March 16, 2014
The Last Meeting
April 21, 2009
Midfielders Lead #15/16 Men's Lax To Crucial 12-6 ECAC Win At Fairfield
Behind a 7-0 second half run, the UMass men's lacrosse team turned a slim 5-4 lead into a convincing 12-4 advantage on its way to a 12-6 victory on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Five Minutemen (8-4, 5-1 ECAC) finished with multi-goal games, including a trio of midfielders, Evan Blum (3 goals), Bobby Hayes (2), and Rory Pedrick (2), who combined for seven of the 12 goals. Doc Schneider stood tall with 12 saves, including seven straight as part of the run that spanned 22:45. With a win at Rutgers during the regular season's final weekend, the Minutemen would clinch their first ECAC Conference Title since 2005. Sandwiched between that contest is Saturday's huge nonconference tilt vs. defending National Champion Syracuse at 1:30 p.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
Last Meeting: #15 Massachusetts 12, Fairfield 6; April 21, 2009
Behind a seven-goal second half run, UMass turned a slim lead into a convincing advantage on its way to a 12-6 victory on Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Five Minutemen finished with multi-goal games, including a trio of midfielders in Evan Blum (3), Bobby Hayes (2) and Rory Pedrick (2). Doc Schneider stood tall with 12 saves, including seven consecutive as part of the run that spanned 22:45.
The hat trick for Blum marked a career-high while the two goals for Hayes and Pedrick each tied personal-bests. Tim Balise and Jim Connolly added two goals apiece. The Minutemen were remarkably efficient, with their 12 goals coming on only 24 shots. The 22:45 scoring streak marked the second straight game the defense kept its opponent scoreless for over 20 minutes of play.
Chris Ajemian cut the score to 5-4 in favor of UMass at 10:18, but Pedrick answered for a two-goal cushion. Blum added a bounce shot for his second goal of the game at 6:28 and just like he did in the third quarter, Balise scored another man-up goal low and inside the far post early in the fourth for an 8-4 advantage.
All Home Contests Available On UMass All-Access
UMass will have each of its six home games broadcast online. A link will be accessible in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer can purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.
WMUA 91.1 FM To Broadcast Men's Lacrosse
All but one of the Massachusetts men's lacrosse contests during the 2014 campaign will be broadcast live on WMUA 91.1 FM. Fans can listen in through the FM radio station locally or catch the game via the online live streaming app, which is free of charge and linked in each game preview.
Scouting Fairfield Men's Lacrosse
Fairfield men's lacrosse has won four of its opening six games played during the 2014 season, which includes victories over Delaware, Manhattan, Stony Brook and Yale and a loss each to common opponents Hofstra and Providence. Andy Copelan is in his sixth season leading the Stags and eighth overall as a Division I head coach. He sports a 65-48 record in his career and 47-33 mark with Fairfield.
Tristan Sperry has used a balanced approach on offense to record a team-high 22 points through 12 goals and 10 assists. Eric Warden leads the program with 16 goals while he has chipped in a pair of helpers. A high-scoring team, the Stags have four addition players with double-digit point totals in Colin McLinden (18), TJ Neubauer (16), Dave Fleming (12) and Jake Knostman (11).
Jack Murphy holds down the cage for Fairfield with six starts in as many appearances. Murphy owns a 9.53 goals-against average and .513 save percentage over 346:21 of game action this season.
The Stags have struggled on faceoffs, winning just 68-of-161 attempts (42.2 percent). Michael Roe has taken 96 of them and won 36 (37.5 percent) while Louis DiGiacomo is 28-for-59 on the year (47.5 percent).
Last Time Out: Defense Upends No. 5 Penn State, 8-6
UMass used its suffocating defense to limit the potent attack of No. 5 Penn State during the 8-6 victory in University Park, Pa., on Saturday, March 15. The six goals for the Nittany Lions were the fewest scored by the squad in a game this season as Minuteman goalie Zach Oliveri stopped 15 shots to limit Penn State.
Nick Mariano led UMass with three points on two goals, including the eventual game-winner, and an assist while Connor Mooney also tallied twice. Multi-point performances from Grant Whiteway and Rob Lynott - each had a goal and assist - helped the Minutemen secure the win and improve to 6-1 on the season and 1-0 in CAA contests.
After trailing Penn State, 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, the Minutemen outscored the Nittany Lions, 4-1 during the second to take a 5-3 lead into the halftime break. The Minutemen did not trail the rest of the way as the defense stymied Penn State. Close defenseman James Fahey helped Oliveri spearhead the effort with a single-game personal-best four caused turnovers to go with three groundball.
Mariano tallied back-to-back spanning the end of the third quarter and beginning of the final frame to push the Minuteman lead to 8-4 after Shane Sturgis momentarily brought the Nittany Lions with two of tying.
The win gave Massachusetts its second victory over a top-20 nationally-ranked opponent on the 2014 season and its first versus a top-five program.
