Scrolling Headlines:

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to snap losing streak again Towson

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

If you ask any member of the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team about its next opponent, they will tell you that it doesn’t matter who they are playing and that no game is more important than another. That all changes when it comes to the Towson Tigers.

No current player on UMass (4-5, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) has defeated Towson. The team has lost five straight to the Tigers, their last victory coming in the 2012 season. One of those losses includes the 2015 CAA championship game where Towson bested the Minutemen in a tight 9-8 contest.

“It’s definitely a very important game,” senior midfielder Dan Muller said. “The seniors, we’ve lost to them four times including the CAA finals, so I think it’s a very important game. Just like every CAA game, this one is important.”

“You hope [they’ll be motivated], especially the seniors who haven’t beat those guys,” UMass coach Greg Cannella said. “The freshmen, it doesn’t really touch them like it does the seniors. You hope they put it in the right direction.”

Towson enters the game ranked No. 16 in the country. The Tigers have gotten it done through their defense, which allows just 8.12 goals per game. UMass has relied on its defense to keep games close this season and will need another big performance in the back end to keep things close on Saturday.

One of the players tasked with exploiting the Tigers defense will be freshman attack Jeff Trainor. Trainor is coming off a four-point game in last week’s win against Delaware, and was rewarded by being named the CAA Rookie of the Week.

“Jeff is a well-rounded player,” Cannella said. “He can do anything you can ask him to do because of his abilities. He has a good sense of the game. As an offensive player, he understands some of the nuances of the game. He understands where the opportunity may be. He’s a good all-around player.”

Cannella has a good understanding of how a typical conference game will be played. The games are typically hard fought, defensive and close, and Towson fits under each of those categories. Cannella knows that any game with Towson is a tough one to win, and that his team will have to match their opponent’s intensity.

“I would expect this to be a tough, physical team,” Cannella said. “Towson is a reflection of their coach. [Shawn Nadelen has] been a fantastic coach in bringing that type of mentality to the game. Urging his players to be tough and to play really good defense and make the tough plays on the field.”

“You hope that we can match that and be similar to that,” Cannella added. “I would expect it to be one of those games again. It’s not going to be easy to score. It’s not going to be easy to grab ground balls. It’s not going to be easy to defend. It’s going to be tough.”

Preparing for a team that has had your number for the past five years is never easy, and the Minutemen are focused on putting the past behind them and focusing on the now. This year’s UMass squad has played in five straight close games, and that tight game experience may serve the Minutemen well Saturday if that game ends up as the close game everyone is expecting.

“We’re just going to get in the right mindset and play our game,” sophomore attackman Tyler Bogart said. “We can’t worry about what they’re doing or what they’re thinking. It’s all about us right now.”

Game time is set for 12 p.m. on Saturday in Towson, Maryland.

Thomas Johnston can be reached at tjohnston@umass.edu and followed on twitter @TJ__Johnston.

Leave A Comment