Men's Lacrosse

Men's Lacrosse Notes for the Rutgers Game

Sophomore middie Justin Walker and the Minutemen can capture the ECAC title outright with a victory over Rutgers.

Sophomore middie Justin Walker and the Minutemen can capture the ECAC title outright with a victory over Rutgers.
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GAME #14
Rutgers (2-11/0-4 ECAC)
#7 Massachusetts (10-3/4-0 ECAC)
Saturday, May 4, 2002 * 1:00 p.m.
Richard F. Garber Field (5,000)
Amherst, Massachusetts
Radio: WMUA 91.1 FM (Amherst, Mass.)

Massachusetts enters the game at 10-3 overall and 4-0 in the ECAC Lacrosse League, while Rutgers enters the game at 2-11 overall and 0-4 in the ECAC. The two teams are on the opposite ends of the league standings, with the Minutemen at the top and the Scarlet Knights sitting at the bottom. The Minutemen can capture the ECAC title outright with a victory against Rutgers. Last season, the Minutemen won a share of the title with Georgetown. This is the 21st all-time meeting between Massachusetts and Rutgers. The Minutemen hold a 13-7 edge in the series, and have won 10 straight against the Scarlet Knights. Massachusetts defeated Rutgers, 17-7, last season. Current senior Marc Morley (Canton, N.Y.) had four goals in the game, while current junior Kevin Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) had three goals and two assists. The last time Rutgers defeated Massachusetts was in 1986, when the Scarlet Knights won 7-4 in New Brunswick, N.J.

Rutgers enters the game having lost six straight and 10 of its last 11. The Scarlet Knights last won a game on March 20, against St. Joseph's, 14-3. The Rutgers offense is led by sophomore middie Tim White (16g, 11a), freshman attacker Jamie Lovejoy (5g, 20a), junior attacker Ken Springer (16g, 3a), freshman attacker Leif Blomquist (10g, 3a), junior middie Jeff Duca (13g, 0a) and junior middie Nick Schmidt (4g, 6a). The defense is anchored by the goaltending tandem of sophomore Chris Kenyon and freshman Craig Lutwyler. Kenyon has started eight games and has an 11.55 goals against average and a .490 save percentage, while Lutwyler has started five games and has a 9.32 goals against average and a .451 save percentage. Junior Michael Schambach handles the majority of the faceoffs and has won 93 of 175 (.531). Rutgers has scored on 18 of 57 (.320) extra-man opportunities, while holding opponents to just nine goals in 37 attempts. The Scarlet Knights are 1-5 on the road this season.

Massachusetts clinched the ECAC Lacrosse League's automatic bid to the 2002 NCAA Tournament by defeating previously unbeaten Georgetown, 16-13, on April 20, in Washington, D.C. The Minutemen earned at least a share of the ECAC title for the second consecutive season, and can win the title outright with a victory against Rutgers. Massachusetts will be making its 14th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 1997, when it advanced to the quarterfinals.

Senior Marc Morley reached the 100 career points plateau against Harvard on April 17. The attackman tied a season-high with four goals in the game to give him 101 career points. He followed it up with two goals and an assist against Georgetown and three goals against Syracuse. He enters the Rutgers game with 107 career points on 71 goals and 36 assists. This season, Morley has tallied 29 goals and 12 assists to lead the team with 41 points. He had 37 points on 29 goals and eight assists last season.

Junior Kevin Leveille will reach the 100 career points plateau with his next point. The All-American midfielder has 99 career points on 64 goals and 35 assists. He has 10 goals and two assists in the last three games and is coming off a three-goal game against Syracuse last Friday. Leveille is currently second on the team in points (39), tied for second in goals (29), tied for third in assists (10) and is first in shooting percentage (.509). He has recorded at least two points in 12 of the 13 games this season.

Senior Marc Morley and junior Kevin Leveille each netted hat tricks as No. 8 Massachusetts fell to No. 2 Syracuse, 18-10, at the Carrier Dome. The Orangemen went on an 8-0 scoring run over 19:38 of the first half to break open a 2-2 game. Sophomore Neil Lundberg (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) ended the scoring drought for the Minutemen with his eighth goal of the season at the 3:58 mark of the second quarter. Massachusetts cut the Orange lead to five goals at the break as senior Don Little (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Leveille each scored in the final 1:24 of the first half. Leveille's tally was his third of the game. Josh Coffman led Syracuse with three goals in the first half, while Steve Vallone scored a pair. Syracuse scored three quick goals to start off the third quarter and dash any chance for a comeback. Junior Chris Fiore (Freeport, N.Y.) scored at the 7:08 mark to cut the Syracuse lead to seven at 13-6, but it was the only tally of the stanza for the Minutemen. Syracuse scored the first four goals of the fourth quarter opening up a 12-goal lead, its largest of the game, until Little tallied his second of the night at the 5:48 mark. Morley scored the final three goals of the game in a 5:37 span. Freshman goaltender Bill Schell (Mahopac, N.Y.) made 15 saves in the cage for the Minutemen, while Jay Pfeifer stopped 14 shots for the Orangemen. Josh Coffman had a game-high six points on four goals and two assists for Syracuse, while Mike Powell, Michael Springer and Brian Nee each had three goals. Massachusetts was three of nine on extra-man opportunties. The 18 goals allowed by the Minutemen marked the most that an opponent had scored since a 21-10 defeat at Loyola during the 2000 season.

