#14 UMass Heads To Hobart For ECAC Battle
#14 UMASS (6-3, 3-0) at HOBART (5-4, 1-3)
#14 UMass Heads To Hobart For ECAC Battle
Saturday's game pits two of the top goalies in the nation in UMass' Doc Schneider and Hobart's Max Silberlicht. Schneider is fifth in the NCAA in goals against average (6.99) and fourth in save percentage (63.3). The Statesman goalie stands sixth in GAA (7.11) and fifth in save pct. (62.4).
UMass comes off a dominating performance in the win over St. John's last Saturday Garber Field. A first-half scoring outburst coupled with a stifling defensive effort was all that the team would need as it downed the Red Storm. One season after netting six goals against the Red Storm, Tim Balise led the UMass offense once again, this time finishing with five points on four goals and an assist. Fellow senior Jim Connolly chipped in with his 11th career hat trick while Doc Schneider made nine saves on 11 shots faced for a career-low in goals allowed (2).
Balise was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after his performance, the fourth time in his career he earned the honor.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on WMUA (91.1 FM) with Sam Bingham and UMass All-American Norm Smith calling the action. Live streaming video, audio and GameTracker will also be available on UMassAthletics.com.
The Series With Hobart
The rivalry between UMass and Hobart was restarted five years ago when the Statesmen joined the ECAC in 2005. That 2005 game marked the first time in 20 years UMass and Hobart matched up.
The last time UMass lost to Hobart was on May 4, 1985 in Geneva, N.Y.
Hobart won the first meeting, 13-2 in 1972 in the USILA Semifinals.
Recent Games With Hobart
UMass' defense was stellar all afternoon as the Minutemen held Hobart's top three scorers without a point. Goalie Doc Schneider made 10 saves as he backstopped a defense keyed by seniors Brian Danvers, Sean Krygier and David Von Voigt along with junior Brennan Mack and sophomore Diogo Godoi. Hobart's attack was scoreless as Daryl Veltman saw his consecutive point-scoring streak end at 25 games and Jamie Kirk lost his 24-game scoring streak.
LAST GAME AT HOBART (April 14, 2007):Eleven different Minutemen scored as UMass busted out for its biggest offensive output of the season with a 17-12 win at Hobart's McCooey Field. Jim Connolly tied his career high with five goals including an amazing over-the-head goal in the second quarter while sitting on the ground. Tim Balise added two goals and Brett Garber tallied a pair as well. Brian Jacovina and Rory Pedrick each handed out three assists and scored once for four points, apiece.
Despite allowing a season-high 12 goals, UMass' defense was solid in holding two of nation's leading scorers at bay most of the afternoon. Daryl Veltman, who came into the game fourth in the nation in goals per game, didn't score until the fourth quarter. Jamie Kirk, who was sixth in the nation in points coming into the game, had two goals and two assists.
Playing The Best In The Nation
According to LaxPower.com, UMass is playing the eighth-toughest schedule in the nation with the seven games against ranked foes.
UMass is 2-3 against the teams in this week's poll, beating current No. 15T Harvard, which was No 11 when the Minutemen beat them 7-3 on March 7 and No. 15T Loyola, who was No. 12 when they fell to UMass. The Minutemen have lost to No. 5 Hofstra and No. 11 Brown by a goal apiece and a 12-9 defeat at No. 18 Albany.
Doc Claims 4th ECAC Honor
After his huge game at Loyola on March 21, UMass senior goalie Doc Schneider was named the LaxNews College Beat National Player of the Week on March 22. He was also named the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. Schneider was sensational in Saturday's 8-6 UMass win at #12 Loyola with a season-high 17 saves. Schneider made 11 saves in the second half as the Greyhounds peppered him all game. Schneider allowed just six goals, the fourth time this season he has allowed six goals or less in a game.
Senior Jim Connolly leads the charge with 25 goals, 2.78 per game, which leads the ECAC and is ninth in the NCAA. Connolly has scored in every game this season. He leads UMass with 28 points, which is 3.22 points per game, second in the ECAC and 28th in the NCAA.
With goals in each of the last seven games, Tim Balise extended his point-scoring streak to 16 games, dating the last seven games of last season and the first nine of this year. He is second on the team with 18 goals and 23 points. Balise piled up five points on four goals and an assist against St. John's (4/4).
Seniors Balise and Connolly are forming an impressive duo at attack. They have combined for 43 of the Minutemen's 96 goals on the year (45 percent). In each of the last two games, both Balise and Connolly tallied hat tricks in the wins over Penn State (3/28) and St. John's (4/4). Balise has three hat tricks this season and nine in his career while Connolly now has 11 hat tricks overall, four in 2009.
Freshman Art Kell scored for the seventh consecutive game against St. John's (4/4), when he had his first-career multi-goal game. Kell scored single goals in six games in a row after being held scoreless in his first two collegiate contests.
Connolly's hat trick at Albany (3/10), was his second of this season and ninth of his career. Connolly and Balise have UMass' only three hat tricks this season. Balise had four goals vs. Yale (2/28).
