Men's Lacrosse

 
Men's Lacrosse Gets Set For First Meeting With Lehigh

Junior midfielder Joe Calvello won nine faceoffs and scooped up a game-high five groundballs against #18 Penn State during UMass' most recent contest.


Junior midfielder Joe Calvello won nine faceoffs and scooped up a game-high five groundballs against #18 Penn State during UMass' most recent contest.

March 17, 2013

 Men's Lacrosse Game Notes: UMass (3-4 Overall) at Lehigh University (5-3)
 Date/Time Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 6:00 PM
 Location Ulrich Sports Complex | Bethlehem, Pa.
 Television ESPNU (Check local listings for availability)
 Web Streaming WatchESPN.com
 Live Stats GameCentral
 Radio Broadcast WMUA 91.1 FM
 Live Blog Hosted by Inside Lacrosse
 Game Notes Massachuetts Get Acrobat Reader | Lehigh Get Acrobat Reader
 Series History First meeting
 Record Book Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Lehigh
 Social Media @UMassAthletics   | @UMassMLacrosse   | Sam The Minuteman

QUICK HITS
About the 2013 season...
• Started 3-0 for the 16th time in program history and third consecutive season.
• Features a new faceoff specialist in Joe Calvello, who has won 83-of-144 this year (57.8 percent).
• Returned Colin Fleming and Will Manny vs. Penn State after four and five game absences, respectively.
• Had a set of six-point days vs. Army from players earning their first 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.
• Has a first-year goalie in Zach Oliveri, who has a 8.63 GAA and .592 save pct.
• Won its season-opener for the fifth consecutive year, dating back to 2008.

About the 2012 season...
• Finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1969.
• Claimed victory in a 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.
• 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.

SCOUTING THE LEHIGH MOUNTAIN HAWKS
Coming off of a 10-6 victory over Army to open Patriot League competition, Lehigh returns to non-conference action with a contest against UMass on Wednesday, March 20, with the game broadcast on ESPNU. The Mountain Hawks sport a 5-3 overall record and 2-1 mark in games played at the Ulrich Sports Complex, while the meeting will be the first between the teams in program history. Lehigh enters competition on a two-game winning streak, which includes a 12-10 victory over No. 12 Penn State in the Independence Classic hosted at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

Lehigh is led by a trio of scorers, who have combined to amass 86 of the Mountain Hawks' 145 points on the season. David DiMaria leads all scorers with 16 goals and 19 assists while Dan Taylor follows at 26 points on 15 tallies and 11 helpers. Dante Fantoni follows closely behind Taylor, accruing 15 goals and 10 assists. Two additional Mountain Hawks have earned double-digit points totals this season, with Patrick Corbett (9-1-10) and Kyle Stiefel (8-2-10) joining the club through eight contests.

Four student-athletes have split time in net with the duo of Matt Poillon and Griffin Farha amassing the majority of the minutes. Poillon leads the squad with five starts in as many appearances, tallying 287:57 in between the pipes. Poillon owns an 8.54 goals against average and .564 save percentage to go with four victories. Farha has a 5.82 GAA and .641 save percentage in 144:24 split over three appearances and two starts. Combined, the quartet sport an 8.38 goals against mark and .559 save percentage, giving up 67 goals while stopping 85 shots.

As a team, the Mountain Hawks are averaging 11.12 goals per game while tallying more shots than the opposition, 39.4-to-29.4. Lehigh also leads in groundballs, 241-228 while committing 119 turnovers to 128 for the opposition. Shooting percentages are set almost evenly between the two sides, with foes combining for a .285 mark while the Mountain Hawks sit at .283 on the season.

COMING TO YOU LIVE FROM...
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.

BATTLE OF THE BEST FRIENDS: FANTONI VS. MANNY
Below is a video piece highlighting the lifelong friendship bond shared between UMass senior attack Will Manny and his counterpart at Lehigh, Dante Fantoni. The duo starred together at St. Anthony's High School after years of playing together in youth competition and will be meeting as opponents for the first time on Wednesday. Justin Lafleur added a written article to expand upon the excitement both share in being able to compete against each other in a contest aired live by ESPNU.

