April 5, 2013
About the 2013 season...
Started 3-0 for the 16th time in program history and third consecutive season.
Won at least two games vs. USILA ranked foes for the fifth straight year and 13th time under Greg Cannella.
Features a new faceoff specialist in Joe Calvello, who has won 115-of-200 through 10 games (57.5 percent).
Returned Colin Fleming and Will Manny vs. #18 Penn State after four and five game absences, respectively.
Had 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.
Features a first-year goalie in Zach Oliveri, who has given up nine or fewer goals in seven games this season.
Added a new player to the 100-point club in Kyle Smith, the 39th member of the group.
About the 2012 season...
Finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1969.
Won 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.
Towson secured a 6-5 overall record and 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association mark through 11 contests this season and currently owns a three-game winning streak. During the stretch, which began with a 12-9 win over Maryland-Baltimore County, the Tigers also defeated Delaware, 7-6 in overtime and Hofstra, 7-6. Shawn Nadelen is in his second season as the leader of the program and is 13-13 as Towson's head coach. UMass is 4-2 all-time against the Tigers, which includes a victory during the 1963 season against the school when it was named Towson State. After dropping a pair of decisions during the 2010 season, the Minutemen are 3-0 in the last trio meetings.
Thomas DeNapoli leads the team with 38 points on 28 goals and 10 assists while Andrew Hodgson follows with 23 points on 15 goals and eight assists. Cory Dobyns adds 17 tallies and a duo of helpers and Greg Cuccinello (13 points), Justin Mabus (13) and Robby Zoppo (12) round out the double-digit scorers. In net, Andrew Wascavage has played all 669:10 on the season, giving up 8.79 tallies per game while recording a .608 save percentage with 152 stops and 98 goals allowed.
As a team, the Tigers have won just 89 of a possible 226 faceoffs (.394 percentage), with Zack Gregory (31-of-70; .443) and Conor Pequigney (30-of-72; .417) seeing the most action at the faceoff X. Patrick Conroy (15-of-34; .441), Luke Pellizzi (10-of-34; .294), Austin Lyons (3-of-15; .200) round out the group. Andrew Hodgson leads Towson with 28 groundballs while Jordan Fortmann follows closely behind with 27 and a team-best 13 caused turnovers.
Overall, the Tigers are being outscored, 98-91 while opponents have earned a 150-143 lead in points. Foes also lead in shots (402-377), on-target attempts (241-211), groundballs (352-294) and faceoff victories (137-89).
The Last Meeting
May 2, 2012
Amherst, Mass. (Garber Field)
Into The CAA Finals: #1 Men's Lacrosse Runs Past Towson, 10-3
A three goal fourth quarter propelled the No.1 UMass men's lacrosse team over the Towson Tigers in the CAA Semifinal game, 10-3 on Wednesday night at Garber Field. Colin Fleming ripped a career-high four goals, and Will Manny tied a career-high with five assists as the Minutemen will now face Drexel in the CAA Finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Amherst.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE TIGERS
A three-goal fourth quarter propelled the No. 1 UMass men's lacrosse team over the Towson Tigers in the CAA Tournament Semifinals, 10-3 on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at Garber Field. Colin Fleming ripped a career-high four goals, and Will Manny tied a personal-best with five assists as the Minutemen earned the right to face Drexel in the CAA Finals on Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Amherst, Mass., with the victory.
UMass remained perfect on the season with a 14-0 overall record, setting a new program high for wins in a season. Towson's year concluded at 7-8.
Art Kell tallied three goals for UMass, and the trio of Manny, Kyle Smith, and Tom Celentani each added a score. For Celentani, the goal marked the first of the senior's career.
Play was tight in the opening 15 minutes as both squads were scoreless until Fleming notched the game's first mark with six seconds left in the quarter. The Minutemen extended the lead in the second frame, making it 6-0 heading into the half.
The fourth-seeded Tigers did not go away quietly, scoring the first two goals of the second half, cutting the Minutemen's lead to four, 6-2, at the 12:35 mark in the third quarter. It was all Maroon & White the rest of the way, as the Greg Cannella's squad outscored Towson 4-1 in the remaining 26 minutes of play.
