The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team leads Delaware, 10-4, at halftime. Here are some thoughts from the first two quarters of play.
Senior strength - In a must-win game on Senior Night to have a chance to keep the season and careers of eight players alive, UMass’ seniors came up big in the first half. The Minutemen have had arguably their best offensive half of the season much to the credit of their senior class, which has been responsible for eight of UMass’ goals so far. Kyle Smith has five goals for the Minutemen while Will Manny (two goals, two assists) and Colin Fleming have also found the scoreboard. UMass’ struggles this season, especially offensively, could be credited to a lack of cohesion with the ball after both Manny and Fleming missed significant time with injuries. But the Minutemen have looked more in sync offensively than they have all year and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Taking advantage - Delaware has played like a team with nothing to play for tonight, and UMass has taken advantage. Joe Calvello has dominated the faceoffs, and even assisted Smith for a goal right off the draw following a Blue Hens goal. Calvello even scored a goal of his own off a faceoff at 6:30 of the second quarter. On top of that, Delaware has struggled to keep possession as the Minutemen have made forcing turnovers look easy. It all started on UMass’ first goal of the game at 11:39 of the first quarter. The Minutemen were a man up and Blue Hens goalkeeper Conor Peaks failed to make a clear. Instead, Manny scooped up the groundball and got his team on the scoreboard. Delaware has struggled offensively as well. While the Blue Hens have found a way to beat UMass goalkeeper Zachary Oliveri at times, they’ve taken some poor shots that have gone way off target.
MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (6-7, 1-4 CAA) VS. DELAWARE BLUE HENS (5-9, 1-4 CAA)
- The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team comes into tonight’s regular season finale with its CAA Tournament hopes at stake. The Minutemen not only need to top Delaware tonight, but they also need losses from both Hofstra and Saint Joseph’s tomorrow night to clinch the fourth and final postseason spot, and earn the right to take on Penn State in Wednesday’s first round matchup. UMass hasn’t won a home game since its season opener against Army back in February. The Minutemen’s eight seniors — Will Manny, Kyle Smith, Ryan Hollenbaugh, Bobby Tyler, K.R. Jurgelevich, Brett Tobin, Colin Fleming and Jake Smith — were honored before the game for Senior Night ceremonies.
- The Blue Hens come into tonight’s game with virtually nothing to play for but pride after losing to the Nittany Lions last Saturday, eliminating them from postseason contention. Delaware could very well play spoiler for UMass tonight with a win on Senior Night at Garber, led by senior midfielder Nick Diachenko with 33 goals for the season.
Attack – Will Manny, Kyle Smith, Grant Whiteway
Midfield – Ryan Izzo, Joe Calvello, Brett Tobin
Defense – Ryan Hollenbaugh, Kyle Karaska, Jake Smith
Goal – Zach Oliveri
Attack – Eric Smith, Ian Robertson, Brian Kormondy
Midfield – Connor McRoy, Nick Diachenko, Danny Keane
Defense – Trip Ashley, Brandon Worrall, James Connelly
Goal – Conor Peaks
The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team is even with Drexel at 7-7 at the half. Here are some thoughts on the first half of play.
Star power - Trailing 2-0 early, UMass’ top attack unit took it upon themselves to lead a 4-0 Minutemen run to give them a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter. Grant Whiteway scored twice in the sequence while Will Manny got a goal and two assists. Kyle Smith also got a pair of big assists in that stretch while midfielder Connor Mooney notched UMass’ third goal while a man up. Smith then came up huge late the first quarter as he scored twice less than 30 seconds apart in the final 90 seconds of the half to put UMass up 7-6. The top attack The ball movement and offensive play was the best its been all season for that short period of time. That’s the type of offensive efficiency that UMass needs for 60 minutes to be successful.
McIntosh, Trizano in control - UMass had trouble containing Drexel star attack Ben McIntosh, who has three goals and an assist to the lead the Dragons and put them back ahead in the second quarter. The junior has a team-high 28 goals and will continue to be the biggest threat to UMass in the second half. Nick Trizano was also key in killing the early Minutemen momentum in the second quarter, scoring twice in a short span of time to turn a 4-2 UMass team into a tie game.
Taking advantage - The Minutemen had four man-up opportunities in the first half and they capitalized twice. The first was on Manny’s first quarter goal when Drexel had two one-minute penalties at the same time. The second carried into the second quarter when Mooney scored 23 seconds in to give UMass the lead at the time.
Well, after 17 rough games down in Florida and two hard-fought ones against Dayton, the UMass softball team is finally returning home for its first game at Sortino Field this afternoon.
- UMass enters the game with a 3-16 record, while BC comes in with an 8-14 record.
- Neither team has the best pitching, with UMass having a team ERA of 5.96 and an opposing batting average of .309, and BC having a team ERA of 6.97 and an opposing batting average of .338, so this game will probably come down to the bats.
- UMass is at a slight disadvantage offensively, hitting only .221 as a team and scoring about 3.26 runs per game, while BC is currently hitting .270 and scoring about 4.68 runs per game.
- The most dangerous player on the BC roster right now is junior outfielder Tory Speer, who comes into the game batting .415 with nine home runs, 19 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .908.
- The Minutewomen will be hoping for more big performances at the plate from seniors Cyndil Matthew and Katie Bettencourt. Matthew went 6-for-7 with four runs scored in the Dayton series, while Bettencourt went 6-for-8 with two home runs, four runs scored and five RBIs.
- BC is coming off a 4-3 extra-inning win on the road against Bryant University yesterday. Two of their three pitchers, Chelsea Dimon and Stephanie Lord, saw action in that game, so the Eagles might start their third pitcher, Andrea Filler, in this one. Filler has a 2-8 record and a 7.19 ERA in 12 appearances (This is just speculation, I do not yet know who today’s starters are).
- Both of the Minutewomen’s most commonly used starters, Caroline Raymond and Emma Mendoker, took the mound in the team’s 14-12 win against Dayton last Saturday. However, since Mendoker started that one, Raymond seems the more likely candidate to start in this one. Raymond comes in with a 2-6 record and a 5.70 ERA in 13 appearances (Once again, just an educated guess. I will confirm the starters on Twitter once I know for sure).
Be sure to follow the action on Twitter with Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan @jgms88, Kaitlin Boyer @Kaitlin_Boyer and Joey Saade @jsaade1225
Courtesy Atlantic 10 Conference
Greetings from back at the Mullins Center, where the second-seeded UMass men’s basketball team is about to take on seventh-seeded Stony Brook in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
- The winner of this game will take on the winner of the game between No. 3 Iowa and No. 6 Indiana State. If UMass wins, it will host that second round matchup at a time and date to be determined.
- The Minutemen are making their 12th appearance in the NIT and fourth since 2007. They have never won it, but made the championship game in 2008 and reached the semifinals last season.
- The player to watch for Stony Brook is 6-foot-5 senior forward Tommy Brenton, who was named the America East player of the year and defensive player of the year. He averaged 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season.
- UMass: Chaz Williams | Freddie Riley | Terrell Vinson | Sampson Carter | Cady Lalanne
- Stony Brook: Anthony Jackson | Dave Coley | Tommy Brenton | Eric McAllister | Jameel Warney
Be sure to follow along on Twitter with Stephen Hewitt @steve_hewitt and Stephen Sellner @Stephen_Sellner for live updates from the Mullins Center.