Men's Lacrosse

#12 UMass To Face #4 UNC In The Southern Showdown

Senior Bobby Tyler had a career-high four assists as UMass defeated Army, 16-9 to open the 2013 season.

Senior Bobby Tyler had a career-high four assists as UMass defeated Army, 16-9 to open the 2013 season.

Feb. 14, 2013

 Men's Lacrosse Game Notes: #12 UMass (1-0 overall) vs. #4 Army (1-0)
 Date/Time Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 | 1 p.m.
 Location KSU Stadium; Kennesaw State University (8,300) | Kennesaw, Ga.
 Live Statistics NeuLion
 Radio Broadcast WHMP 96.9 FM (Play-By-Play: Cody Chrusciel; Commentary: Norm Smith)
 Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader
 Series History North Carolina leads, 2-0 (Last Meeting: North Carolina 12, UMass 7; Feb. 28, 2004)
 Record Books Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | North Carolina
 Social Media @UMassWBB   | @UMassMLacrosse   | Sam The Minuteman
 Ticket Information The Southern Showdown Ticket Sales

In 2013, UMass men's lacrosse...

  • Opened the season with a 16-9 victory over Army, the fourth consecutive year UMass defeated the Black Knights and 13th win over Army all-time.
  • Had a pair of six-point performances against the Black Knights from players recording their first collegiate points in Matt Whippen and Andrew Sokol.
  • Won its season-opener for the fifth consecutive season, dating back to 2008.
  • Notched its sixth straight contest scoring in double-digits dating back to last year.

    In 2012, UMass men's lacrosse...

  • Finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1969.
  • Claimed victory in a single-season program-record 15 contests, extending its regular season win streak to 17 games in the process.
  • Notched the best scoring margin among all NCAA Division-I teams at +5.75.
  • Tallied the third-best scoring defense in the NCAA, limiting opponents to just 7.19 goals per game.
  • Outscored opponents by 92 goals, 207-115 and recorded 175 more points, 344-169.
  • Defeated four ranked opponents: #11 Ohio State, #12 Bucknell, #14 Penn State and #19 Towson.
  • Won in overtime at Penn State, marking the eighth consecutive victory for UMass when the game goes to OT, dating back to the 2007 season.
  • Had six players named USILA All-Americans, including 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist Will Manny.
  • Placed in the top-10 nationally in 10 team categories and seven individual listings.

    North Carolina opened its 2013 campaign at home on Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C., with a 16-8 victory over Air Force on Friday, Feb. 8. The Tar Heels are tied for No. 4 in the nation with Johns Hopkins according to the USILA Coaches Top-20 Poll and are coming off a 2012 season where the squad finished 11-6 overall and 1-2 in the ACC. UNC won both previous meetings with the Minutemen, taking a 12-7 decision on Feb. 28, 2004 and a 12-10 victory on April 29, 1977.

    Marcus Holman, the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week and a 2012 USILA All-American, leads the squad with eight points on a pair of goals and six assists while Jimmy Bitter follows with six points on five goals and an assist. R.G. Keenan and Kieran Burke have each tallied a squad-best seven groundballs after UNC earned a 44-30 advantage in the category against Air Force. Keenan, the main faceoff specialist for the Tar Heels won 11 of the 18 he took against the Falcons while Frankie Kelly finished 6-for-9 with five groundballs vs. AFA.

    Burke is in his first season as the full-time goalie for UNC and made 11 saves while allowing eight goals against the Falcons, facing 34 total shots on the day. Current redshirt-senior Steven Rastivo manned the net last season, starting all 17 games while earning a 10.19 goals-against average and .505 save percentage behind 157 goals allowed in 924:45 in between the pipes with 160 saves.

    Last year, Holman led the squad with 39 goals and 35 assists while Joey Sankey added 22 goals and an equal number of helpers while Bitter finished with 27 tallies and 14 assists. Overall, UNC notched more points that its opponents, 347-286 and secured 241-of-422 faceoffs (.571) while scooping up more groundballs, 598-495.

    The No. 7-ranked UMass men's lacrosse team fell behind early and couldn't get its high-powered offense on track as No. 8-ranked North Carolina defeated the Minutemen, 12-7, at the Calvert Hall School in Baltimore on Feb. 28, 2004. It was the season opener for both teams.

