March 4, 2013
The Last Meeting
March 6, 2012
In 2013, UMass men's lacrosse...
Is undefeated in its last 16 regular season contests, starting the run with an 11-5 victory over Delaware on April 23, 2011, until falling to Brown in overtime, 9-8 on March 2, 2013.
Started 3-0 for the 16th time in program history and third consecutive season.
Had a pair of six-point performances against 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.
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.
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.
Albany men's lacrosse will feature a 1-2 overall record when the Minutemen travel to John Fallon Field on Tuesday. The Great Danes earned a double-overtime, 16-15 victory at No. 13 Syracuse to open the season on Feb. 17, but have dropped consecutive games to Drexel, 20-19 and Yale, 15-8 since defeating the Orange. Scott Marr is in his 13th season as Albany's head coach and sports a 96-92 record over the span, including a 5-11 finish in 2012. The all-time series between the squads is tied at 6-6 after the Minutemen defeated the Great Danes, 17-7 at Garber Field in Amherst, Mass., on March 6, 2012 during the most recent meeting.
Lyle Thompson paces the squad with 23 points on seven goals and 16 of the team's 28 assists on the year. Ty Thompson follows with eight goals, the most by a Great Dane, and a pair of assists for 10 points, while Miles Thompson adds eight points on five tallies and a trio of helpers. Lyle and Miles are brothers while Ty is the sibling's cousin.
Blaze Riorden has played all 184:57 minutes of action in net for Albany through three contests, giving up 50 goals for an average of 16.22 allowed per game. Riorden has stopped 37 shots to earn a .425 save percentage. Kevin Glueckert serves as the faceoff specialist for the Great Danes, winning 46-of-100 attempts (46.0 win percentage) while pacing the squad with 15 groundballs. Glueckert has taken all but one faceoff for Albany, with Doug Eich going 0-for-1.
The Great Danes have been outscored, 50-43 while opponents own more points on the year, 80-71. Foes also lead in groundballs, 104-95 and faceoff victories, 55-46 while shots are tied at 140. Albany has outplayed its opposition during the opening half, 22-18; however, following the break, foes lead in tallies, 32-21.
LAST TIME VS. ALBANY
Led by three goals by Art Kell and Kyle Smith, the No. 5 UMass men's lacrosse team ran past Albany, 17-7 at Garber Field on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Nine different Minutemen tallied goals for UMass, which outshot the Great Danes, 52-26 for the game.
Kell and Smith also added a pair of assists to their three goals giving each a game-high five points. Steve D'Amario, Anthony Biscardi, Will Manny, and Sean Cleary all tallied a pair of goals as well.
Albany was led by Joe Resetarits who had three goals and an assist in the game. Miles Thompson netted a pair of goals, while Lyle Thompson scored a goal and added two assists.
Tim McCormack picked up his fifth win of the season, making 11 saves while adding his cause with an assist. Reed Goodhue closed out the final 4 minutes, 37 seconds, making one save.
John Carroll took the loss for the Great Danes making 11 saves while allowing 16 goals. Max Huber played the final 4 minutes, 37 seconds for Albany, allowing one goal.
UMass' shot advantage was aided by winning 21-of-25 faceoffs, led by Anthony Toresco's 11-for-11 performance. Toresco also had a game-high nine groundballs, which was tied with fellow faceoff man Greg Rushing, who was 4-for-5 on the day.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 6-0 lead, holding Albany scoreless until the 4:27 mark of the first quarter. Anthony Biscardi notched his set of goals in the first 7 minutes, 39 seconds of play, while Kell sandwiched a man-up and a man-down goal around a D'Amario unassisted strike.
The second quarter was again dominated by UMass as the Minutemen picked up two goals from Smith, including his tally at the 3:54 mark, which put UMass up 9-1.
Cleary scored his first collegiate goal with 62 seconds left in the second quarter giving UMass a 10-2 lead at halftime.
The Great Danes scored two of the first three goals to start the third period, but UMass closed strong with three straight goals in the final five minutes. Smith capped the run with his third of the day with 19 seconds to go.