Two Decades Under The Influence
The 2014 season marks Greg Cannella's 20th season as the head coach of the men's lacrosse team. The University of Massachusetts graduate is 171-104 during his 19 completed seasons as the program leader and he stands as one of the longest tenured coaches in NCAA Division I men's lacrosse. In terms of total Division I experience, Cannella sits eighth while his 20 years in Amherst place him fifth in terms of head coaching tenures at current schools among the 63 head coaches in D-I.
Cannella has guided the Minutemen to many of the most successful seasons in program history since being named the head coach on Nov. 9, 1994. The Lynbrook, N.Y., native took the 2006 squad to the NCAA Championship Game and led UMass to the most single-season victories in program history (15) as well as the No. 1 national ranking during the 2012 season, which culminated in the most recent of the team's eight trips to the NCAA Tournament under Cannella.
Prior to taking over the reigns, Cannella served as an assistant coach in 1993 and 1994 while he played for the Maroon and White for two seasons in 1986 and 1987, giving him 24 total years donning the University of Massachusetts colors.
Milestone Accomplishment: Greg Cannella's 175th Win
In his 20th season, head coach Greg Cannella now owns more than 175 career wins. Cannella has led the Minutemen since the 1995 season and has won 10 or more games during seven campaigns while he has guided the Minutemen to eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Cannella is 176-105 overall (.626 win percentage) entering play at No. 5/7 Penn State on March 15. His 175th career win came in the 15-2 victory at Brown on March 1.
Mariano On The Mark
Nick Mariano has put 23 shots on-target through seven games and has netted goals on 17, giving him a conversion rate of 73.9 percent when directing his attempt at the cage. Overall, Mariano has taken a team-leading 41 shots thus far - giving him a goal on 41.5 percent of his total shots.
Hats Off To You
Grant Whiteway has showed a penchant for scoring in bunches, resulting in a team-leading six hat tricks earned since the beginning of the 2013 season. Whiteway paces a quintet of Minutemen with at least one. Connor Mooney follows with five while Nick Mariano owns a trio and Matt Whippen has two. Andrew Sokol rounds out the group with one.
50 And 50 For Mooney And Whiteway
Connor Mooney and Grant Whiteway each recorded a milestone during the win over Providence as Mooney hit the 50-goals scored mark while Whiteway reached 50 points in his career.
Mooney totaled his 50th with the final goal scored by the Wilbraham, Mass., native against the Friars, notched unassisted with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Whiteway earned his 50th point as a Minuteman when he netted his seventh goal of the day with 6:04 to play against Providence, extending UMass' lead to 14-10 after the Friars had tallied three straight goals.
In besting Penn State, 6-5 during overtime on March 31, 2007, UMass started an eight-game win streak when the contest is tied at the end of regulation. Overall, dating back to the 2006 season, the Minutemen have won 10 of 12 games requiring extra minutes, including its recent 12-11 OT win over No. 14/9 Ohio State at the Moe's Lacrosse Classic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 16, 2014.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Garber Field has proven to be one of the toughest home field advantages in all of college lacrosse as UMass has posted a 76-24 record (76.0 win pct) at Garber since the beginning of the 2001 season.
The squad has won at least four home games in 11 of the last 14 seasons, including a program-record 10 victories in 2003 and another nine wins in Amherst, Mass., during 2012.
Whiteway Joins The Seven Goals In A Game Group
Grant Whiteway's seven goals scored against Providence marked a single-game best for the junior, made him the only current Minuteman to notch as many in one game and put him only one from tying the program mark for the most scored in one contest.
The last Minuteman to have as many in one game was Will Manny when he netted seven at Army on Feb. 10, 2012 - marking a span of 34 games between the individual performances.
A trio of former men's lacrosse players are tied for the program record of eight goals. Larry Treadwell scored eight against Trinity on May 12, 1959, Tom Malone had as many versus New Hampshire on May 6, 1969 and Robert Codignatto scored eight times against Army on April 21, 1990.
Six In Seven
The Minutemen have won six of their seven contests, the 20th time in program history the squad has claimed victory in as many games through the opening seven matchups of a season. It marks the sixth instance during head coach Greg Cannella's tenure as the program leader.
Career Day For James Fahey
Senior close defenseman James Fahey registered four of UMass' nine caused turnovers when the Minutemen took an 8-6 win from No. 5 Penn State on the road on March 15.
It marked a single-game personal best for caused turnovers by Fahey and the most recorded in one game by a Minuteman since two-time USILA all-American Jake Smith had five against Brown in a 9-6 win on March 5, 2011, a span of 48 games between the individual performances.
The One And Only
Through seven games of the 2014 season, Joe Calvello has taken all but six of UMass' 159 faceoffs, winning 93 of his chances (60.8 percent). He has taken 96.2 percent of the team's faceoffs so far, the second-highest percentage among all CAA teams behind Hofstra's Kris Clarke, who owns all but two of the Pride's 126 faceoffs.
Calvello ended 2013 having taken 316-of-323 faceoffs for UMass (97.8 percent). With securing the vast majority of UMass' faceoffs, Calvello was one of only three in the NCAA Division I top-50 to hold down the spot with such consistency.