    North Carolina jumped out to a 3-0 lead with 6:44 to play in the first period on junior Mike McCall's second goal of the quarter. After the slow start, the Minutemen seemed to jump-start their offense when senior Neil Lundberg notched UMass' first goal of the year with 4:14 to play in the first stanza. The two teams then traded goals in the second period. McCall completed his hat trick 19 seconds into the second frame for a 4-1 advantage, but Brett Garber netted his first career goal 4:57 into the period. Again, UNC pushed the lead to three at 5-2 following a Scott Falatech goal at 6:04, but Ryan Connolly cut the margin to two goals with a netter with 4:36 to play before halftime, with an assist to freshman Andrew Recchione which was the halftime score.

    But UNC silenced any UMass rally scoring the second half's first three goals for an 8-3 advantage. Chris Doyle gave the Minutemen some hope entering the final quarter with his first goal of the season with just 13 seconds to play in the third stanza to trim the margin to 8-4.

    However, again UNC took its biggest lead of the game just 1:36 into the fourth quarter on a Andrew McElduff goal for a 10-4 advantage. Lundberg, Gene Tundo and Jeff Zywicki netted fourth-period goals for the Minutemen, but UMass could get no closer than five goals in losing the season opener to the Tar Heels, 12-7.

    Junior Matt Whippen produced five goals and an assist while sophomore Andrew Sokol added a trio of tallies and helpers as No. 12 UMass men's lacrosse opened its 2013 season with a 16-9 defeat of Army at Garber Field on Sunday afternoon. Whippen entered competition against the Black Knights without a collegiate goal or assist while Sokol secured a single-game personal best with his six points.

    Senior attack Kyle Smith recorded a goal and three assists for a four-point performance while classmate Bobby Tyler helped on four marks. Freshman Dan Muller chipped in a pair of goals and an assist and Connor Mooney recorded two tallies. Making his first start and appearance with the Minutemen, redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri made seven saves over 58:02 in net.

    UMass and Army exchanged goals over the first quarter, resulting in a 4-4 tie after 15 minutes. The Black Knights got into the scoring column only six seconds into the contest as John Glesener found the back of the net following the game-opening faceoff. The Minutemen answered with Muller's first collegiate goal on an assist from Sokol, with each marking the first collegiate point for Muller and Sokol.

    The trend of Minutemen totaling their first points continued as Whippen fired home an attempt at the 9:58 mark to push UMass into the lead for the first time at 2-1. After Connor Cook and Glesener responded back-to-back to put the Black Knights back in the lead, 3-2, sophomore Sean Cleary totaled his first goal of the season with 3:51 remaining in the quarter to knot the contest at 3-3, with Tyler credited an assist for setting up the play.

    Sokol added his second goal of the game only 58 seconds later, with Kyle Smith finding the sophomore attack during UMass' first man-up situation of the day. However, the lead would only hold until Glesener found Pat Brennan for Army's fourth mark of the game with 1:50 to play in the first.

    The Minutemen dominated the second quarter en route to a 7-5 halftime advantage. Three consecutive goals gave UMass a 7-4 edge, with Whippen's second tally of the day capping the run with 3:47 remaining. Muller ran directly at the goal and fired a low shot at Army goalie Sam Somers' feet, with the ball trickling into the net for the 5-4 lead. Somers was pulled from the net, with Bobby Sincero tapped to take over for the Black Knights following the play.

    However, the goalie swap didn't prevent Sokol from netting his second of the day as he used a shot from the right side of the goal to put UMass in front, 6-4. Tyler fed Sokol to give the Minutemen their first two-goal advantage of the day at the 5:35 mark, with Tyler notching his second assist of the contest in the process.

    After Garrett Thul, the nation's active leader in goals, capped scoring in the first half with 43 seconds remaining in the stanza, the Minutemen reeled off the first four goals of the third quarter to pad the advantage.

    Whippen netted the hat trick on a pass from Kyle Smith before Mooney notched his first tally of the season on Tyler's third helper of the day. Sokol followed with his third assist as K.R. Jurgelevich found the back of the net with 12:10 to play in the quarter. Tyler added a fourth helper 2:44 later as senior attack Will Manny got on the scoreboard with his first mark of the day and the 94th of his UMass career for the 11-5 lead.

    After the Black Knights added a pair of goals to pull within 11-7, Whippen and Sokol matched Army with a tally each to push the lead back to six, 13-7, before Alex Newsome put one in the back of the net for the Black Knights with 2:33 remaining in the third.

    For his fifth mark, Whippen sprinted at the goalmouth from in front and fired a point-blank shot by Sincero with 13:36 to play before Mooney added his second tally on an assist from Kyle Smith to put UMass up, 15-8.

