Friday Night Lights! #12 UMass Lax At Yale
#12 UMASS (2-0) at RV YALE (1-0)
Friday Night Lights! #12 UMass At Yale Lax
The Minutemen are chomping at the bit to get back on the field after having their game at Ohio State postponed last Saturday as the team was unable to travel to Columbus due to weather conditions.
UMass stands at 2-0 and ranked No. 12 in the USILA Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Minutemen have picked up a 20-10 win over Hartford and a 15-12 season-opening victory at Sacred Heart.
Yale is 1-0 with a 14-7 win over Holy Cross in their season opener last Saturday at home. The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the latest USILA Coaches Poll.
Under The Lights
UMass has not played a road night game since April 26, 2002 at Syracuse, an 18-10 defeat.
Last season, UMass' NCAA Tournament game at Princeton on May 10, 2009 began at 5 p.m., and finished under the lights, but began in daylight.
Nation's #2 Scoring Team
UMass has scored 15 and 20 in its two wins this season. The 20-goal showing vs. Hartford was the most since 2002.
Familiar Face On Yale Sidelines
The Series With Yale
UMass rebounded from two losses in a row with an 18-6 win last season at home on Feb. 28.
They took the last game in New Haven against the No. 14 Minutemen, 7-4. Two years ago, Yale pulled off a 7-6 win at Garber Field on March 3, 2007. It was just Yale's second-ever win in Amherst and first since 1990, when the Bulldogs reached the NCAA Final Four.
In games played in New Haven, UMass leads 9-4 including a 14-11 comeback victory in 2006.
The teams played 14 consecutive times, from 1983 to 1996, in which the Minutemen were victorious 12 times. UMass won six contests in a row from 1991 to 1996.
UMass has won 11 of the last 15 games.
Last Year Vs. Yale: Feb. 28, 2009
UMass avenged consecutive losses to Yale (7-6 in 2007 and 7-4 in 2008) with its high scoring game in four years since an 18-8 win over Penn State on (4/2/05) and its largest margin of victory +12 since a 16-4 win over Manhattan (4/9/04).
The Minutemen have scored 43 goals in their first three games, the most they have tallied in the first three games of the season since 2001, when they netted 45 in the first trio of action.
The Minutemen got contributions from many different players on both ends of the field in opening a 12-2 halftime lead. Overall, eight different players scored goals including a pair by sophomore Ryan Marcus and single tallies by Ryan Bagnasco, Anthony Biscardi, Evan Blum, Ryan Hantverk and Art Kell, who scored his first-career goal. The defense was equally stout as Schneider equalled his career-best, allowing just four goals.
UMass jumped all over the Bulldogs from the opening whistle as the Minutemen scored the first four goals, all in the first 10 minutes. Yale's Matt Gibson scored to end the run, but Connolly's second of the game gave UMass a 5-1 lead after the first period.
The second quarter was total domination by the Minutemen as they scored seven goals in the period with Connolly scoring three in that period including one with seven-tenths of a second in the fist half for the 12-2 bulge. The Minutemen had a run of eight goals in a row spanning 25 minutes from the second through the fourth quarter. Balise wrapped the spurt with UMass' third-man up goal of the game, 21 second in the fourth quarter, putting the Minutemen up 15-2.
In front of Schneider, the defense was impressive led by starting close defensemen Brennan Mack, Diogo Godoi and Travis Tripucka, making his first-college start. Also, short-stick defensive midfielder Stephen Zorkers scored up three groundballs and caused four turnovers.
Offensive Explosion Early On
Fellow middie junior Anthony Biscardi (4 goals, 4 assists) has eight points (4.0 per game). On attack, sophomore Art Kell has five goals and two assists while CAA Rookie of the Week freshman Will Manny leads the team with five assists to go along with two goals for seven points. Manny's 2.5 assists per game ranks 11th in the NCAA.
20-Goal Outburst Vs. Hartford
The Minutemen jumped out to a 13-7 halftime lead, marking the most goals in a half since that same Rutgers game in 2002. Against the Scarlet Knights, UMass had a 14-goal second half including an 11-goal fourth quarter. Against Hartford, UMass led 8-2 after the first 15 minutes with five goals in the game's first 6:34.