MOST RECENT: #19 UMASS FALLS IN CONFERENCE OPENER AGAINST #18 PENN STATE, 7-5
In a contest that came down to the fourth quarter, the No. 19 UMass men's lacrosse squad dropped a 7-5 decision to No. 18 Penn State at Garber Field on Saturday afternoon. Junior midfielder Connor Mooney recorded a hat trick to pace the offense while senior attack Will Manny notched a pair of assists in his return from a thumb injury.

Senior attack Kyle Smith and junior midfielder Matt Whippen each recorded one goal for the Minutemen. Smith also helped out on one goal to secure two points on the day while sophomore attack Grant Whiteway added one assist. Redshirt-freshman Zach Oliveri stopped 14 Nittany Lion shots while junior midfielder Joe Calvello won 9-of-16 faceoffs and scooped up a game-high five groundballs.

The contest also marked the first appearance for senior midfielder Colin Fleming, who earned eight shots against Penn State after sitting out the previous four games due to an ankle injury. Manny had not played since the season-opener against Army, a stretch of five contests.

Entering the fourth quarter tied at 5-5, Penn State (3-3 overall, 1-0 CAA) earned the margin of victory with back-to-back tallies during the final six minutes. Kyle VanThof scored the Nittany Lions' sixth goal of the day with 5:54 remaining before Jack Forster earned the final mark with 3:28 to play. Calvello won the faceoff following Penn State's seventh tally; however, Smith's ensuing shot was blocked in front and the Minutemen (3-4, 0-1) were unable to record another attempt during the final three minutes.

In the early-going, the squads traded goals en route to a 3-3 halftime tie, with a trio of Minutemen combining to notch the three UMass tallies. Mooney put UMass on the board with his first mark of the day 9:23 into the contest, doing so unassisted to knot the contest at 1-1 after Forster recorded the first goal of competition. After Forster added another to push Penn State back into the lead, Smith answered for the Minutemen following a pass from Manny with 2:14 to play in the first.

Penn State went back in front again at the 9:23 mark of the second quarter, with Kyle Zittel netting one unassisted to give the visiting side a 3-2 advantage. However, the lead only held until Whippen recorded his 11th goal of the year. The junior midfielder took a pass from Manny, moved to his left toward the Penn State goal and fired by Nittany Lions goalie Austin Kaut with 5:15 left in the opening half.

Mooney had a pair of tallies in the third quarter, recording the hat trick in the process while pushing UMass in front by one goal on each occasion. The Wilbraham, Mass., native opened scoring in the third with 11:31 remaining on a feed from Whiteway to put the Minutemen ahead, 5-4. After Nick Dolik answered for the Nittany Lions with 7:08 left, Mooney secured the final UMass goal during a man-up situation at the 5:28 mark of the quarter.

The Minutemen led in shots, 40-32 and groundballs, 20-18. UMass finished 13-of-15 on clears while Penn State went 12-for-14. The home side was 1-of-3 during man-up situations while the Nittany Lions were limited to 0-for-3 in the category. Kaut finished the day with 16 saves for Penn State while Forster led all scorers with four points on as many goals.

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, 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.

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 NORTH CAROLINA
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 (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.

APPROACHING THE CENTURY MARK
With 52 appearances and 36 starts, senior attack Kyle Smith stands only six points away from reaching 100 for his collegiate career following a breakout season as a junior. Smith, who is tied for the team lead with 17 points on 11 goals and six assists through seven games this year, has secured 94 points on 60 tallies and 34 helpers 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 has 170.