    Alex Van Krevel totaled the final Army goal with 10:11 to play in the contest before the UMass defense, led by senior Jake Smith, locked down to keep the Black Knights out of the scoring column for the remainder of play.

    Kyle Smith closed scoring with an acrobatic diving goal across the crease, firing over Sincero's left shoulder for the 16-9 lead after Whippen found Smith on the left side of the net.

    UMass outshot Army, 47-30, including a 27-16 margin in on-target attempts. The Minutemen caused 17 Army turnovers while only committing 12 and won 15-of-28 faceoffs as junior Joe Calvello was victorious in 14 of the 27 he took. Junior James Fahey won the only faceoff he took while Alex Daly led the Black Knights with a 9-for-18 clip. UMass was flagged with seven penalties totaling four minutes while Army was called for eight spanning six minutes.

    UMass men's lacrosse plays its upcoming contest with the University of North Carolina as a participating team in the Southern Showdown, an annual event held in Atlanta, Ga. The event is aimed at growing the game of lacrosse in the southern portion of the United States and pits a pair of top programs against each other. More information on the Southern Showdown, including ticket information, is available on the event's website:

    Junior midfielder Matt Whippen tallied Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Player of the Week and UMass Co-Athlete of the Week honors on Monday, Feb. 11, in recognition of his explosive play on the attack as the Minutemen downed Army, 16-9 on Sunday. The laurels mark the first of Whippen's career and come after the junior tallied five goals and an assist in the team's season-opening victory at Garber Field.

    Whippen proved instrumental in the Sunday victory, tying with teammate Andrew Sokol with a game-high six points. Whippen recorded his first collegiate point on a goal during the opening quarter to put UMass in the scoring column and knot the contest at 1-1 with 10:49 remaining. Whippen went on to add a trio of goals during the decisive second and third quarters as the Minutemen built a 13-8 lead entering the final stanza. The Chelmsford, Mass., native then secured the initial tally of the fourth quarter before assisting Kyle Smith on the final goal of the game.

    Dating back to the 2012 season, Whippen is the fourth consecutive UMass men's lacrosse player to receive at least a share of the CAA Player of the Week honor, with current-senior Will Manny taking home the final 2012 season award on April 30. He shares the UMass Co-Athlete of the Week award with men's basketball point guard Chaz Williams.

    The Minutemen received high praise from the Colonial Athletic Association and national polls during the 2013 preseason, with the squad expected to challenge for the CAA Title and an NCAA Tournament berth yet again. The CAA picked UMass to win the conference ahead of Penn State (picked 2nd), Drexel and Hofstra (t-3rd), Delaware (5th), Towson (6th) and Saint Joseph's (7th).

    During the announcement, the CAA also recognized senior attack Will Manny as the preseason conference player of the year while tabbing Colin Fleming, Ryan Hollenbaugh and Jake Smith to join Manny on the preseason all-CAA listing.

    Nationally, the Minutemen are featured in each of the major polls, including ranking 12th in the USILA Coaches Ranking and 13th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Top-20.

    Senior attack Will Manny stands among the top offensive performers in the nation as the 2013 season gets underway after a trio of successful seasons at the collegiate level. One game into his senior year, Manny owns 168 points on 94 goals and 74 assists, standing 11th all-time among Minutemen and only three points shy of taking over 10th place from Brendan Glass (1994-97). Nationally, Manny ranks among the most prolific scorers in college lacrosse, placing third for career assists with 73, fifth in consecutive games with at least one goal, at 18, and seventh in goals scored with 94.

    UMass men's lacrosse reached as high as No. 1 in the national rankings while finishing the year with a 15-1 overall record and 6-0 mark in Colonial Athletic Association competition during 2012 en route to CAA Regular Season and Tournament Titles. Prior to the loss to No. 9 Colgate, the Minutemen reeled off 15 consecutive victories during the regular season to mark the first time since 1969 that UMass entered NCAA Tournament with an unblemished record on the year. The string of triumphs included four of USILA Top-20 teams, with wins over #11 Ohio State, 9-3; #12 Bucknell, 11-9; #14 Penn State in overtime, 9-8; and #19 Towson, 14-13.

    Then-junior attack Will Manny finished the campaign as a Tewaaraton Award finalist with 77 points on 44 goals and 33 assists, also taking home USILA First Team All-America and New England and CAA Player of the Year laurels. Classmate Jake Smith also tallied USILA All-America honors along with Anthony Biscardi, Tom Celentani, Art Kell and Tim McCormack while Greg Cannella was named the CAA Coach of the Year.