Senior Dan Paccione and junior Chris Fiore have both seen big jumps in their offensive production from a year ago. Paccione currently leads the Minutemen in goals with 30 and is third in points with 38. Last season, the attackman scored 13 goals and three assists for 16 points. He has become a major factor in the offense and is also the top faceoff man on the team. Paccione has won 83 of 151 (.550) faceoffs this season, despite not taking any faceoffs last season. Fiore, a midfielder, has also seen his offensive production increase. He enters the game against Rutgers in fourth on the team in points (35) and goals (27). He has scored at least two goals in seven of the last eight games, and has four assists over the last two games. Last season, Fiore scored 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points.

Massachusetts has relied on a balanced scoring attack all season long. The Minutemen enter the Rutgers game with the nation's second highest scoring offense, averaging 13.83 goals per game. Massachusetts is the only team in the country with four 25-goal scorers on its roster. Dan Paccione leads the way with 30 goals, followed by Kevin Leveille and Marc Morley with 29 each and Chris Fiore with 27. The Minutemen have a total of seven players on their roster with 20 or more points. Freshman Gene Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.) has 25 points, while senior Don Little and sophomore Jeff Zywicki (Nepean, Ontario) each have 20 points.

Freshman Gene Tundo had a season-high four assists in the victory over Georgetown and added an assist against Syracuse last Friday. The attackman now leads the team with 19 assists on the season. He is fifth on the team in scoring with 25 points. The four assists in a single-game is the most for any player on the team this season. Following the Minuteman victories two weeks ago, Tundo was named ECAC Rookie of the Week. He had a goal against Harvard and then had the four assists against the Hoyas.

Rich Kunkel and Marc Morley each scored four goals to lead No. 8 Massachusetts to a 17-7 victory over No. 19 Rutgers. The Minutemen took control of the game early, jumping out to an 11-2 halftime lead. Kunkel had three of his four goals in the first half, and Kevin Leveille and Morley each had a pair. Also scoring in the half for the Minutemen were John Madigan, Jeremy Guski, Paul Hutchen (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Chris Lynch. Rutgers cut into the Massachusetts lead in the third quarter by outscoring the Minutemen 5-3 in the period. Kunkel, Morley and Leveille had third quarter goals for Massachusetts making the score 14-7 heading into the final quarter. The Minutemen held the Scarlet Knights scoreless in the fourth and got a pair of goals from Don Little and another tally from Morley. Keith Gabrielli had three assists in the game. Goaltender Chris Campolettano made 11 saves on the day, while Rutgers netminders Dan Shaivitz and Christopher Kenyon combined for 22 stops. The victory improved the Minutemen to 11-2 overall on the season and 5-1 in the ECAC, while the loss dropped Rutgers to 5-7 overall and 2-4 in the ECAC.

Massachusetts has used primarily two faceoff specialists this season. Freshman attacker Craig Conn (St. Catherines, Ontario) and senior Dan Paccione. Conn has taken 166 faceoffs and has won 82 (.494) of them, while Paccione has won 83 of 151 (.550). As a team, the Minutemen have won 172 of 348 (.494) faceoffs.

All-American defenseman Matt McFarland (Garden City, N.J.) is among the nation's leaders in ground balls. The senior has scooped up a team-high 87 ground balls and is seventh nationally averaging 6.69 per game. He had a season-high 12 ground balls against Syracuse last Friday. McFarland has also shown a scoring touch lately, having netted three goals and two assists in the last seven games, including an assist against Syracuse in the Minutemen's last game.

The Minutemen are 5-1 at home this season. This is the last regular season and home game of 2002... Massachusetts has the third best record in the nation over the past two seasons. The Minutemen are 22-5 (.815), while Georgetown is 22-4 (.846) and Syracuse is 24-5 (.828) over that span... Massachusetts is currently ranked in the top 15 nationally in four different statistical categories. The Minutemen are second in scoring offense (13.54), tied for fourth in winning percentage (.769), seventh in scoring margin (3.69) and 11th in man-up offense (.390)... The 2002 NCAA Selection show will be televised live on Sunday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. on Empire Sports Network (Channel 626 on DirecTV or Channel 432 on Dish Network). Media members who would like to cover the event live with the Massachusetts lacrosse team should contact Ryan Nadeau, Assistant Media Relations Director, as soon as possible. Media members wishing to receive credentials to the Minutemen's first round game at either Providence, R.I., or Newark, Del., should contact Nadeau on Sunday night or Monday morning by phone or via email.

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