Six different players, including Zach Rodgers who scored his first of the season, scored at Albany (3/10).
In the 18-6 win over Yale (2/28), Ryan Bagnasco and Kell netted their first goals of the season (and the first of Kell's career). The 18 goals were the most scored by the Minutemen since scoring 18 vs. Penn State on Apr. 2, 2005.
In the 11-10 loss to Hofstra (2/21), the seven first-half goals were scored by seven different players. In the second half, Evan Blum, Rory Pedrick and Joe Reale added their second goals of the game.
In the opening win over Sacred Heart (2/14), six players scored two goals in the win as Balise also added two assists for four points. Blum, Connolly and Pedrick each added an assist for three-point games. Hayes and Ryan Marcus also scored twice. It was the first time since April 30, 2005 that UMass had six multi-goal scorers in a game when the Minutemen accomplished the feat in a 14-13 overtime win over Syracuse.
Rory Pedrick had a goal vs. Brown and picked up another multi-point game with a goal and assist against Albany. He has points in all seven games he's played this year.
Schneider A Super Senior
Schneider has been named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week four times on March 2, 9, 23 and 30. He also was named the LaxNews College Beat Player of the Week on March 22.
Schneider stands fifth in the nation in GAA (6.99) and also fourth in save percentage (63.3).
Schneider has at least 14 saves in five games this season and ranks second in the ECAC in saves per game with 11.22 per game.
He currently stands in second on the UMass all-time saves list with 653 only trailing great Sal LoCascio who recorded an unworldly 931 stops which is the most in NCAA history.. He passed Don Goldstein (622) for second all-time with a season-high 17 saves at Loyola (3/21) and moved by Tom LoPresti (562) for third with eight saves at Hofstra (2/21). He became the third goalie in UMass history with 600 career saves vs. Brown (3/14) when he had 14 stops.
Schneider was named an Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Magazine preseason honorable mention All-American prior to the season. It marks the second All-American honor bestowed upon Schneider. The first came prior to the 2007 campaign after he led the Minutemen to a magical run to the National Title Game in his freshman year (2006).
In his first three seasons in Amherst, Schneider was one of the top goalies in UMass lacrosse history. As a true freshman in 2006, he led the Minutemen to a 13-5 record and an appearance in the National Finals after NCAA Tournament wins over Cornell, Hofstra, and Maryland. His stellar 15 save performance against the Terrapins sent the Minutemen into the Title Game where he made 17 saves against an undefeated Virginia squad. For the effort, he was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Defense's Shuts Down Top Guns
Against three of the nation's top 10 point scorers #4 Andrew Feinberg of Brown (4.0 PPG), #8 Corey Small of Albany (4.0 PPG) and #10 Shane Koppens of Loyola (3.63 PPG), UMass has allowed just one goal -- by Small -- for a group that scores 10-plus goals on average.
Against Loyola (3/21), Godoi kept Greyhound attacker Shane Koppens pointless, after he came into the game scoring 4.4 points per game. Koppens was limited to just one shot on goal. Also in that game, Mack kept Loyola's Collin Finnerty to just one goal on a broken clear.
Also notable, Mack, kept Brown's Andrew Feinberg, their top scorer, without a goal in the UMass win on March 14. Feinberg is currently fifth in the NCAA in points per game (4.0) including just a single assist against UMass.
Against Albany, UMass limited the Great Danes' Corey Small to just a goal and assist. For the year, he is eighth in the NCAA with 4.00 points per game. The Minutemen also kept Harvard's Greg Cohen without a goal in the win on March 7. Cohen averages 3.0 points per game.
Man Down Defense Dominant
Last year, UMass' man down defense was fifth in the country (.806).
Gorillas At Home
In 2005, UMass posted a perfect 8-0 record at home tying its record for best home record without a loss at 8-0, which was set in 1981. It was the first time since 1992 UMass went undefeated at home, as it went 6-0 that season.
Since the start of the 2001 season, UMass is 54-14 at Garber Field, winning nearly 80 percent of the games at the friendly confines.
Big Winners Over Last 8 Years
Lucky Number 11
UMass had won 29 games in a row when scoring 10 or more goals, but that streak was snapped with a 11-10 loss to Hofstra on Feb. 21. The Minutemen were 29-0 when scoring 10 or more goals over the last six years. Prior to the loss at Hofstra, the last loss when scoring 10 goals came on May 1, 2004, a 17-10 loss at Syracuse.
Balise For Lowe's Sr. Class Award
Balise not only led the Minutemen in scoring with 39 points on 33 goals last season, but also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, ESPN The Magazine All-District First Team, and ECAC All-Conference Second Team. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.
UMass To Join CAA In 2010
A realignment of men's lacrosse conferences nationally - spurred by the Big East Conference and Northeast Conference's new sponsorship of the sport - led to the changes in CAA membership. Current members Sacred Heart and Robert Morris will move to the NEC. and Villanova will move to the Big East following the 2009 campaign.
Godoi Preseason All-ECAC Team
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