In an afternoon game today, the No. 5 Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team will take on Albany in its second home match of the season.
The Minutemen (4-0) moved up a spot in the national ranks this week following their 12-7 win in Brown on Saturday. However, UMass coach Greg Cannella says that national ranks are not something he or his team worries about.
“We’ve been preparing yesterday and today for Albany so you don’t have time to look at that,” said Cannella. “That stuff is fodder for the end of the year, if you’re in that position at the end of the year you’ve done a good job.”
The Minutemen host a Great Danes team struggling for a victory early in the season. They have begun their season by losing to No. 15 Yale 13-7, previously-No. 18 Drexel 13-8 and No. 6 Syracuse 12-7.
While UA’s struggles are obvious, Cannella pointed out the history between UMass and Albany.
“You can throw the record out when we play Albany,” said Cannella. “In the last seven games we’re 2-5 against Albany.”
They showed clear improvements in their last loss against the Orange, one of the best teams in the nation.
“They’re very well coached, they have tremendous athletes, and they’ve played well in every game,” said Cannella of Albany.
Senior Joe Resetarits leads the Great Danes in scoring with nine goals and three assists on the season. Resetarits returns after last season, in which he led Albany in points with 44.
Aiding Resetarits on the offensive side is the trio of Thompson’s. Ty Thompson (seven goals, one assist), Miles Thompson (three goals, three assists) and Lyle Thompson (two goals, four assists) are second, third and fourth on the team in scoring, respectively.
Miles and Lyle are brothers, and Ty is the cousin of the two.
“Those guys are good ball players, they chewed us up last year,” said Cannella.
Last season, Albany snapped UMass’ perfect 4-0 start to the season, with Ty Thompson and Miles Thompson providing a goal apiece.
“Albany always gets up to play us, whether it’s here or it’s at their place,” said Cannella.
The Minutemen earned their win over Brown this weekend thanks to the play of seniors Art Kell and Anthony Biscardi.
Kell scored three goals and two assists, while Biscardi added a hat trick as well. Neither player had gotten off to a hot start offensively entering Saturday’s game as Kell had just four points and Biscardi, three.
“I think Art had some bad luck,” said Cannella. “The goalies made some good saves on him, and he missed the goal a few times.”
Cannella does not view Kell’s early scoring drought as a slump.
“I don’t think it’s a slump, because he’s played well, it just hasn’t showed up on the scoreboard,” said Cannella.
Biscardi, on the other hand, was hurt at the beginning of the season, which caused the slow start.
“Anthony was dealing with some injuries early in the year, and he’s starting to get a little bit healthier,” said Cannella.
While neither player has been too involved in the scoring early in the season, that does not mean they have not contributed to their team’s wins.
“I think if you’d ask those guys, as long as the team’s winning, they’re doing their job,” said Cannella.
In addition, Cannella pointed out that during Kell’s sophomore season, the team was 6-2 before his season-ending injury. After his injury, they finished 8-6 on the season.
“He’s a big cog in the wheel,” said Cannella of Kell. “If a basketball team has four guys scoring in double-digits, that fifth guy’s probably not going to, and that’s how it works.”
Today’s game begins at 3 p.m. at Garber Field.
Jackson Alexander can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Alexander.