Men's Lacrosse

 
No. 5 Minutemen Prepare For Competition At Harvard

Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway had the game-tying goal against #4 North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 16 as part of his first collegiate multi-tally performance.


Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway had the game-tying goal against #4 North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 16 as part of his first collegiate multi-tally performance.

Feb. 21, 2013

 Men's Lacrosse Game Notes: #5 UMass (2-0 overall) at Harvard (0-0)
 Date/Time Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 | 1 p.m.
 Location Soldiers Field Stadium (2,500) | Cambridge, Mass.
 Live Video Harvard Game Central
 Live Statistics Presto Sports Primetime
 Radio Broadcast WMUA 91.1 FM
 Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Harvard
 Series History UMass leads, 30-13 (Last Meeting: UMass 16, Harvard 8; March 27, 2012)
 Record Books Massachusetts | Harvard
 Social Media @UMassWBB   | @UMassMLacrosse   | Sam The Minuteman

The Last Meeting
Harvard8
Massachusetts16
March 27, 2012
Amherst, Mass.
No. 2 Men's Lax Perseveres Over Harvard, 16-8
The No. 2 UMass men's lacrosse team was finally able to break through the Harvard Crimson on Tuesday night with a 16-8 victory at Garber Field, improving to 8-0 on the season. The Minutemen came into the contest having lost three of the last four against Harvard, but were able to break that streak with the team's third largest margin of victory thus far in 2012.

QUICK HITS
In 2013, UMass men's lacrosse...
• Started 2-0 for the 24th time in program history and fourth consecutive season.
• Had a pair of six-point performances against the Army from players recording their first collegiate points in Matt Whippen and Andrew Sokol.
• Defeated a top-5 nationally ranked opponent in #4 North Carolina for the 13th time in program history.
• Won its season-opener for the fifth consecutive season, dating back to 2008.
• Notched its seventh 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.

SCOUTING HARVARD
Harvard men's lacrosse will open its 14-game regular season schedule for 2013 with a home meeting against the University of Massachusetts, adding another chapter to the perennial in-state rivalry between the programs. The Minutemen took last year's contest between the squads at Garber Field, 16-8 on March 27, 2012, and have won 30 of the 43 meetings to-date. UMass owns a strong advantage in games played at Harvard, drawing victory in 19 meetings while only falling four times to the Crimson, though UMass lost the last outing in Cambridge, Mass., on March 29, 2011, after winning 13-straight dating back to 1985. Chris Wojcik is in his third year as the head coach of Harvard, sporting a 16-16 overall record through two years, which is supported by a 10-6 campaign in his first year leading the program in 2011.

The Crimson graduated two of their top three point-scorers in 2012, with team-leader Jeff Cohen (48 goals, 8 assists, 56 points) and Kevin Vaughan (17, 19, 36), who notched the third-highest total, gone. Harvard will rely on strong years from Daniel Eipp, who notched 42 points on 24 goals and 18 assists as a sophomore in 2012 and freshman Will Walker, who added 15 goals and six assists during his first collegiate campaign.

Jake Grambitsky and Harry Krieger split time in goal for Harvard during 2012, accumulating 818:53 of a possible 841:23 between the piped. Grambitsky, a freshman, played nearly 470 mintues over nine contests, making seven starts on the year. Grambitsky averaged 10.61 goals allowed per game with a .471 save percentage and 3-4 overall record. Kreiger allowed 8.42 tallies per game with a .510 save percentage in eight appearances and six starts. Kreiger won two contests against four losses and enters his senior season in 2013.

Despite their 6-8 overall record last year, Harvard finished with positive margins in goals (145-137), assists (75-74) and points (220-211), while also recording a lead in groundballs, 400-373 and faceoffs won, 185-147.

LAST TIME VS. HARVARD
The No. 2 UMass men's lacrosse team was able to break through the Harvard Crimson defense on Tuesday, March 27, with a 16-8 victory at Garber Field, improving to 8-0 on the 2012 season in the process. The Minutemen came into the contest having lost three of the last four against Harvard, but were able to snap that streak with the team's third-largest margin of victory on the campaign.

Will Manny paved the way for head coach Greg Cannella's squad with a game-high five goals, while dishing out two assists. Art Kell scored four times and Anthony Biscardi added a hat trick towards the UMass effort. Mike Fetterly was unselfish with a team-high three assists.

Play was back and forth throughout the first half, as UMass opened the first 15 minutes of play with two goals by Kell and Manny. The second stanza was much like the first, with UMass coming away with a 4-2 goal advantage on scores by Biscardi and Bobby Tyler.

It was not until the second half that the Minutemen extended their lead beyond four goals. Steve D'Amario and Kell reeled off consecutive tallies, six minutes into the final 30 minutes of play to make it 11-4.

The Crimson would not go away quietly, scoring twice in the third quarter and twice in the fourth. The final quarter of play was dominated by the Minutemen with a 4-2 goal advantage, including the first four of the quarter.

