Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Special teams to play vital role for UMass against Drexel

Success in lacrosse isn’t always determined by a team’s ability to function in even-man situations.

While the No.9 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team excels on special teams offense, No. 13 Drexel is one of the toughest teams to beat on the penalty kill in the Colonial Athletic Association.

A win this weekend puts the Minutemen into a good position for good seeding in the conference tournament.

UMass (8-4, 2-2 CAA) boasts a conference-best 45-percent man-up scoring percentage, tallying 17 goals on the man-advantage.

Attackman Kyle Smith and midfielder Bobby Hayes account for nine of those goals.

Saturday against Georgetown, the Minutemen won, 13-12 but needed to score the final three goals of the game to do so.

“I thought we needed to be more athletic on the attack side,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said of the Minutemen’s win against Georgetown last Saturday.

“In starting D’Amario right of the bat, hopefully we’ll instill some confidence in him. We bumped up Christian Hain into the first group with Bobby Hayes and Ryan Hantverk and that’s a formidable group.”

In that game, the Minutemen scored on their only extra-man opportunity of the game and allowed the Hoyas two extra-man opportunities, one of which resulted in a goal.

The two penalties were an improvement, however, for a UMass team that averages four per game. The Dragons (9-4, 2-2) average just under five

Outside of goalkeeper Mark Manos (7.90 goals against average, .607 save percentage), defenseman Dana Wilbur (45 ground balls, 11 caused-turnovers) brings ball-hawking skills that can stifle numerous offensive runs put together by opponents.

As well as handling themselves on the defensive side of special teams, six different Dragons have multiple man-up goals on the season.

Conference Differential

Both UMass and Drexel have trouble defending against conference opponents. Each have 36 goals against them in conference play.

“It’s our first year [in the conference] and the two teams we’ve faced for the first time in conference, we’ve lost to,” Cannella said. “So we put the challenge [to break that trend] out to the guys this week.”

The Minutemen average 17 turnovers per-game against conference opponents but Tim McCormack’s .581 save-percentage in conference game is 20 points higher than his overall.

Another constant during conference play is the tandem of attackmen Will Manny and Anthony Biscardi.

Manny has most of the minutes previously held by sophomore Art Kell, whose season ended due to a leg injury as UMass began conference play. Since then, Manny has nine goals, six assists. He also leads the conference with 3.75 points per-game in conference games.

The only blemish to Manny’s conference numbers is his 16 turnovers.

Biscardi has seven goals, five assists, while starting in all four conference games this season.

Defenseman Diogo Godoi and Casey Rahn have led the UMass defense through conference play, amassing 14 caused-turnovers, 20 ground balls, second only to face off midfielder Greg Rushing, who leads the conference with 21 ground balls during CAA play.

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

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