Four Minutemen Recognized On All-NEILA First Team
May 9, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program placed four members of the 2013 squad on the All-New England First Team - the most of any member school - as announced by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) on Thursday afternoon. Senior Will Manny was recognized as one of the top three attackman while junior Connor Mooney secured a spot among six midfielders in the first tier. Redshirt-sophomore Ryan Izzo was tabbed the best short-stick defensive midfielder and senior Jake Smith rounded out the group as one of the three top defenseman.
Manny finished his senior season with 34 points on 14 goals and 20 assists over 10 appearances and starts up front, missing five contests due to a broken thumb. The Massapequa, N.Y., native became only the fifth Minuteman in program history to eclipse the 200-point plateau as Manny finished his four-year career with 201 points on 107 goals and 94 assists.
Mooney, who spent time on attack in addition to serving as a midfielder, ended his junior campaign with 22 goals and seven assists for 29 points. Mooney tied with Grant Whiteway for the most man-up goals on the year, five, while scooping up 24 groundballs and causing five turnovers.
Izzo added to UMass' stringent defense with 10 caused turnovers and was key to the Minutemen faceoff unit with 52 groundballs scooped up on the season, the second-most on the squad behind only Joe Calvello's 79. In addition to his regular duties on defense, Izzo was a mainstay on the penalty-kill unit, helping limit opponents to just 11 goals in 46 man-up opportunities (23.9 scoring percent).
Smith, a three-year starter on close defense, ended the 2013 campaign with 26 groundballs and 17 caused turnovers to lead a unit that only allowed 9.07 goals per game. With 15 starts in as many appearances on the season, Smith ended his UMass career with 52 games played, including 46 consecutive starts. With Izzo, Smith was an important cog in the man-down defensive unit that improved its play during CAA competition to earn the best penalty-kill percentage in the conference (.864) with only three goals allowed in 22 opportunities.
Smith was honored as a First Team All-CAA award recipient on May 2, while Izzo and Manny took home second team laurels from the conference as well. Smith has also been lauded for his academics this year, taking home the UMass male scholar-athlete honors at the senior banquet and for the spring semester as a whole.
Providence College's Chris Gabrielli, a UMass men's lacrosse alumni and former assistant coach for the Minutemen, was named the organization's Coach of the Year. Bryant University's Kevin Massa was named the NEILA Player of the Year and Harvard's Devin Dwyer was tabbed the Rookie of the Year.
NEILA is comprised of 13 schools spread throughout New England, including Bryant, Brown, Dartmouth, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, Holy Cross, Providence, Quinnipiac, UMass, Vermont and Yale.