#17 UMass Heads To #11 Harvard For Huge Early-Season Matchup
#17 UMASS (2-1) at #11 HARVARD (2-0)
#17 UMass Heads To #11 Harvard For Huge Early-Season Matchup
The win over the Bulldogs pushed UMass to 17th in the USILA Coaches poll, the highest the squad has been since the beginning of the 2008 season. UMass was ranked as high as No. 14 prior to the loss at Yale on March 2, 2008. The Minutemen play seven teams currently in the top 20: No. 2 Syracuse, No. 9 Hofstra, No. 11 Harvard, No. 12 Georgetown, No. 14 Loyola, No. 18 Brown, and No. 19 St. John's.
Saturday's contest will be broadcast on 91.1 WMUA with a listen live link provided on UMassAthletics.com. Adam Frenier and former UMass All-American Norm Smith will be on the call.
Connolly, Doc Collect Honors
Connolly, the senior from North Andover, Mass., scored a career high seven goals in UMass' 18-6 win over Yale on Saturday. Connolly had the most goals by a UMass player since Jeff Zywicki scored seven against Albany in 2003. Connolly had five goals in the first half alone as UMass built a 12-2 halftime lead against a team that had beaten the Minutemen two years in a row.
Schneider made 14 saves in 54 minutes of action in the win over Yale. Schneider allowed just four goals, equaling the fewest goals he has allowed in a game in his storied career.
Notes From Yale Game
Jim Connolly finished the afternoon with a career-high seven goals, one shy of the school record which is held by three individuals (Larry Treadwell, Tom Malone, and Robert Codignatto). He had already tied his career-high of five goals at halftime. It was also the most goals by a UMass player since Jeff Zywicki had seven in 2003.
The 18 goals were the most scored by the Minutemen since scoring 18 vs. Penn State on Apr. 2, 2005.
The margin of victory (12) was UMass' largest since a 16-4 win over Manhattan on Apr. 9, 2004.
Bobby Hayes set a new career-high with four assists.
Evan Blum had a goal and assist, his third multi-point game in as many games after entering his senior season with only one.
Tim Balise improved his point scoring streak to 10 games dating the last three games of 2008 and first three this year.
Lost in all the offense was Doc Schneider, who only allowed four goals before he was relieved by Mael Walkowiak. The four goals allowed tied a career-best accomplished on three other occasions (at Brown on Mar. 15, 2008, vs. Hofstra on Feb. 23, 2008, and vs. Sacred Heart on Mar. 20, 2007.
The Series With Harvard
UMass has won 12 straight meetings (and 18 of the last 19) away from home in the all-time series. Overall, UMass is 18-3 in games played in Cambridge.
The teams played every year for the past 39 seasons consecutive years, from 1970 to 2008. UMass won eight contests in a row from 1972 to 1979.
The Last Meeting: Harvard 8, UMass 5
The Minutemen tried to cut the deficit late in the game as they scored three of the game's final four goals with tallies by junior Evan Blum, McNichols and junior Tim Balise, with just five seconds left in regulation. But Harvard's scoring burst was just too much early in the second half. The Crimson iced the game as long-pole Sam Slaughter scored on a full-field rush after blocking a shot with 1:41 left in regulation. Harvard scored all four goals in the third quarter to take a 5-2 lead after 45 minutes as Duboe scored two unassisted goals to wrap up the third period. Max Motschwiller tied the game at 2-2 1:04 into the second half. The Crimson took the lead for good on Travis Burr's goal from right on the doorstep as he beat Doc Schneider (Massapequa, N.Y.) to make to 3-2, 3:42 into the second half.
The two combined for 11 of UMass' 18 goals (61%) in last week's win over Yale.
They have combined for 16 of the Minutemen's 43 goals on the year (37%).
Balise has 10 points (6g, 4a) on the year while Connolly has 12 (10g, 2a). They are on pace to combine for over 100 points on the season (103).
The last time two Minutemen have each reached the 50-point plateau was in 2005 when Morris had 69 and Jeff Zywicki added 53.
Schneider A Super Senior
He currently stands in third on the UMass all-time saves list with 577. He passed Tom LoPresti (562) for third with eight saves at Hofstra. Next on the list is No. 2 Don Goldstein (622) from 1976-79. With a good season, he has a chance to finish his career in second on the all-time list, only trailing great Sal LoCascio who recorded an unworldly 931 stops which is the most in NCAA history.
Schneider was named an Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Magazine preseason honorable mention All-American prior to the season. It marks the second All-American honor bestowed upon Schneider. The first came prior to the 2007 campaign after he led the Minutemen to a magical run to the National Championship Game in his freshman year (2006).
In his first three seasons in Amherst, Schneider has been one of the top goalies in UMass lacrosse history. As a true freshman in 2006, he led the Minutemen to a 13-5 record and an appearance in the National Finals after NCAA Tournament wins over Cornell, Hofstra, and Maryland. His stellar 15 save performance against the Terrapins sent the Minutemen into the Title Game where he made 17 saves against an undefeated Virginia squad. For the effort, he was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Also that year, he was named New England Rookie of the Year, along with Inside Lacrosse All-Rookie Team. His 220 saves during his freshman campaign marked the fourth most in UMass.
Balise Named New England Player Of Week After Sacred Heart Win
Balise earns the first Player of the Week award for the regular season after ringing up four points in the Minutemen's season-opening victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday. The senior scored two goals and added two assists in the victory. Balise keyed a 7-0 UMass run in the second half to help the Minutemen pull away from the Pioneers. He factored on two of three goals in the middle of the spurt, assisting on the first and scoring the next two.
UMass-Syracuse Game On CBS College Sports TV
Godoi Named To Preseason All-ECAC Team
In 2005, UMass posted a perfect 8-0 record at home tying its record for best home record without a loss at 8-0, which was set in 1981. It was the first time since 1992 UMass went undefeated at home, as it went 6-0 that season.
Since the start of the 2001 season, UMass is 52-13 at Garber Field, winning 80 percent of the games at the friendly confines.
Big Winners Over Last 8 Years
Lucky Number 11
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. The Minutemen were 29-0 when scoring 10 or more goals over the last six years. 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 To Join CAA In 2010
A realignment of men's lacrosse conferences nationally - spurred by the Big East Conference and Northeast Conference's new sponsorship of the sport - led to the changes in CAA membership. Current members Sacred Heart and Robert Morris will move to the NEC. and Villanova will move to the Big East following the 2009 campaign.