COMING TO YOU LIVE FROM...
UMass men's lacrosse will have four of their contests on the 2013 season featured on television, with three being broadcast on CBS 3 Now and one more appearing on ESPNU. The Minutemen will appear on the ESPN family of channels when UMass heads to Lehigh on March 20 while contests against Army (Feb. 9), Penn State (March 8) and Drexel (April 13) are slated to air on CBS 3 Now.
MOST RECENT: UMASS FALLS TO BROWN, 9-8 IN OVERTIME
Brown University scored the final three goals of the fourth quarter and netted the winning tally in overtime to defeat No. 5 UMass, 9-8 at Garber Field on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway earned his first collegiate hat trick with a trio of goals against the Bears while redshirt-freshman goalie Zach Oliveri tallied 15 saves in net for the Minutemen (3-1 overall). The loss marks the first regular season defeat for UMass since April 23, 2011, against Hofstra, a stretch of 16 consecutive victories.
Entering overtime tied at eight, Joe Calvello gave UMass the ball with one of the junior's 17 faceoff victories in 20 attempts against Brown. The Minutemen held possession for the first 1:10, until a turnover gave Brown's Sam Ford an opportunity to clear the play and find Daniel Mellynchuk for the game-winner.
The Minutemen recorded back-to-back goals in the fourth quarter to earn an 8-5 lead with seven minutes left in regulation. Freshman attack Sean Cleary was unassisted in putting UMass ahead by two with 8:17 remaining while Whiteway followed only 1:06 later to complete the sophomore's hat trick. However, the Bears responded with three goals in 3:49 minutes of play to tie the game and force overtime.
Brown struck first in the game, taking a 1-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first quarter during a man-up situation. However, UMass answered only 52 seconds later to even it at one each, as senior attack Kyle Smith found junior midfielder Matt Whippen for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Whiteway pushed UMass ahead for the first time on the day with 4:08 to play in the first, doing so unassisted.
The Bears were able to put two unanswered goals on the board in the second quarter to take a 3-2 lead into the break. Sam Hurster tied it up at 2-2 and Mellynchuk recorded Brown's third tally of the day with six seconds left in the second quarter.
The UMass offense controlled play during the third quarter, outscoring the Bears, 4-1 on the strength of a goal each by four different Minutemen. Junior attack Connor Mooney slotted a pass to Whiteway before the sophomore attack found the back of the net to even the score at 3-3 with 8:52 left in the third. After Henry Blynn responded for the Bears, UMass used three goals in 92 seconds to move ahead, 6-4.
Freshman attack Andrew Sokol started the run with his seventh tally of the season on a pass from Whippen with 2:34 left. Calvello won the ensuing faceoff and sprinted into the offensive zone with possession, placing an attempt by Brown netminder Jack Kelly for his first collegiate goal, only six seconds later. Mooney added his second point of the day with the junior's lone goal to close scoring in the third with UMass ahead, 6-4, at the 1:02 mark.
Kylor Bellistri netted a hat trick for the Bears during the fourth, scoring all three in succession to force overtime, while Alex Jones notched the first Brown goal of the final quarter.
The Bears outshot UMass, 46-30 while the Minutemen earned the edge in groundballs, 30-18. UMass finished 13-of-16 on clears while Brown went 17-for-19. Each team recorded one man-up tally in three attempts. Kelley finished with eight saves in net for the Bears.
OLIVERI EARNS SECOND CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK LAUREL
UMass men's lacrosse redshirt-freshman goalie Zach Oliveri earned his second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Week honor on Monday afternoon. Oliveri takes home the laurel following an eight save performance at Harvard, during which the Minutemen held the Crimson to six goals for the victory.
Oliveri helped UMass to its third win of the season with three saves during the second quarter as the Minutemen built a 6-2 lead on the strength of four consecutive goals. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native also stopped a trio of attempts during the initial stanza and added two more in the fourth as UMass fought off Harvard's late rally attempt. Oliveri has the highest save percentage in the CAA through three weeks, notching a .583 mark with 35 stops against 25 goals allowed.