Best Scoring Start in 20 Years With 35 goals in the first two games, UMass has its best offensive start to a season since 1990, when the Minutemen tallied 55 goals in its first two games. In a trip to Arizona, UMass beat the Wildcats, 27-8 and Whittier College, 28-7 in back-to-back games. That was followed up with a 16-15 loss to Cornell, for a total of 70 goals in the first three games.
Last season, UMass opened the season with 25 goals in the first two games and 43 in the first three games after a season-best 18-6 win vs. Yale.
Manny Named CAA Rookie Of The Week
Big Winners Over Last 10 Years
The Minutemen have the ninth-best mark among all teams in the NCAA since 2001 with an 92-46 record for a 66.7 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 Number 11
The streak goes back over the last eight years in 2002 -- meaning the last four senior classes have never lost when scoring 11 or more goals. UMass' last loss when they had more than 11 came in the 2002 NCAA Quarterfinals, a 13-12 loss at Johns Hopkins.
UMass is 34-1 in its last 35 games when scoring double-figures, starting 2-0 this year and a 5-1 mark last year. 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.
Thumbnail Sketch Of The Minutemen
The Minutemen are ranked 12th in this week's USILA Coaches Poll and 16th in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.
Last season, the Minutemen finished 9-6 overall and captured the ECAC Championship with a 6-1 league record. UMass fell to Princeton in the NCAA Tournament First Round, 10-7, in New Jersey.
Head coach Greg Cannella is in his 16th season as head coach at his alma mater. Overall, the 1988 UMass grad has a 133-84 career record, winning more than 61.3 percent of the games he has coached. He ranks among the Top 15 among active coaches in the NCAA in career wins and win percentage.
The Minutemen are beginning play in a new league in 2010, the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). UMass made the move to the league after a national shuffle caused by the formation of the Big East Conference in lacrosse. The Minutemen joined the CAA along with former ECAC member Penn State and will compete in a six-team league along with longtime CAA members Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra and Towson.
Coming into 2010, UMass will have plenty of new faces in key positions. The Minutemen graduated All-Conference players including ECAC Goalie of the Year and Second-Team All-American Doc Schneider (7.43 GAA and 65.3 Save Pct.) along with its two leading scorers in Tim Balise (31 goals, 5 assists for 36 points) and Jim Connolly (39-5=44). Also, graduated were the fourth and fifth leading scorers in Evan Blum (14-8-22) and Rory Pedrick (12-6=18). Overall, UMass returned just 41 goals of its 143 goals from last season, just 28.7 percent. The leading returning scorer is senior captain midfielder Bobby Hayes (12-14=26), who led the team in assists in 2009. Fellow senior captain attackman Ryan Smith is expected to pick up some of the load in his first season as a starter. Sophomore Art Kell was the top rookie scorer a year ago with 11 goals and three assists and will be back to start on attack.
The goalie position will have a new face for the first time in four years as Schneider graduated as one of the all-time greats in UMass history. He finished second in career saves with 753 and is now serving as an assistant coach with the Minutemen. Redshirt sophomore Tim McCormack and freshman Steve Mahle battled for the starting role in preseason camp with McCormack getting the nod to start the year. McCormack redshirted last season to retain three years of eligibility while Mahle was starring at West Genesee High School in upstate New York.
An area with experience heading into 2010 is the close defense, as UMass returns 2009 All-American and 2010 Preseason All-American Diogo Godoi as a senior captain. Godoi will team with returning sophomore Greg Anderson and junior Travis Tripucka. That duo shared starting duties last season along side Godoi and graduated Brennan Mack. Sophomore Tom Celentani has also seen extended playing time on close defense. Junior long-pole Casey Rahn and junior short-stick Stephen Zorkers will also be key to the defense's success.
Godoi A Preseason Second-Team All-American
UMass Picked Second In CAA; Trio Earn Honors
UMass Wins 2009 ECAC Championship
The Minutemen also captured the league crown in 2001, 2002 and 2005. In 2002 UMass also claimed the league's automatic qualifier. The Minutemen lost the tiebreaker to Georgetown in 2001 and in 2005, the league did not have an AQ.
UMass ended in a tie with Loyola atop the ECAC at 6-1, but claimed the crown by virtue of its 8-6 win at Loyola on March 21.
UMass Claims 2009 ECAC Honors