The victory marks the second of the season over Towson, as UMass outlasted the Tigers at Garber Field 14-3 on April 7. The Tigers were paced by Sean Maguire, Andrew Hodgson, and Matt Lamon who each tallied a score.
In between the pipes Andrew Wascavage gave the Tigers a strong backbone, making a game-high 11 saves. Tim McCormack recorded eight stops for UMass.
On the ground, UMass won the battle 27-22 on groundballs. Towson was tough in the circle, but the Minutemen came away with a 9-6 advantage on faceoffs.
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.
MOST RECENT: MEN'S LAX DROPS 7-6 GAME AT SAINT JOSEPH'S
Despite two-goal performances from Ryan Izzo and Matt Whippen, UMass men lacrosse faltered in a 7-6 contest at Saint Joseph's Finnesey Field on Saturday afternoon. Senior attack Will Manny earned two points on a goal - the 99th of his career with the Minutemen - and an assist while classmate Kyle Smith added a pair of assists. Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway recorded one goal and senior midfielder Bobby Tyler had a helper to round out the Minutemen offense.
Saint Joseph's (5-6 overall, 1-2 CAA) offense used a decisive run of three consecutive goals during the third quarter to push ahead for a 7-5 advantage entering the final stanza. Pat Swanick notched the first before Kyle Williams and Michael Dougherty added a goal each, with Dougherty's coming as two seconds remained in the quarter.
Whippen brought the Minutemen (5-5, 0-2) within one goal of tying at the 8:43 mark of the fourth on a hard shot from the left side of the cage following a pass from Manny; however, UMass was unable to respond further during the remaining time.
Whiteway opened scoring with the sophomore's 13th goal of the season at the 9:44 mark of the first. Whiteway received a pass from Tyler 10 feet from the cage and placed a turnaround attempt into the back of the net.
Saint Joseph's responded with back-to-back tallies from Dougherty and Richard Gabelman before the Minutemen were able to even the contest at 2-2. Smith sent the play to Whippen in front of the net, with the junior midfielder dropping his stick low to send an underhanded shot by Hawks goalie Dustin Keen with 43 seconds to play in the first.
Izzo pushed UMass in front during the final seconds of the first quarter. Following a faceoff, the Minutemen moved possession into the defensive area before Izzo took control of the ball. The redshirt-sophomore midfielder then raced upfield, weaving toward the goal before converting a shot with seven seconds to play in the quarter to give UMass a 3-2 lead entering the second.
Swanick set up Matthew Sarcona with Sarcona's 10th goal of the season as the Hawks evened play at 3-3 with 11:07 to play in the second; however, Izzo's ability to shield possession and rush through the midfield proved vital for UMass' fourth goal and the second of the day for the Walpole, Mass., native. Following a James Fahey caused turnover, Izzo scooped up the loose ball and raced down the field before firing a shot from the left post with 9:05 remaining in the third to push UMass in front, 4-3.
After a Johnny Simanski tally to continue the back-and-forth flow of the game, Manny responded with an attempt from in front of the net. Manny placed his shot low and into the right-center of the back of the net with 12:08 remaining in the third to give the Minutemen another one-goal advantage.
The Minutemen outshot the Hawks, 29-24 and recorded a 21-16 lead in groundballs. Midfielder Joe Calvello won eight of the 14 faceoffs the junior took while James Fahey finished 1-for-1 in the category. UMass went 20-for-23 on clears while the Hawks ended 18-for-19. Redshirt-freshman Zach Oliveri earned three saves for the Minutemen while Keen finished with 13 stops for the home side.
Saint Joseph's was led by Dougherty's two goals while Simanski recorded one tally and a pair of assists. Swanick also recorded a multi-point day for the Hawks with a goal and one helper.
Kyle Smith's CAREER DAY SENDS UMASS PAST HARTFORD
UMass men's lacrosse senior attack Kyle Smith produced a single-game career high six goals as the Minutemen recorded a 13-11 victory at Hartford on Saturday evening. Heading into the fourth quarter tied at 11, Smith recorded the final four UMass goals, matching the second half output of the entire Hawks offense.
