacrosse since the previous alumni update on June 26. Below is a full list of those competing in MLL and how they and their teams have performed as of late...
Jim Connolly (2006-09) recorded one goal for Ohio during its 16-11 victory at Boston on Aug. 3. Connolly now owns 38 career points over 20 games, including 32 goals and six assists.
Diogo Godoi (2006-10) rotated in on defense for Ohio during a 12-10 loss to Charlotte (July 27) and at Boston during the squad's 16-11 victory on Aug. 3. Godoi has six groundballs in nine appearances this season and has played in 28 career games with Chicago (2010), Rochester (2011-12) and Ohio (2013-present).
Kevin Leveille (2000-03) owns eight points over his previous four games, including a five-point performance against New York during a 12-10 win on June 30. Leveille has a goal and a groundball in Rochester's most recent game, a 12-7 loss at Chesapeake on Aug. 3. Overall, Leveille has 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in 12 games this season and has 332 points for his career through 256 goals and 74 assists.
Will Manny (2010-13) produced a hat trick against Ohio with three goals and an assist in a 16-11 loss to Ohio on Aug. 3. Manny owns 16 points over his previous five games played, including five vs. Charlotte in a 17-14 Boston Cannons victory. Through the first nine games of his professional career, Manny has earned 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists.
Jack Reid (2003-06) has played in 10 games for the New York Lizards this season. Reid scooped up one groundball during the team's most recent contest, a 13-10 loss to Denver on Aug. 4.
More information on the UMass men's lacrosse program is available through the team's website. Fans of Major League Lacrosse can find more information on the league here.
The Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse featured UMass men's lacrosse alum Will Manny (2009-12) in its 'Rookie Spotlight' on Monday, highlighting Manny's immediate impact on offense. Through seven games played, Manny amassed 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists and recorded at least one point in each contest.
One goal; two goals; two goals; one goal, four assists; two goals, one
assist; two goals, three assists; one goal, one assist. This is Will
Manny's career line. You'll notice there are no zeros. He has recorded
at least one point in every game he has played in. Talk about an
Most new phases in life require time to adjust, but Manny's transition
from college lacrosse to the MLL could not have been smoother. His 20
points in 7 games looks more like a veteran line than a rookie one...
Check out the Boston Cannons official team website here for the full story.
Five former UMass men's lacrosse players were active in Major League Lacrosse since the previous program alumni update on June 3. Below is a list of how Minutemen currently competing on MLL squads have fared recently:
Brett Garber (2004-07) had a groundball and one shot attempt
during Ohio's 18-5 loss at Denver on June 22 after producing a shot
during the 13-11 victory over Rochester on June 15. For the season,
Garber has a goal and three groundballs spread over six appearances.
DiogoGodoi (2006-10) registered a pair of groundballs and a shot on goal during Ohio's 13-11 victory over Rochester on June 15. Godoi has seen action in seven contests as a defenseman, scooping up six groundballs in the process.
Kevin Leveille (2000-03) produced a multi-goal game with two
tallies at Hamilton during Rochester's 17-11 loss on June 22. Leveille
has at least one point in four of the last five appearances he has made,
earning nine total during the span. On the season, Leveille has 11
points on eight goals and three assists to go with nine groundballs
during eight appearances.
Will Manny (2010-13), the reigning MLL Rookie of the Week, recorded a goal and four assists for five points during Boston's 16-12 win over New York on June 21. Manny's strong outing comes one week after a two-goal game at Charlotte during a 15-13 victory for the Cannons. During Boston's current two-game win streak, Manny has helped lead the offense with seven points on a trio of goals and four assists.
Jack Reid (2003-06) saw time at Boston during the New York Lizards' 16-12 loss on June 21 after scooping up a pair of groundballs on defense during a 12-10 win over Hamilton on June 13. Reid has played in eight games on the year for New York.
UMass men's lacrosse alum Will Manny (2010-13) was recognized for his successful weekend in helping the Boston Cannons to a 16-12 win over the New York Lizards with the Major League Lacrosse Rookie of the Week honor on Monday, June 24. Manny recorded a five-point game on a goal and four assists, with a helper in each quarter, to spearhead the offense. Manny stands atop the Cannons' leaderboard with a .429 shooting percentage,
scoring six goals on 14 shots over the first four games of his MLL career.
Manny spent four seasons on attack for the Minutemen, securing 201 points on 107 goals and 94 assists over 55 games, including 47 starts. Manny earned USILA First Team All-America, NEILA Player of the Year, CAA Player of the Year and Tewaaraton Award Finalist status as a junior in 2012, and battled through injury in 2013 to appear on the All-CAA listing for the fourth time and secure All-NEILA honors for the third straight season.
More information on the Boston Cannons can be through the team's official website here.
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.
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.
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:
The Daily Collegian's Nick Canelas caught up with senior attack Will Manny of UMass men's lacrosse recently to discuss the all-American's career and the road back from a broken thumb suffered in the 2013 season-opener.
Will Manny is as comfortable as ever when he steps onto Garber Field for the Massachusetts men's lacrosse team.
He's energized, but he's relaxed. He's excited, but he's focused. Everything is the same as it ever was.
He sports his usual white jersey with the No. 1 stitched in maroon
and has the No. 7 sketched in eye black facing in toward his nose under
He knows he can rely on his skills. He knows he can rely on his
teammates. And he knows he can rely on the preparation of his coaches.
Above all, he knows he can rely on his durability.
Manny had never suffered a serious injury in his entire athletic
career and had never been kept off the lacrosse field for more than a
week. He was always a fixture on the top UMass attack unit, even in the
But that all changed on Feb. 10.
Read the entire article through the Daily Collegian website here. The Minutemen continue their season with a home game on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.
Justin Lafleur contributed to Inside Lacrosse with a feature story on the lifelong friendship of UMass' Will Manny and Lehigh's Dante Fantoni, who will face each other for the first time on Wednesday after years of competing together through high school. The duo played at St. Anthony's High School and have developed into two of the strongest players in Division I college lacrosse, combining for 325 career points entering the upcoming contest, which will be featured as the ESPNU Game of the Week at 6 p.m. on March 20. You can also catch Manny and Fantoni in action through WatchESPN.com.
Below you will find the accompanying "Who Knows Who Better" challenge video related to the feature story.
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:
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%)
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.
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.
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.
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."