The No. 16 UMass men's lacrosse team opens the 2011 season at Garber Field with a clash against No. 12 Army, an NCAA Quarterfinal team from a year ago. The Minutemen return four of the top five scorers on the team led by CAA Rookie of the Year Will Manny (27 goals, 18 assists) and Preseason All-CAA midfielder Anthony Biscardi (21 goals, 14 assists). Also returning after having his season cut short with a broken foot is Art Kell (14 goals in8 games). On defense, the Minutemen return two starters in Tom Celentani and Travis Tripucka. In the goal, Tim McCormack is back for his second season as the starter.
Saturday's game will be televised live on CBS 3 Now available on Comcast Cable Channel 293, Charter Cable Channel 230 and on the UMass campus on Channel 79. It will also be streamed through UMass All-Access and live audio via SportsJuice.
In The Polls
The Minutemen, who were ranked has high as No. 7 in 2010, begin 2011 at No. 16 in the USILA Coaches Poll. In the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, the Minutemen are No. 17.
Army is 12th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 13th in the Nike/IL Poll.
At No. 7 in both the USILA Coaches Poll and Inside Lacrosse Media Poll on April 5, 2010, UMass had its highest ranking since the NCAA Championship game season of 2006. That year UMass was at No. 7 as late as the week of March 13.
UMass-Army Series Revived
UMass and Army meet in a regular-season game for the first time since 1998. UMass leads the all-time series 10-9. The teams played ever season from 197 through 1998 with the exception of 1991 and 1992.
The series was one of the most-highly competitive in the 1980s and 1990s. The largest crowd on record at Garber Field (called Boyden Field at the time) was 7,500 for an April 26, 1986 game against Army, which the Black Knights won in overtime, 8-7.
Of the 19 meetings, 10 have been decided by two goals or less, five have been decided by one goal and four have gone to overtime.
UMass and Army have scrimmaged for the last few years before rekindling the series this year.
In that game between the teams on March 28, 1998 at Garber Field, UMass topped Army 10-4 as John Madigan had three goals and Mike Janowicz added three points on a goal and two assists. Between the pipes, John Kasselakis made 10 saves for UMass.
This will be the fifth time Greg Cannella has coached against Army, all pevious four meetings coming from 1995-98. He is 3-1 with a 16-9 win on May 6, 1995, a 12-10 win on March 29, 1997 and that 1998 win. The lone loss came on March 30, 1996 a 9-8 defeat.
Among The National Leaders
In 2010, the Minutemen posted an 8-6 overall record and ranked among many national leaders. The team finished 12 in scoring offense with 11.43 goals per game. The team was eighth in man-up offense, scoring on 46.3 percent of its advantages. UMass was also eighth in assists per game with 7.5, led by Will Manny, who had 1.29 per game. The Minutemen were also 10th in points scoring per game with 18.93 with Manny atop the list at 3.21 per contest.
On defense, UMass was 10th in caused turnovers per game with 9.5. Tom Celentani led the charge in that category with 1.79 per game.
Hantverk is a returning starting midfielder, who tallied 27 points on 15 goals and 12 assists last season. Rahn is the team's top long-stick defensive midfielder. he scooped 32 groundballs and caused nine turnovers a season ago.
McCormack returns for his second season as the backtop after starting all 14 games last season. He posted a 10.13 goals against average and a 52.3 save percentage with the 8-6 record.
Honors From A Season Ago
Returning sophomore attacker Will Manny had a decorated freshman season in 2010. Manny was the 2010 CAA Rookie of the Year in addition to being named to Inside Lacrosse's All-Freshman Team. He had a sensationalrookie season. He tallied at least two points in the first 13 games of the season and had a point in all 14 games. He netted five hat tricks on the year and was named CAA Rookie of the Week twice.
Junior midfielder Anthony Biscardi emerged in his first season as a starter on offense and was a CAA Second-Team selection and All-New England Second Teammer. He was second on the team with 35 points and tied for second in goals (21) and assists (14). He had points in 12 of 14 games and at least three points on 10 occasions. He netted hat tricks vs. Harvard and Towson.
In addition to the returnee mentioned above, graduated senior Diogo Godoi was a USILA Third-Team All-American in addition to being a CAA First-Team selection. Fellow classmate Bobby Hayes was a CAA Second-Team pick and All-New England Second Teammer.
Big Winners Over Last 10 Years
UMass has established itself as one of the top programs in the nation. Since 2001, UMass has the eighth-most wins of any program in college lacrosse with 98 victories.
The Minutemen have the ninth-best mark among all teams in the NCAA since 2001 with an 98-52 record for a 65.3 win percentage mark. That includes five seasons with 12 or more wins including a school record 13 wins in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. The Minutemen were second on the list coming into the 2007 season.
Lucky Numbers 10, 11, 13
UMass has won 70 of its last 71 games when scoring 13 goals, after 13-12 win vs. Georgetown. UMass was 3-1 last year when tallying 13 or more.
When scoring 11 goals or morem UMass has won 50 of its last 52 games, a 96.1 win percentage. The Minutemen had at least 11 goals in the first eight games of the 2011 season with a 6-2 record.
UMass had won 45 games in a row when scoring 11 or more goals until falling at Yale, 13-12 on March 5, 2010. The Minutemen also lost to Harvard, 14-13 on March 13, marking the most goals UMass scored in a loss since a 16-15 defeat to Delaware on April 15, 1995. UMass had won 67 games in a row when scoring 13 or more goals.
UMass is 40-3 in its last 43 games when scoring double-figures, (93.0 win percentage) including 8-2 last year and a 5-1 mark in 2009. UMass had won 29 games in a row when scoring 10 or more goals, but that streak was snapped with a 11-10 loss to Hofstra on Feb. 21, 2009. The Minutemen were 29-0 when scoring 10 or more goals from 2004-09. Prior to the loss at Hofstra, the last loss when scoring 10 goals came on May 1, 2004, a 17-10 loss at Syracuse.
UMass On TV Six Times
The UMass men's lacrosse team will play five televised games as part of the school's agreement with CBS 3 Now in Springfield, Mass. The games will be shown throughout Western Mass., on Comcast Channel 293, Charter Channel 230 and on the UMass campus on Channel 79. The first of the five home games to be aired live is the season-opener on Feb. 12 vs. No. 12 Army at 1 p.m. UMass will handle all of the production in-house for the telecasts.
UMass will also play on CBS 3 Now on March 5 vs. Brown at 1 p.m.; March 19 vs. Penn State at 12 p.m., April 16 vs. Drexel at 1 p.m., and April 29 vs. Delaware on April 29 at 7 p.m. The Feb. 26 home game vs. Ohio State will not be shown on CBS 3 Now, due to a conflict with the UMass. women's basketball game.
All six home games will be available online as part of UMass All-Access. Select road games could also be shown on UMass All-Access. Those will be determined closer to the game dates.
In addition to the five games on CBS 3 Now, UMass will play on ESPNU against Hofstra on April 23 as part of the ESPNU Warrior Classic at Renstchler Field, starting at 3 p.m.
UMass Lax Joins Athletes For America
The UMass men's lacrosse team joined forces with Athletes For America last October as the Minutemen players and coaches were all part of a two and a half hour CPR training session hosted by the campus EMTs. The men's lacrosse team is the first UMass team to become part of the AFA, and the athletic department is currently in discussions about how to include the remaining 550 student-athletes into the program.