Oliveri was also named co-rookie of the week by the conference on Feb. 18, sharing the honor with Hofstra's Sam Llinares, who scored four goals against Sacred Heart.
MINUTEMEN WIN DEFENSIVE BATTLE AT HARVARD, 8-6
A balanced attack that featured seven Minutemen combining to net eight goals sent UMass men's lacrosse past Harvard during the Crimson's home-opener, 8-6 at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 23. Junior midfielder Matt Whippen led the Minutemen with a pair of goals while junior attack Connor Mooney and sophomore attack Grant Whiteway notched two points on one tally and an assist each. Redshirt-freshman goalie Zach Oliveri earned eight saves in net to secure his third win in as many starts.
Freshman midfielder Andrew Sokol netted the eventual game-winner during the third quarter, staking UMass to a 7-3 lead with 12:32 remaining in the stanza. Sokol keyed in from 10 yards away completing the play despite being checked to the turf during his shot. Whippen closed scoring for UMass following a pass from Mooney to extend the advantage back to three in the fourth, 8-5 with 5:36 to play.
Senior attack Kyle Smith, senior midfielder K.R. Jurgelevich and sophomore attack Sean Cleary also contributed a goal each to the team effort. The Minutemen defense, led by starters Jake Smith, Ryan Hollenbaugh and Kyle Karaska, forced 17 Harvard turnovers.
OLIVERI NETS A PAIR OF WEEKLY HONORS
Redshirt-freshman goalie Zach 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.
#12 UMASS EARNS COMEBACK WIN OVER #4 UNC
Down 11-8 to No. 4 North Carolina entering the final quarter, the UMass men's lacrosse team used four unanswered goals to secure a 12-11 come-from-behind victory in the Southern Showdown at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., on Saturday, Feb. 16. Senior attack Kyle Smith and junior attack Connor Mooney paced the offense with four points on three goals and an assist each. Redshirt-freshman goalie Zach Oliveri stopped 18 shots in net, including four during the final stanza when the Minutemen kept the Tar Heels off the board.
Freshman midfielder Andrew Sokol pulled UMass back within one with back-to-back goals to start the fourth, the seventh time on the contest that the Minutemen were within one of tying. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway added the tying mark, one of his two tallies against the Tar Heels, on an attempt at the crease, completing the play while being knocked to the ground. Junior midfielder Matt Whippen added a goal and an assist while sophomore attack Sean Cleary notched one mark while senior midfielder Bobby Tyler added one helper.
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 Zach Oliveri stopped nine shots in between the pipes to record his first collegiate victory in his first appearance and start for the Minutemen.
NEILA NAMES TRIO TO PRESEASON LISTING
The New England Interscholastic Lacrosse Association (NEILA) selected three Minutemen for the organization's preseason all-Division I listing on Monday afternoon. Seniors Colin Fleming, Will Manny and Jake Smith were among those highlighted from across New England, with Manny being named the Player of the Year while all three were featured on the All-NEILA Team.
Manny had a goal during the season-opener against Army and entered 2013 ranking 11th all-time on the UMass scoring list with 167 points on 93 goals and 74 assists. Manny suffered a broken thumb prior to the Minutemen's victory over North Carolina and was unable to compete in the win over the No. 4 nationally ranked Tar Heels.
Fleming, who was drafted into Major League Lacrosse with Manny and Smith during the 2013 preseason, finished fourth in goals and points on the Minutemen squad last year, finishing with 26 tallies and eight assists for 34 points. The 6-foot-6 senior from Bryn Mawr, Pa., entered his senior campaign with 56 career points on 42 goals and 14 helpers.
In his third year as a starter on defense, Smith began 2013 with 31 starts in 37 total appearances and had scooped up 53 career balls while causing 37 turnovers during his first three seasons with the Minutemen. Through four contests on the current campaign, Smith had eight groundballs and four caused turnovers while helping limit opponents to 8.70 goals per game.