Alex White was a bright spot for Harvard with three goals, as the Minutemen held the Crimson's leading scorer coming into the contest, Jeff Cohen, to just one tally.

UMass won the ground battle with a 28-23 advantage on groundballs. The Minutemen were 15-of-27 on faceoffs and 1-for-2 on extra man opportunities. Tim McCormack was rock solid in between the pipes, stopping 11 Harvard shots.

MOST RECENT: FOURTH QUARTER EARNS #12 UMASS 12-11 WIN OVER #4 NORTH CAROLINA
Playing at Kennesaw State University's KSU Stadium in the Southern Showdown, No. 12 UMass men's lacrosse used a four-goal fourth quarter to propel the team to a 12-11 victory over No. 4 North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Senior attack Kyle Smith and junior attack and midfielder Connor Mooney paced the offense with four points each on three goals and one assist a piece. Redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri stopped 18 shots in net, including four during the final quarter when the Minutemen outscored the Tar Heels, 4-0 to secure the come-from-behind win.

Sophomore midfielder Andrew Sokol recorded three points on two goals and one helper, with his pair of tallies coming back-to-back during the decisive fourth quarter. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway added a pair of goals, his first of the season, while junior midfielder Matt Whippen secured one mark and an assist. UMass played without senior attack Will Manny, who suffered a hand injury and was unable to dress for the contest.

The final goal of the game went on to become the decisive tally, with Mooney recording his third mark of the day on the play. Mooney rolled around the left side of the goal from the back of the cage and stopped at the crease, jumping into the air while placing a shot into the lower-right corner of the goal for the 12-11 lead with 3:18 to play in the contest.

After North Carolina had a pair of tying attempts go wide of the net in the span of 13 seconds, beginning with 2:35 left to play, the Minutemen kept possession away from its defensive zone until the final seconds of the contest. Following a UMass turnover near midfield, North Carolina's Greg McBride scooped up the loose ball and sprinted toward the UMass goal. McBride sent a last-second game-tying attempt on-frame, with Oliveri adjusting to the shot to record his final save of the day and secure the win.

North Carolina notched the opening pair of goals, one during a man-up situation, before the Minutemen connected to cut the deficit in half. Sean Cleary tallied the first UMass goal unassisted, fighting his way toward the crease before placing a shot by Tar Heels goalie Kieran Burke for the sophomore's second mark of the season.

North Carolina and UMass traded tallies through the remainder of the first quarter. After Jake Matthai earned a goal for the Tar Heels with 5:55 to play, Kyle Smith answered for UMass with his first tally of the day and second of the season to pull the Minutemen within 3-2 with 2:17 remaining in the opening quarter.

Marcus Holman, a two-time USILA All-American, extended the North Carolina lead back to a pair with 23 seconds remaining in the first. However, Kyle Smith found the back of the net only one minute into the second stanza, following a pass from senior midfielder Bobby Tyler, to cut the UNC lead back down to one, 4-3.

T.J. Kemp & Bitter recorded back-to-back tallies for the Tar Heels to push the lead to 6-3 for UNC before Whippen, the reigning CAA Player of the Week, added a tally for the Minutemen. Whippen spun off of his marking defender, rolled to the right and sent an attempt into the left side of the goal with 8:05 to play in the half for his sixth goal of the year.

Davey Emala sent a shot by Oliveri to extend the lead back to three, 7-4 with 1:38 left in the second, an advantage that held through the break before the Minutemen attack responded during the opening minutes of the third. Kyle Smith secured the hat trick, the eighth of his UMass career, by racing in front of the net from the side of the goal before extending his arms and dropping a shot by Burke.

With the 30-second stall warning active, the Minutemen again dropped the UNC lead to just one goal, 7-6, as Mooney earned his first tally with 5:35 remaining. To create the play, Mooney sprinted to his right and fired an attempt into the top-left corner of the goal.

The North Carolina offense answered with a tally from Chad Tutton at the 4:11 mark to extend the Tar Heels lead to 9-7, but Mooney responded with his second goal of the day to earn the Minutemen their eighth tally.

Kyle Smith found Mooney in front of the net, with the junior from Wilbraham, Mass., one-timing an attempt by the outstretched arms of Burke. However, the UNC offense recorded the final two goals of the third quarter on shots by Spencer Park and Holman to send UMass into the fourth trailing, 11-8.

Sokol pulled the Minutemen back within one goal of tying for the seventh time on the day with back-to-back conversions over a span of 1:36, using a leaping attempt following a pass from Whippen to secure the first with 14:01 to play in the contest. After junior Joe Calvello won the faceoff following the goal and Whippen fired an attempt wide, Sokol dodged a defender at the right side of the net and shifted to his left while placing a hard shot into the back of the net with 12:25 to play for UMass' 10th tally.

