Men's Lacrosse

UMass Begins CAA Competition Against #18 Penn State

Ryan Hollenbaugh scooped up three groundballs and caused a turnover when UMass last faced Penn State, a 9-8 overtime victory in University Park, Pa., on March 17, 2012.

Ryan Hollenbaugh scooped up three groundballs and caused a turnover when UMass last faced Penn State, a 9-8 overtime victory in University Park, Pa., on March 17, 2012.

March 14, 2013

 Men's Lacrosse Game Notes: #19 UMass (3-3 Overall, 0-0 CAA) vs. #18 Penn State (2-3, 0-0)
 Date/Time Saturday, March 16, 2013 | Noon
 Location Garber Field (5,000) | Amherst, Mass.
 Television CBS 3 Now (Comcast 293, Charter 230 & UMass Campus 79)
 Live Video UMass All-Access
 Live Stats GameTracker
 Radio Broadcast WMUA 91.1 FM
 Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Penn State Get Acrobat Reader
 Series History UMass leads, 10-4 [Last Meeting: UMass 9, Penn State 8 (OT); March 17, 2012]
 Record Book Massachusetts | Penn State
 Social Media @UMassAthletics   | @UMassMLacrosse   | Sam The Minuteman
 Ticket Information Call 866-UMASS-TIX (862-7784) for single-game or season tickets.

The Last Meeting
#14 Penn State8OT
March 17, 2012
University Park, Pa.
Fetterly Keeps No. 3 Men's Lax Unbeaten With 9-8 OT Win At Penn State
Mike Fetterly scored 68 seconds into overtime to keep the No. 3 UMass men's lacrosse team undefeated with a 9-8 win at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. The Minutemen trailed Penn State 7-5 going into the fourth quarter, but rallied with three straight goals to end up forcing overtime. The game was the third consecutive to be decided by one goal and the second to go to OT.

In 2013, UMass men's lacrosse...
• 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 year, 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.
• Had six players named USILA All-Americans, including 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist Will Manny.

Penn State enters competition with UMass at Garber Field as the No. 18 team nationally according to the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Coaches Poll with a 2-3 record. The Nittany Lions tested themselves against difficult competition during the opening five games, facing four ranked foes in as many contests since winning the season-opener at Michigan, 11-6. Penn State also defeated No. 9 Denver, 15-12, before suffering consecutive 10-9 overtime losses to No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 16 Ohio State at home. In their most recent game, the Nittany Lions dropped a 12-10 decision at No. 19 Lehigh on Saturday, March 9.

Freshman attack T.J. Sanders paces the squad with 21 points on 18 goals and three assists, including a team-best three man-up tallies. Two additional Nittany Lions have reached double-figures in scoring through five contests, with Jack Forster earning 12 goals and six assists while Shane Sturgis owns 11 marks and a trio of helpers.

Austin Kaut has played all 306:26 in net for the Nittany Lions, giving up 9.79 goals per contest while stopping 48 shots for a .490 save percentage. Danny Henneghan has found success consistently in the faceoff X for Penn State through five games, taking all 118 while winning 70 (59.3 percent) and collecting a team-high 27 groundballs.

Overall on the year, the Nittany Lions have outscored their foes, 54-50 while recording more points 81-79 on more shots, 193-166. Penn State has also notched a positive margin in shots on goal, 164-126, but is trailing foes in shot percentage (.280 to .301).

Last time the squads battled, UMass claimed a 9-8 overtime victory at Penn State on March 17, 2012 to move to 10-4 all-time against the Nittany Lions. The Minutemen are 8-2 over the previous 10 meetings and have won all three contests when both squads are ranked.

Mike Fetterly scored 68 seconds into overtime to keep the No. 3 UMass men's lacrosse team undefeated with a 9-8 win at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday, March 17, 2012. The Minutemen trailed the Nittany Lions, 7-5 going into the fourth quarter, but rallied with three straight goals to force overtime. The game was the third consecutive to be decided by one goal and the second to require extra competition to secure for UMass. The win improved the Minutemen to 7-0 and 1-0 in the CAA, while the Nittany Lions fell to 3-3 and 0-1 in the league.

Fetterly added an assist to finish the game with three points. Will Manny led UMass with three goals, while Kyle Smith and Art Kell each added two tallies. Tim McCormack was solid in goal once again, making 13 saves, including five in the fourth quarter.

Matthew Mackrides led Penn State with three goals and an assist, while Tom LaCrosse added two goals. Austin Kaut made 10 saves in the loss.

UMass trailed Penn State heading into the fourth quarter, but scored three straight goals to take an 8-7 lead after Manny's tally with 6:42 to go. Mackrides answered just over a minute later to tie the game.

McCormack made a pair of saves on the ensuing PSU possession allowing the Minutemen to clear the ball with 3:30 left. UMass was able to get a pair of Colin Fleming shots off, but the Nittany Lions cleared the zone after Kaut saved the second.

Penn State called timeout twice in the final two minutes of regulation, but UMass held the Nittany Lions at bay to force the overtime.

Anthony Toresco won his seventh faceoff of the day to start overtime giving UMass the opening possession. Fetterly's first shot was just wide before finding space past Kaut for the game-winner at the 2:52 mark.

UMass trailed 4-3 after the first quarter, but scored twice in the second to take a 5-4 lead into halftime. Penn State scored three goals in the third and held UMass scoreless to reclaim the lead 7-5 heading into the fourth.

UMass men's lacrosse will have four of its contests this 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), #18 Penn State (March 8) and Drexel (April 13) are slated to air on CBS 3 Now.

