No. 2 UMass Looks For 1st Undefeated Regular-Season Since 1969 Friday At Delaware
• After wrapping up the top-seed in the upcoming CAA Championship Tournament, the No. 2 UMass men’s lacrosse team heads to Delaware on Friday (7 PM) looking for its first undefeated regular-season since 1969. The two teams met last season in the CAA Championship Game with the Blue Hens pulling off a 9-7 upset over the Minutemen after UMass won the regular-season match-up.
• UMass and Delaware have met on the lacrosse field a total of 12 times in the history of the two programs. UMass holds an 8-4 advantage in the series, however, the Blue Hens won last year’s CAA Championship Game against UMass thanks to a big third quarter in an otherwise even game. The series was renewed after a 14-year hiatus when UMass joined the CAA going into the 2010 season. Since joining the CAA, Delaware is 2-1 against the Minutemen.
• Along with a shot at its first undefeated regular-season since 1969, UMass is looking for its 2nd undefeated league season in program history. The Minutemen’s last undefeated league season was in 2002 with a 5-0 mark in the ECAC.
• A live video stream of home games and select road games will be available during the year through UMass All-Access which is a subscription based service. The streaming video works best on a high-speed internet connection. Monthly packages begin at $9.95 which includes all games from sponsored CBS College Sports-affiliated schools.
Last Time Out: 14-13 Win Over Hofstra At Gillette
• A four-goal fourth-quarter run and a caused turnover by Greg Rushing with 25 seconds left in regulation gave the No. 1 UMass men’s lacrosse team a 14-13 win over Hofstra on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. With the win, the Minutemen capture the 2012 CAA Regular-Season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming CAA Championship Tournament. Kyle Smith, Art Kell and Colin Fleming paced the Minutemen with three goals each in the win. Smith added a pair of assists to go with his three goals, while Mike Fetterly added a pair of helpers as well. Tim McCormack made seven saves in goal to earn the win. Along with his caused turnover, Rushing added a team-best six groundballs, while long pole defenseman Jake Smith added five groundballs and a caused turnover.
Up Next: CAA Championship Tournament
• UMass will host either Towson or Hofstra next Wednesday night (7 PM) at Garber Field in the CAA Championship Semifinals. If UMass wins, the Minutemen will then host the Championship Game at 7 PM on Saturday, May 5 against the winner of the Penn State/Drexel.
Minutemen Garner Highest Ranking Ever
• 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 (Mar 27-Apr 9), the previous high for a national ranking was No. 3 which the Minutemen did this season, in 2003 and in 2001. At 11-0, UMass and Loyola remain as the lone unbeaten squads in the NCAA.
Manny Added To Tewaraaton Watch List
• After a blazing start to the season, Will Manny was one of three players to be added to the Tewaraaton Watch List in March. Statisically one of the top offensive players in the country, Manny leads the Minutemen in goals and assists showing his ability to set up others just as often as his own ability to score.
Biscardi Named To Tewaraaton Watch List
• Anthony Biscardi was named one of 73 players on the 2012 Tewaraaton Watch List which was announced in mid-February. This is the second straight year the midfielder has been on the Watch List for college lacrosse’s highest honor.
Minutemen Picked 2nd In CAA
• On the heels of a 10-5 season in 2011 which saw the Minutemen advance to the CAA Championship game, UMass was picked to finish 2nd in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll - just one point behind favorite Delware which won the league title last season. Hofstra was picked third - just one point behind UMass in what could shape up to be a terrific CAA season.
Manny Picked As CAA Preseason Co-Player Of The Year
• Junior attack Will Manny was named the CAA Preseason Co-Player of the Year alongside Penn State goalie Austin Kaut. Manny is UMass’ top returning scorer from last season where he earned All-CAA Second Team and NEILA All-New England First-Team honors.
Biscardi, Celentani Haul In Preseason Accolades
• Entering the season, Anthony Biscardi and Tom Celentani have both been in the forefront of preseason accolades from various outlets. The duo were both named to the CAA Preseason All-Conference Team alongside Will Manny. Both were also named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America Team. In the Major League Lacrosse Draft, Biscardi was taken by the Ohio Machine in the 2nd round, while Celentani was picked up by the Denver Outlaws in the 4th round.
• Biscardi was UMass’ third leading scorer a year ago with 20 goals and 10 assists. Of those 20 scores, three served as game-winners, while four came in man-up situations.
• A close defenseman, Celentani started all 15 games last year causing 22 turnovers while picking up 34 groundballs. As one of the top defensive players in the CAA, he earned second team honors.
• Junior Will Manny has points in 40 of his 41 career games and cracked the 100-point barrier with his three-goal, four-assist effort against Bucknell this season. Manny enters the Delaware game with 82 career goals and 64 career assists in 41 games. He had scored in the first 25 games of his career to mark the longest streak on UMass among all active players before the streak was ended vs. Hofstra (4/23/11) in the ESPNU Warrior Classic.
• Junior Kyle Smith scored a career-high four goals in the win at Army including a pair of critical fourth quarter goals to seal the win. He had another great game against Bucknell with 3 goals and an assist. Against No. 19 Towson, he posted a six point game with 4 goals and 2 assists in the win. In 2011, he had at least one goal in eight of the last nine games -- that includes his two game-winners in overtime. He finished with 11 goals and 4 assists in his second college season.
• Senior Art Kell has been on fire lately with 22 goals and 13 assists over his last nine games after starting the year with 1 goal and 3 assists.
• Junior Anthony Biscardi had points in 12 of 15 games last year with 10 multiple point games. Biscardi was third on the team in points with 30 on 20 goals and 10 assists. He had eight games with at least two goals in 2011.
• After posting a stout 8.33 goals-against-average last season, fifth-year senior Tim McCormack is backstopping the UMass defense to another outstanding campaign. In 12 games, the Minutemen have given up double-figure goals just once to an opponent and have forced more turnovers in every game but three. For the year, UMass is forcing opponents into an average of 15.3 turnovers per game.
• Fellow close defenders Tom Celentani (20 groundballs, 14 caused turnovers) and Greg Anderson (17 groundballs, 3 caused turnovers) and Jake Smith (22 groundballs, 7 caused turnovers) anchor the nation’s 3rd-best ranked defensive unit.
• UMass’ man-down defense was strong in 2011, allowing just 21.2 percent on the year. Opponents had just 11 goals on 52 opportunities. That ranked 10th in the NCAA. UMass ranks 20th this year allowing opponents to go 15-for-51 (29.4) on man-up advantages.
• UMass’ tag-team duo of seniors Greg Rushing and Anthony Toresco were stellar on face-offs in 2011 winning 51.7 percent of of its draws to rank 21st in the NCAA. The pair continues to be successful for the Minutemen in 2012. Toresco leads UMass going 91-of-150 (60.7%) with 49 groundballs. Rushing is 35-of-57 (61.4%) on faceoffs with a team-best 58 groundballs.
• Toresco leads the CAA in faceoff win percentage and ranks 12th nationally. As a team, UMass ranks 8th in the NCAA in faceoff win percentage (58.0%).