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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

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Freshmen power UMass men’s lacrosse to season opening win at Army

Zoe Mervine/Collegian File Photo

Zoe Mervine/Collegian File Photo

Greg Cannella entered his 20th season as Massachusetts men’s lacrosse coach unsure of where his team’s points would come from.

Cannella got an unlikely answer in Saturday’s season opener at Army, as three freshmen combined for four goals in the Minutemen’s 6-5 win over the Black Knights.

Freshmen Grant Consoletti, Nick Mariano and Jeff George all scored in their collegiate debuts for UMass (1-0), with Mariano scoring twice. Consoletti started the attack exactly five minutes into the game when he popped out from the crease to beat Army goalkeeper Sam Somers.

“It’s good for them,” Cannella said of his freshmen. “Hopefully they can build on it. That’s everybody, if we’re going to be an effective unit, we’ve got to play with more confidence and handle the pressure that we received today.”

UMass lost the shots on goal battle, 27-20, but forced 11 turnovers for the game.

Youth also charged the defensive end for the Minutemen, notably in the form of freshman Aaron Madaisky. The 6-foot-7, 225-pounder effectively sealed the win by forcing and recovering a crucial ground ball, allowing his team to take a timeout with 1:20 left on the game clock.

UMass paced the contest with three goals through the first quarter, the final two coming from Mariano. Army followed the with three consecutive goals in the second frame, but once George broke that tie with just over three minutes until the half, the Minutemen never looked back.

Consoletti called the freshman class an “impact class” and said the young attacking unit gained confidence with each goal.

“I was losing it,” Consoletti said of his scoring debut. “I was really pumped up, I think I’ll always remember it. It’s weird for freshmen to play, especially on a UMass team, but we really stepped up. I feel like the first (win) is the hardest one to get.”

Junior Grant Whiteway buried a bouncing ball midway through the third quarter to extend the lead to 5-3. He scored again six minutes later on a shot five yards up the field from goal line extended.

Whiteway acknowledged the high amount of new faces on this year’s team, but said reps in practice and through two scrimmages have established an early chemistry. He was especially proud of his younger teammates for “grinding it out” away from home.

The veteran attacker added that a strong motion offense was another sign of the rookies becoming comfortable.

“Everyone stepped it up a little bit,” Whiteway said. “It’s huge, but we’ve just got to keep on working. We want to keep it going.

Cannella echoed the junior, saying that his team needs to score in the double digits if it expects to win on a consistent basis. He was cautious to grade individual performances based on such a small sample size, but noted that there is still a learning curve at this stage in the season.

“We’ve won one game,” Cannella said with a sense of realism. “We need to be consistent with our effort and our play. I told the guys, ‘you’re 1-0, but that guarantees only that if you lose the rest of your games, you’re going to be 1-12. You’ve got to work your hardest this week.’”

Peter Cappiello can be reached at pcappiel@umass.edu. Follow him on Twitter @petecapps

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