    UMass entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament as the nation's No. 1 team in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches rankings. The Minutemen were seven points ahead of Loyola and captured 8-of-9 first place votes in the coaches poll. In the media poll, UMass was also seven points in front of Loyola and held 14-of-18 first place votes. The updated poll marked the second straight week and the third time in the previous four that UMass was No. 1 in the country.

    At No. 1 in the April 16 USILA Coaches Poll and No. 2 in the April 16 Media Poll, the UMass men's lacrosse program achieved its highest national ranking ever. Prior to being ranked No. 2 for three weeks (March 27 - April 9), the previous high for a national ranking was No. 3, which the Minutemen did this season, in 2003 and in 2001.

    Will Manny was named one of five finalists for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award, which is given annually to college lacrosse's top individual player. Manny joined Colgate attackman Peter Baum, Duke midfielder C.J. Costabile, Loyola attackman Mike Sawyer, and Virginia attack Steele Stanwick. Manny was just the second Minuteman in program history to be named one of the five finalists. Sean Morris twice earned the honor, doing so in 2005 and 2006.

    The wins over Towson and Drexel in the CAA Championship Tournament marked yet another milestone for the 2012 Minutemen. Not only did the program secure its first-ever CAA Tournament Championship - the 15 victories marked a program record for wins in a season. The previous record was 13, which UMass achieved on four occasions, most recently in 2005 and 2006.

    The 15 wins on the year also tied for the 15th-most in NCAA history. The all-time NCAA record for wins in a season is 18, accomplished by Duke in 2008.

    Garber Field has proven to be one of the toughest home field advantages in all of college lacrosse. Set within the UMass tree-lined campus and adjacent to the historic Curry Hicks Cage, the Minutemen have posted a 72-20 record at Garber since the beginning of the 2002 season. UMass was a scoring machine at home during the 2012 campaign, posting 126 goals (14.0 per game) while allowing just 63 against (7.0 per game) and continued the trend with 16 goals scored against Army while only allowing nine to the Black Knights in the 2013 season-opener.

    UMass has established itself as one of the top programs in the nation. Since 2001, UMass has accumulated the seventh-most wins of any program in college lacrosse with 125 victories. The Minutemen have the seventh-best win mark among all teams in the NCAA since 2001 with a 125-58 record for a 68.3 win percentage mark. This total includes six seasons with 12 or more wins, including a school record 15 victories last year. Nationally, Duke leads the way in most wins (149) while Virginia follows with 147.

    UMass boasted one of the top scoring offenses overall in the country in 2012, but its key trademark is a balance among the trio of Will Manny, Art Kell and Kyle Smith. Manny led the group with a team-high 77 points, while Kell and Smith finished with 53 and 52, respectively. With the dynamic group, UMass was the only team in the country to have three players with 50 or more points in the scoring column.

    The 182 combined points from the trio accounts for 52.9 percent of UMass' total (344) while the trio also holds 110 of UMass' 207 goals scored (53.1).

    An experienced and talented trio of long poles, anchored by goalie Tim McCormack turned in one of the best defensive seasons in program history in 2012. UMass allowed double-figure scoring just three times all season (Colgate, 13 goals; Hofstra, 13; Drexel, 12) while forcing opponents into more turnovers than the Minutemen in 11-of-16 games.

    Of the top-25 point producers in the country, UMass faced nine of them, holding six in the group to two points or fewer in games against the Minutemen. Bucknell's Billy Eisenrich posted six points on three goals and three assists in the Bison's 12-9 loss to UMass, Joe Resetarits had a trio of goals and an assist in Albany's defeat to the Minutemen and eventual Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum had a pair of goals and an assist for No. 9 Colgate during the NCAA Tournament First Round.

    UMass was paced by strong special teams play throughout the 2012 season. With the man-up advantage, the Minutemen converted at a 39.7 percent clip, which ranked 19th in the NCAA. The man-down unit completed phenomenal work over the final seven games allowing opponents to convert just 7-of-46 (15.2 percent) extra-man opportunities. For the season, UMass ranked 4th in the NCAA in man-down defense at 75.9 percent (63-of-83 killed).

    Despite the changes to the lineup, the Minutemen transferred this strength into shutting down a potent offense during their 2013 season-opening contest against Army. UMass limited the Black Knights, including two-time USILA All-American Garrett Thul, to just 1-for-5 (20.0 percent) on man-up opportunities as the Minutemen notched a 16-9 victory.



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