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.
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.
"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.
MANNY AMONG NATION'S OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Despite currently being sidelined with an injury, 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. 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 through games on Sunday, March 3 and tied for eighth in career hat tricks (16) and 10th in goals scored with 94 as of competition on Thursday, March 3.
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 Zach Oliveri debuted with the Minutemen against Army and garnered praise from across the lacrosse world for his 18 saves against No. 4 North Carolina the following week, helping lead UMass to a 12-11 come-from-behind victory. Standing in front of Oliveri, freshmen James Fahey and Kyle Karaska have split time on close defense, helping limit opponents to just 35 goals scored through four games.
The midfield has spearheaded the offensive charge due in part to the success of junior Matt Whippen, sophomore Andrew Sokol and freshman Dan Muller. Whippen leads the squad with nine goals, chipping in a pair of assists for 12 points. Sokol is close behind Whippen with 11 points, tallying seven goals and four assists, while 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 four goals so far, recording one in each contest.
YOUNG GUNS II
With the absence of seniors Will Manny and Colin Fleming due to injury, new faces to the lineup have stepped into expanded roles up front, leading the squad to three victories to open the year. Playing alongside veterans in senior attack Kyle Smith, junior attack Connor Mooney and senior midfielders K.R. Jurgelevich and Bobby Tyler, players with less than two full seasons in the lineup own 28 of the 44 goals (63.6 percent) and 38 of the 68 points (55.9 percent) recorded by the Minutemen.
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 PLACED ON 2013 TEWAARATON AWARD WATCH LIST
Will Manny was named one of 67 nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award and one of five hailing from the Colonial Athletic Association, as announced by the foundation responsible for issuing the laurel on Feb. 22. Manny, a 2012 finalist for the honor, entered the campaign three points shy of joining the UMass men's lacrosse top-10 for the category, with 167 on 93 goals and 74 assists. The Massapequa, N.Y., native, who was also named the CAA and NEILA Preseason Player of the Year, is currently sidelined with a thumb injury but is expected to return later this season.
UMASS SETS SINGLE-SEASON WINS RECORD
The wins over Towson and Drexel in the CAA Championship Tournament marked yet another milestone for the 2012 Minutemen as the 15 victories marked a single-season program record. The previous mark 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 72-21 record at Garber since the beginning of the 2002 season (77.4 win percentage). 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.
When playing at Garber Field, the Minutemen have held opponents to fewer than 10 goals in a game during 12 of the previous 13 home contests ending in regulation, with the lone game allowing more than single-digits was UMass' thrilling triple-overtime victory, 11-10 vs. Drexel on April 16, 2011. The last time the Minutemen gave up at least 10 goals against in a regulation contest at home was during the 2012 CAA Tournament Championship Game, an 18-12 victory over Drexel on May 5. Prior to that contest, it had not happened since a 10-9 loss to Towson on April 10, 2010.
ALL WE DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN
The University of Massachusetts has established itself as one of the top programs in the nation, and since 2001, UMass has accumulated the seventh-most wins of any program in college lacrosse with 127 victories and a 68.6 win percentage mark. This total includes six seasons with 12 or more wins, including a school record 15 victories last year. Nationally, Virginia leads the way with 152 wins while Duke follows closely behind with 151. The Minutemen are the only squad from the Colonial Athletic Association ranking among the top eight nationally and have averaged more than 11 wins per campaign during the span.
In defeating Penn State, 6-5 during overtime on March 31, 2007, the Minutemen started off an eight-game win streak when the contest is tied at the end of regulation. The run of eight straight victories included a thrilling three-OT win over Drexel, 11-10 on April 16, 2011 and a 9-8 decision over No. 14 Penn State to improve to 7-0 on March 17, 2012. Overall, dating back to the 2006 season, the Minutemen have won nine of 11 games requiring extra minutes.
UMASS 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 accounted for 52.9 percent of UMass' total (344) while the trio added110 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.
THE SPECIAL TEAMS 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.