Men's Lacrosse

 
#17 UMass Heads To #11 Harvard For Huge Early-Season Matchup

Starting long-pole Casey Rahn has six ground balls.

Starting long-pole Casey Rahn has six ground balls.

#17 UMASS (2-1) at #11 HARVARD (2-0)
Saturday, March 7, 2009 • 1 p.m.
Cumnock Turf (900) • Cambridge, Mass.
Radio: WMUA 91.1 FM (Adam Frenier & Norm Smith)
Live Video, Audio & Live Stats: UMassAthletics.com

#17 UMass Heads To #11 Harvard For Huge Early-Season Matchup
• Looking to build upon an impressive 18-6 win over Yale on Saturday, the No. 17 UMass men's lacrosse team heads cross state to face the 11th ranked Harvard Crimson at 1 p.m. The Minutemen stand at 2-1 having also defeated Sacred Heart while falling to Hofstra. The Crimson are a perfect 2-0 after pulling off a 9-6 upset win at Duke before dominating Stony Brook, 12-4, last week.

• 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
• On the heels of the dominating win over Yale, senior attacker Jim Connolly was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Week and senior goalie Doc Schneider was the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Connolly was also named the Lax News College Beat Player of the Week and the UMass/Dinn Brothers Athlete of the Week.

• 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.

Well-Rounded Offense
• The Minutemen have had well balanced scoring all season as 12 different players have scored goals. In the 18-6 win over Yale, Ryan Bagnasco and Art Kell netted their first goals of the season (and the first of Kell's career). In the 11-10 loss to Hofstra, the seven first-half goals were scored by seven different players. In the second half, Evan Blum, Rory Pedrick and Joe Reale added their second goals of the game. In the opening win over Sacred Heart, six players scored two goals in the win as Tim Balise also added two assists for four points. Evan Blum, Jim Connolly and Rory Pedrick each added an assist for three-point games. Bobby Hayes and Ryan Marcus also scored twice. It was the first time since April 30, 2005 that UMass had six multi-goal scorers in a game when the Minutemen accomplished the feat in a 14-13 overtime win over Syracuse

Notes From Yale Game
• Last Saturday's offensive outburst against Yale featured a number of notable career highs and near records broken.

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
• The Minutemen hold a 28-11 lead in the all-time series with Harvard. Harvard's 8-5 win last year snapped a three game UMass win streak. The Minutemen are 3-2 in the last five meetings after winning five straight from 1999 through 2003.

• 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
• Harvard scored six consecutive goals to start the second half as the Crimson topped UMass, 8-5 in lacrosse action on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Garber Field. Harvard's Jason Duboe tallied a hat trick including two in the middle of the 6-0 run as the Crimson rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to build a lead as big at 7-2 early in the fourth quarter. Minuteman freshman attacker Peter McNichols scored two goals for UMass for the second week in a row.

• 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.

Timmy and Jimmy Lead The Way
• Seniors Tim Balise and Jim Connolly are forming an impressive duo at attack.

• 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 combined for 100 points in a season was in 2006 when Sean Morris had 72 and Rory Pedrick added 28.

• 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
• Senior goalie Doc Schneider enters his senior season as one of the best stoppers in program history. He has been named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American Team as an honorable mention selection. Schneider was also named to ESPN Quint Kessenich's Preseason Top 5 Goalies.

• 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
• Senior attacker Tim Balise was named the Turfer/New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Week for the week of February 9-15. The first Turfer/NEILA Coaches' Poll had UMass at No. 2, but the Minutemen fell to No. 3 in the second poll after the loss at Hofstra.

• 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
• UMass' home game against Syracuse, being played at McGuirk Stadium, will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports on April 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Godoi Named To Preseason All-ECAC Team
• UMass men's lacrosse redshirt junior defender Diogo Godoi has been named to the preseason All-ECAC team as announced on Thursday. Godoi had the strongest season of his career in 2007 when he scooped up 27 ground balls while causing a team-leading 17 turnovers. He played in all 14 games, starting 12 of them. Gorillas At Home
• Since the 1960s, UMass has been known as the Garber Gorillas in honor of head coach Dick Garber and his first big time recruit from New York, Kevin O'Connor (1967-69). UMass has won 28 of the last 36 games spanning five years, dating back to 2004. UMass finished 3-4 in 2008 after going 4-3 in 2007 and 7-1 in 2006. It won 14 games in a row at home from 2004 through 06.

• 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
• UMass has established itself as one of the top programs in the nation. The Minutemen have the ninth-best mark among all teams in the NCAA since 2001 with an 84-41 record for a 67.2 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
• UMass has won 41 games in a row when scoring 11 or more goals after its 18-6 win over Yale (2/28). Last season, UMass had one game with more than 11 games, a 13-8 win at St. John's. The Minutemen had four wins in 2007 with 11 goals or more, beating Harvard (11-10), Sacred Heart (11-4), St. John's (11-7) and Hobart (17-12). The streak goes back over the last seven years -- 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 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
• The Colonial Athletic Association announced back in June that it will add UMass and Penn State as associate members in the sport of men's lacrosse. beginning with the 2010 season. UMass and Penn State join the University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University and Towson University to form a competitive six-team conference whose champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship.

• 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.

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