Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

Harvard and Providence travel to Amherst to face UMass

While the best offense can be a good defense, a team could also outscore its opponents by nearly 17 goals.

Going into this week’s games against No. 13 Harvard (2-1) and Providence (0-2), the No. 19-ranked Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team holds a 58-41 scoring advantage over opponents.

The Minutemen are 5-2 in the series against Harvard dating back to 2003. During that span, neither team has won at home.

In the last meeting, UMass won 7-3, but UMass coach Greg Canella doesn’t foresee an easy victory against the Crimson this time.

“Harvard’s excellent, they have athletes everywhere,” Canella said. “[Harvard head coach and assistant coach] John Tillman and Kevin Warne have done a great job recruiting there. They’re young in a lot of positions but they’re very good defensively.”

In its first three games, Harvard forced 18 total turnovers and allowed 8.68 goals per game.

A big part of UMass’ offensive output (11 goals) comes from midfielder Bobby Hayes. Hayes started the season with four goals against Sacred Heart en route to scoring multiple goals in all four games this season.

Hayes’ production puts him on pace for a career season, as he is one goal away from matching last season’s career-high 12 goals in 15 games for the Minutemen (3-1).

Hayes leads a potent UMass offensive threat that ranks second in the nation in scoring offense (15.67 gpg) and points per game (25) in all of Division I.

Another aspect of what makes the midfielders so dangerous for the Minutemen is the emergence of junior Ryan Hantverk who also added four scores against the Pioneers (1-3), as well as two assists.

Hantverk and Hayes have six combined turnovers this season on a UMass team that ranks fifth in the nation in turnovers per game with 13.33.

The solid ball control for the Minutemen bodes well for redshirt sophomore Tim McCormack. Four games into his first full season starting in goal, McCormack ranks second in the Colonial Athletic Association with a .479 save percentage, averaging 8.75 saves per game.

While the Minutemen have a conference-low 3.25 penalty minutes per game this season, UMass’ .312 penalty-kill percentage is the worst in the CAA.

Attacks Dean Gibbons (10 goals), Jeff Cohen (eight goals) and Kevin Vaughan (five goals) lead a Crimson offense that should make for a high-scoring game when matched up against the Minutemen.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Canella said. “They’ve probably had this [game] circled since we beat them at their place last season, so it should be a good game.”

The Friars have 10 total goals to their credit in two games this season, five less than the Minutemen scored in their season opener alone.

Amherst is the last stop on a season-long four-game road trip for Providence, a team that hasn’t had a winning record in the past five seasons despite making it to the NCAA tournament in 2006. Three players have a share of the team-lead in goals scored with two apiece.  Frank Cicero and Tim Finnegan have each started in goal for Providence this season.

Mike Gillmeister can be reached at mgillmei@student.umass.edu.

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