April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 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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