Sophomore attack Grant Whiteway secured four points on three tallies and an assist while senior attack Will Manny added one goal to go with a pair of helpers. Junior attack Connor Mooney had two points on a goal and an assist while senior attack Bobby Tyler helped out on a pair of tallies.
For the second consecutive game, Smith recorded the first UMass goal of the day. Against the Hawks, Smith put the Minutemen (5-4 overall) up, 1-0 with a tally in transition, rushing into the offensive zone with possession before bouncing a shot by Hartford goalie Frank Piechota at the 12:55 mark.
The Hawks (3-4) responded with a trio of goals to move in front, 3-1 before Smith added his second of the day to cut the deficit to one. Smith received a pass from freshman midfielder Andrew Sokol six yards from the left post and sent a shot into the top-right corner with 5:31 to play in the opening quarter. The squads continued to trade runs throughout the middle of the contest as Smith held the Minutemen in the contest with the final four UMass scores of the day, equal to the production of the entire Hartford offense during the second half.
The Hawks added back-to-back goals spanning the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third to move within one of tying; however, Smith rallied the Minutemen offense with the senior's third goal of the day and 10th collegiate hat trick. With 9:37 remaining in the third, Smith rolled around the right post and placed an attempt into the back of the net from 10 feet away.
Smith added his fourth goal of the contest with 5:59 left in the third to push to lead to 11-9 on a pass from Mooney, unleashing a hard shot from eight yards away in front; however, the Hawks recorded back-to-back goals over the remainder of the stanzas to tie it at 11-11.
After three quarters of back-and-forth scoring runs, the final potion of competition featured defensive stands by each side before Smith's single game career-high fifth goal gave the Minutemen a 12-11 lead. Manny found Smith at the crease for his second assist, with Smith converting the eventual game-winning goal while being pushed to the ground at the 3:50 mark.
The Minutemen stayed on the attack after taking the lead, resulting in Smith's sixth tally of the contest only 2:35 later. Tyler notched his second helper in leading the play to Smith, with the senior's six goals marking the most scored by a single Minuteman since Manny earned seven against Army on Feb. 10, 2012, a span of 23 contests.
STALWART DEFENSE LEADS UMASS TO WIN OVER #16 LEHIGH IN ESPNU GAME OF THE WEEK
UMass men's lacrosse used a stout defensive performance over the second half to secure a 6-4 victory at No. 16 Lehigh during the ESPNU Game of the Week on Wednesday evening. Senior attack Will Manny earned a trio of goals, including the game-winner, to pace the offense while the Minutemen held the Mountain Hawks to only one tally in the final half to claim the win at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
Senior attack Kyle Smith notched a multi-point performance on a goal and assist while freshman attack Dan Muller and sophomore attack Grant Whiteway earned one mark each. Senior Jake Smith led the defense with four groundballs and a career-high four caused turnovers while junior midfielder Joe Calvello won 8-of-14 faceoffs, including seven of the final 10, and scooped up five groundballs.
The Minutemen went ahead, 4-3 on Manny's first goal of the day with 3:21 to play in the second. Junior midfielder Matt Whippen started the play behind the net and sent a pass to Kyle Smith in front. Smith moved the ball to the crease on a pass to Manny, with the Massapequa, N.Y., native notching the tally on a shot at the front of the cage.
UMass doubled its lead in the third quarter on Manny's second consecutive tally. Senior midfielder Colin Fleming fired an on-target attempt that was stopped in front and looped over the cage to Manny. The senior attack snagged the ball out of the air, wrapped around the right post and shot into left side with 6:08 remaining in the quarter.
Manny added his third of the game to complete the hat trick with 5:06 remaining. Whippen held the play behind the net and directed a pass to Manny at the right post, with Manny sending a shot into the top-left for the 6-4 advantage.
During its 14-game regular season schedule, the Minutemen will play nine games on the road, including a stretch of four consecutive contests away from Garber Field wrapping up with a meeting at Towson in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday, April 6. The nine contests played away from Amherst, Mass., are the most in an individual regular season since 1993 and tied for the highest number with three additional campaigns. The Minutemen also played nine contests away from home, including any neutral-site competition, during 1993, 1989 and 1872. The four games hosted on the road consecutively, including regular season tournaments, marks the most since the beginning of the 1997 season.