THE NEW FACE IN NET
After redshirting the 2012 season, freshman Zach Oliveri is in his first season competing with the Minutemen and has adjusted to the college game immediately, earning a spot among the CAA and national leaders in multiple categories. Through Colonial Athletic Association games on March 11, 2013, Oliveri ranks second among starters with a .592 save percentage and third with an 8.63 goals against average. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native's success places him among the top-25 nationally in goalkeeping, ranking Oliveri 14th in save percentage, 17th in saves per game (12.17) and 21st for goals against average.

SUCCESS AT THE X
In his first year as the main faceoff specialist for the Minutemen, junior midfielder Joe Calvello ranks among the top performers in the country for the category. As of the March 10 NCAA reporting release, Calvello stands 15th nationally with a .578 faceoff percentage while the Naperville, Ill., native's 74 faceoff victories through six games is the 10th highest in Division I. Calvello is also one of only two faceoff men in the top-15 competing in his first season as the top specialist, joining Georgetown's Tyler Knarr (sixth, .632). Calvello's ability to control the X leads UMass to own the 13th-highest team percentage in the nation (.568), as the junior has taken 128-of-132 faceoffs for the squad (97.0 percent).

FINDING THE OPEN MINUTEMAN
In his final season with the Minutemen, senior midfielder Bobby Tyler currently leads the squad with nine assists through seven 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 in dishing out the ball, notching at least one helper in four of the following six games. Tyler's assists total stands tied for 31st in the nation among all NCAA Division I players through the reporting release on Monday, March 11.

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, 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.

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.

MANNY AMONG NATION'S OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Despite missing five games this season due to injury, senior attack Will Manny still stands among the top offensive performers in the nation as the 2013 season progresses after a trio of successful campaigns at the collegiate level. Manny owns 170 points on 94 goals and 76 assists, standing tied for 10th all-time among Minutemen with Brendan Glass (1994-97). Nationally, Manny ranks among the most prolific scorers in college lacrosse, placing third for career assists with 76 through games of Sunday, March 17 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 16, as of Sunday, March 10.

"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 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.

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.

MINUTEMEN TRIO DRAFTED INTO MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE
UMass men's lacrosse seniors Will Manny, Jake Smith and Colin Fleming were selected with the 14th, 30th and 49th picks, respectively, during the 2013 Major League Lacrosse draft held in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 11. Manny and Smith will continue to compete together following the conclusion of their Minutemen careers as both were taken by the Boston Cannons, while Fleming heads to Ohio to join the Machine this summer.

Manny was the first of the group selected during the draft, with Boston nabbing the 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist in the second round with the 14th pick of the day. Manny is the active points leader on the Minutemen with 167 entering the 2013 campaign on the strength of 93 goals and 74 assists. The 2010 CAA Rookie of the Year and 2012 Player of the Year was the first of eight CAA student-athletes taken during the draft.

Boston followed two rounds later with their second selection from UMass, taking Smith 30th overall. Smith, a two-year starter on the Minutemen defense, owns 43 groundballs and 37 caused turnovers in three seasons with the team, helping UMass hold opponents to just 7.19 goals per game during the 2012 campaign.

Fleming rounded out the trio, as the 6-foot-6 senior was selected with the first pick of the seventh round and 49th overall on the evening by the Ohio Machine. Fleming had a breakout season in 2012 to help UMass to its Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships, tallying 34 points on 26 goals and eight assists. Fleming will start his senior campaign with 56 career points on 42 goals and 14 assists. The selection marks the second consecutive season Ohio has drafted a Minuteman, after the Machine picked up 2012 graduate Anthony Biscardi during last season's selection process.

THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
With the limited playing time 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. Competing 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 35 of the 62 goals (56.5 percent) and 47 of the 97 points (48.5 percent) recorded by the Minutemen.

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.

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 67.6 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 153. 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.

OVERTIME RESULTS
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.

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 73-23 record at Garber since the beginning of the 2001 season (76.0 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 13 of the previous 14 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.

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.

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).

LOCKDOWN DEFENSE
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.

 

 

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