The squads exchanged possessions over the following eight minutes of play before the Minutemen added the game-tying goal at the 4:16 mark. Whiteway controlled play behind the net and raced around the left side, converting a shot while being knocked to the ground in front at the crease to even the score at 11-11.

North Carolina tallied a 43-38 advantage in shots while the Minutemen scooped up 39 groundballs to 38 for the Tar Heels. UMass finished 18-for-22 on clears to a 12-for-13 clip for UNC. The Tar Heels won the faceoff battle, taking 15-of-28, while Burke finished with 12 saves for North Carolina. Calvello won 12 of the 26 faceoffs the junior took against the Tar Heels. Redshirt-sophomore Ryan Izzo notched a career-high seven groundballs while Tyler also set a single-game personal-best in the category with six scooped up on the day.

OLIVERI NETS A PAIR OF WEEKLY HONORS
Redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri took home a pair of laurels following a stalwart performance in net for the Minutemen against No. 4 North Carolina, stopping 18 shots to earn Co-CAA Player of the Week and Co-UMass Athlete of the Week for his efforts. Oliveri's biggest save came on a potential game-tying attempt as time expired against the Tar Heels, as the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native deflected an attempt by Greg McBride at the buzzer to seal the 12-11 victory. Oliveri shares the CAA honor with Hofstra's Sam Llinares while being joined by women's track and field star Becca Stoyle as co-honorees by UMass.

UMASS OPENS 2013 WITH 16-9 VICTORY OVER ARMY
The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team kicked off the current season with a 16-9 decision over Army at Garber Field on Sunday, Feb. 10. Delayed one day do to severe winter weather in the Northeast, the Minutemen recorded six-point games from junior Matt Whippen (5 goals, 1 assist) and freshman Andrew Sokol (3 goals, 3 assists) to help secure the victory. Senior K.R. Jurgelevich notched the eventual game-winner in the third quarter and redshirt-freshman goalie Zachary Oliveri stopped nine shots in between the pipes to record his first collegiate victory in his first appearance and start for the Minutemen.

WHIPPEN TAKES HOME CAA, UMASS LAURELS
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 last season, Whippen was the fourth consecutive UMass men's lacrosse player to receive at least a share of the CAA Player of the Week honor, with now-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.

"GARBER'S GORILLAS" EXPLAINED
For the past 48 years, the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team has held the unofficial nickname of "Gorillas." In 1965, UMass took in its first high-profile recruit, Kevin O'Connor, from New York. His girlfriend, poking a bit of fun at the relatively diminutive size of the Minutemen players at the time, drew a picture of a gorilla donning a lacrosse helmet with a stick in its hand. The art major and members of the team made stickers of the newly adopted moniker and put them everywhere, including their helmets. Thus, the nickname, "Garber's Gorillas" and style of play, "Gorilla Lacrosse" were born.

MINUTEMEN RECEIVE PRESEASON RECOGNITION
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.

MANNY AMONG NATION'S OFFENSIVE LEADERS
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. While sidelined with a thumb injury, 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, tied for fifth in career hat tricks (18) and tied for seventh in goals scored with 94.

STEPPING INTO THEIR OWN
With the graduation of 11 seniors from last year's squad, the 2013 Minutemen lineup has featured new faces making immediate impacts for UMass. Beginning between the pipes, redshirt-freshman Zachary Oliveri debuted with the Minutemen against Army and garnered praise from across the lacrosse world for his 18 saves against No. 4 North Carolina, helping lead UMass to a 12-11 come-from-behind victory. Freshmen James Fahey and Kyle Karaska have split time on close defense, helping limit opponents to just 20 goals scored through two games.

The midfield has spearheaded the offensive charge due in part to the success of juniors Matt Whippen and Connor Mooney, sophomore Andrew Sokol and freshman Dan Muller. Whippen leads the squad with six goals, chipping in a pair of assists for eight points. Sokol is pacing the Minutemen with nine points, tallying five goals and four assists, while Mooney had a four-point performance that included the game-winner against No. 4 North Carolina. Muller broke into the lineup against Army and registered a pair of goals and an assist for three points against the Black Knights. On the attack, sophomore Sean Cleary has established himself as a legitimate scoring threat with a pair of goals in only three shots on the year.

2012 SEASON RECAP
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.

FIRST AND FOREMOST
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.

MANNY EARNS 2012 TEWAARATON FINALIST NOD
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.

UMASS SETS WINS RECORD
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.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!
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.

ALL WE DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN
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 126 victories. The Minutemen have the seventh-best win mark among all teams in the NCAA since 2001 with a 126-58 record for a 68.5 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 (150) while Virginia follows with 148.

OFFENSIVE TRIO ONLY GROUP TO REACH 50 POINTS IN NCAA
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).

LOCKDOWN DEFENSE
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.

SPECIAL TEAMS MAKING AN IMPACT
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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