Senior attack Kyle Smith recorded a hat trick in a defensive battle at Bucknell; however, the UMass men's lacrosse team was unable to secure the contest, falling to the Bison, 7-4 on Saturday afternoon. Freshman midfielder Andrew Sokol added one goal at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium while junior attack Connor Mooney recorded two points on a pair of assists. Senior attack Bobby Tyler secured one helper for UMass, adding to his team-leading nine assists on the year.

The Minutemen broke the scoreless tie in the second with 13:18 to play in the quarter. Junior midfielder Matt Whippen caused a turnover, scooped up the groundball in the defensive end and sent a pass to Mooney, who raced up-field to clear the play. As Mooney rushed toward the Bucknell net, the junior midfielder found Sokol at the doorstep, with Sokol dropping a bounce shot by Bucknell goalie Kyle Feeney.

Mooney was instrumental in setting up the second Minuteman mark only 3:55 later, with Smith netting the first of three tallies on the day. Mooney rolled around the back of the Bucknell goal and sent a pass to Smith at the crease, with Smith placing an attempt low and into the left side of the net to double the lead. The two-goal advantage held into halftime as the Minutemen stifled a Bison possession that spanned the final 2:40 of the second quarter.

Bucknell cut its deficit in half at the 9:49 mark of the third before evening the contest at two with 8:08 remaining in the quarter on a pair of goals by Thomas Flibotte. The Bison added a tally by Chase Bailey with 5:49 to play in the third to take the lead, 3-2.

However, Smith responded with his second mark of the day with 2:31 left. Tyler sent a pass to Smith in front of the Bucknell goal, with Smith converting the attempt as a trio of Bison defenders knocked the senior to the ground.

With a 3-3 tie entering the fourth, the Bison went ahead, 4-3 on a tally from Sean Doyle before the freshman attack added another for a two-goal advantage with 12:22 remaining in the contest.

UMass responded with a goal in transition following a Bucknell turnover. After the Bison lost a play out of bounds, the Minutemen pushed the ball toward the Bucknell net at a sprint, with sophomore attack Grant Whiteway finding Smith in front for the hat trick.

However, after Smith dropped the deficit to 5-4 following the pass from Whiteway with 8:33 to play, Bucknell notched a pair of goals to end scoring in the contest. Ryan Joseph tallied the sixth Bison mark of the game with 6:22 remaining before Flibotte made it 7-4 at the 1:24 mark.

During the scoreless first quarter, the best Minuteman chance to convert came on their first possession, as Smith found space eight yards from the net and had an attempt deflect off of the crossbar with 13:45 to play. Oliveri notched four saves during the opening stanza to help keep Bucknell without a goal. Oliveri notched a pair of stops during one Bison possession, blocking the first aside on a Peter Burke attempt with 11:23 remaining. After Bucknell recovered the loose ball, Brock Ghelfi tested Oliveri, with the redshirt-freshman turning aside the second on-target attempt at the 10:29 mark.

Bucknell led in shots, 36-25 while the groundball battle was tied at 28-28. Turnovers were also knotted between the squads, 14-14 while the Minutemen finished 12-of-15 on clears and Bucknell went 17-for-23. Junior midfielder Joe Calvello won seven of the 13 faceoffs for the Minutemen. Neither squad converted on a pair of man-up situations each. Feeney ended with 14 saves in net for the Bison.

Mooney added a trio of caused turnovers among 11 created by UMass on the day. A trio of Minutemen led the way with four groundballs in Oliveri, Smith and senior midfielder Brett Tobin.

UMass men's lacrosse redshirt-freshman goalie Zach Oliveri earned his second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Week honor on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (five goals, one assist) and freshman Andrew Sokol (three goals, three 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.

With 50 appearances and 33 starts, senior attack Kyle Smith stands only eight points away from reaching 100 for his collegiate career following a breakout season as a junior. Smith, who leads UMass with 15 points on 10 goals and five assists through six games this year, has secured 92 points on 59 goals and 33 assists with the Minutemen. After finishing with 10 points as a freshman, Smith added 15 more as a sophomore in 2010 before notching 52 on 33 goals and 19 assists last season. Smith would become the second active Minuteman owning at least 100 career points, joining classmate Will Manny, who owns 168.

In his final season with the Minutemen, senior midfielder Bobby Tyler currently leads the squad with nine assists through six games, tied for the most helpers recorded by an individual player in the Colonial Athletic Association with Drexel's Ryan Belka through games on Monday, March 11. Tyler has stepped into an expanded roll in dishing out the ball as a senior, eclipsing his previous single-season career high total of six set as a junior during the March 5 contest at Albany, the fifth game of the season.

After recording a single-game personal-best four assists during UMass' win over Army on Feb. 10, the Hudson, Ohio, native has performed consistently over the following five contests, notching at least one helper in four. Tyler's assists total stands tied for 31st in the nation among all NCAA Division I players.

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, 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 six contests on the current campaign, Smith has 11 groundballs and six caused turnovers while helping limit opponents to 9.47 goals per game.

Despite currently being sidelined with an injury, senior attack Will Manny still 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 and 15th among all NCAA Division I men's lacrosse players in career goals with 94 through games of Sunday, March 10. Manny also ranks tied for eighth in hat tricks recorded, with eight, as of Wednesday, March 6.

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.

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.

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 57 goals scored through six 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, in his first season seeing extended time, is tied for the team lead with 10 goals, chipping in a trio of assists for 13 points. Sokol is even with Whippen in the points column, tallying nine 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 each during the opening four contests.

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 so far this season. 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 34 of the 57 goals (69.6 percent) and 44 of the 87 points (50.6 percent) recorded by the Minutemen. Review the printable notes for a breakdown of scoring by the newcomers and veterans of the Minutemen lineup.

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.

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.

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.

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 67.9 win percentage mark. This total includes six seasons with 12 or more wins, with a school record 15 victories last year. Nationally, Virginia leads the way with 154 wins while Duke follows closely behind with 152. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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