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 currently owns 178 points on 99 goals and 79 assists, ninth all-time in points among Minutemen. Nationally, Manny also ranks among the most prolific scorers in college lacrosse, placing seventh in career assists, tied for eighth in career hat tricks (17) and 14th in goals scored through games on Sunday, March 31.
OLIVERI EARNS SECOND CAA WEEKLY HONOR
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 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.
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 SEASON WITH WIN 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.
Kyle Smith JOINS 100-POINT CLUB
Senior attack Kyle Smith became the 39th member of the UMass 100-point club with his career day at Hartford on March 23. Smith entered competition with the Hawks at 96 points and used a single-game personal best six goals to help spur the Minutemen to victory and eclipse triple-digits for points scored with the program in the process. Smith leads the squad with 27 points on 18 goals and nine assists this season and produced a single-season best 52 points on 33 goals and 19 assists as a junior last year. Smith became the second member of his family to join the group, as his father, Norm (1976-79), sits tied for 18th all-time with 140 points on 74 goals and 66 assists.
NEW FACE IN NET
After redshirting the 2012 season as a freshman, Zach Oliveri is in his first campaign competing with the Minutemen and has adjusted to the college game immediately, as the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., native's success places him among the top-25 in goalkeeping, ranking Oliveri 12th in goals against average (8.24), 13th for save percentage (.568) and 27th in saves per game (10.8).
SUCCESS FROM THE START
In his first year as the main faceoff specialist, junior midfielder Joe Calvello ranks among the top performers in the country for the category. As of the March 31 NCAA reporting release, Calvello stands 14th nationally with a .575 faceoff percentage while the Naperville, Ill., native's 115 faceoff victories is the 15th-highest in Division I. Calvello is also one of only two faceoff men in the top-15 competing in his first season as one of the leading specialists on his respective team, joining Georgetown's Tyler Knarr (fourth, .657).
Calvello's ability to control the X leads the Minutemen to own the 12th-highest team percentage in the nation (.571), as the junior had taken 200-of-205 faceoffs for the squad (97.6 percent). With securing the vast majority of UMass' faceoffs, Calvello is one of only six in the top-50 to hold down the spot with such consistency.
THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
With the limited playing time of Will Manny and Colin Fleming due to injury, new faces to the lineup have stepped into expanded roles, leading the squad to five victories so far this season, including two over teams ranked in the USILA Top-20. 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 47 of the 87 goals (54.0 percent) and 63 of the 136 points (46.3 percent) recorded by the Minutemen. Review the printable notes document for the full breakdown of scoring by the newcomers and veterans of the Minutemen lineup.
MANNY PLACED ON 2013 TEWAARATON 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.
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 129 victories and a 67.2 win percentage mark. This total includes six seasons with 12 or more wins, with a school record 15 victories last year. Nationally, Duke leads the way with 157 wins while Virginia follows in second 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.
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.
FINDING THE OPEN MINUTEMAN
In his final season with the Minutemen, senior midfielder Bobby Tyler currently leads the squad with 12 assists through 10 games, tied for the third-highest total in the Colonial Athletic Association through play on Wednesday, April 3. 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 six additional games, including two each at Albany on March 5 and Hartford on March 23.
MANNY APPROACHES ANOTHER CENTURY MARK
With classmate Kyle Smith eclipsing 100 career points at Hartford, senior attack Will Manny is approaching 100 collegiate goals following a strong return from injury. Opening the season with 93 tallies as a Minuteman, Manny has record six goals in five appearances this year to move within one tally of joining the 100-goals club, a mark only nine other Minutemen have achieved in their careers. Entering competition at Towson, Manny has 178 points with UMass on 99 goals and 79 assists.
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.
"GARBER'S GORILLA'S" 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.
MINUTEMEN RECEIVE PRESEASON PRAISE
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.
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.
THREE 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.
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 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.
Carrying the trend into the 2013 season despite changes in net, at close defense and among the midfield, UMass continues to limit opponents. The Minutemen are second in the conference for most contests holding opponents single-digits tallies this season, seven, as UMass has limited foes to 8.70 goals per game through 10 contests, dropping that number to 7.20 given up over the last five contests.