December 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Riding win streak, UMass hosts Tigers on Senior Day Saturday

It took 47 years, but the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team hosts Towson for the first time on Saturday afternoon in only the second meeting between the two teams.

The No.7 Minutemen (7-2, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association) are 1-0 against the Tigers (2-5, 1-0 CAA), and bring a four-game winning streak into Saturday’s Senior Day matchup, slated for 1 p.m.

UMass is 4-1 hosting teams at Garber Field, while Towson is winless in three road contests this season.

UMass coach Greg Cannella feels the Tigers are victims of a tough stretch of games against some of the top teams in the country.

“They’re a really well-skilled team that has very slick sticks,” Cannella said. “They’ve got great defense on a really good quick-strike team. They play the second-toughest schedule in the country.”

The focal points for opponents playing the Minutemen often center on stopping the high-powered UMass offense, led by sophomore Art Kell (21 goals, 12 assists). But, Kell missed the Minutemen’s last game, a 10-8 conference win over Penn State (1-8, 0-1 CAA).

However Kell’s injury didn’t seem to affect UMass, which gained a 6-4 lead by halftime, thanks in part to attackmen Will Manny and midfielder Bobby Hayes, who combined for five goals and two assists on the day.

As a freshman, Manny logs significant time for Cannella, in part because of his impressive scoring and good vision on the field. Along with Kell, Manny leads the team in assists this season.

An under-sized player (5-foot-7) compared to the rest of his fellow attackmen, Manny’s speed is also an asset to a UMass team which averages nearly four more assists per-game than the Tigers.

As offensively-stagnant a team as Towson is this season – their nine goals per-game average is a CAA-worst – Cannella doesn’t want the Minutemen to underestimate the Tigers as a legitimate threat.

“We need to continue to play hard and play together with intensity,” Cannella said. “You have to put in a 60-minute effort. You can’t let up at all, and we’ve had a tendency to do that this year at times.”

UMass has a conference-worst .405 penalty-kill percentage, allowing 22 man-down goals, but the Minutemen balance that with a CAA-best .469 man-up scoring percentage. UMass has 15 goals in extra-man opportunities this season.

The goalkeeping in the contest should be strong, too.  Both redshirt sophomore Tim McCormack and Towson’s Travis Love average around nine goals-against per-game, and McCormack comes off a 12-save win against the Nittany Lions.

The win against Penn State marked another solid game for a UMass defense which had four caused-turnovers from All-American defenseman Diogo Godoi.

Between Godoi’s 16 caused turnovers this season and sophomore Tom Celentani’s team-high 21 caused turnovers this season, the Minutemen should trouble the Tiger offense, as long as their play in the faceoff circle holds up.

Sophomore Greg Rushing had a season-low 6-for-12 performance against Penn State, but still has a solid .584 faceoff percentage as the primary faceoff midfielder for Cannella.

Opposite Rushing will likely be Matt Thomas, who has a .483 faceoff percentage.

Christian Pastirik (15 goals, nine assists) and Will Harrington (14 goals, two assists) lead the Tiger offense, while Peter Mezzanotte has 13 caused-turnovers on the season for the Tigers.

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

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