UMass lacrosse looking to upset No. 1 Yale at Garber Field

The Minutemen are 1-1 against ranked opponents this season

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Eva Trainer

By Colin McCarthy, Collegian Contributor

The Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team will be looking for a major upset at home on Saturday when it takes on No. 1 Yale.

The Minutemen (2-2) are coming off an 11-9 victory on Tuesday against UMass Lowell in a game that saw Gabe Procyk and Jeff Trainor combine for eight goals. However, there is always room for improvement in the eyes of UMass coach Greg Cannella.

“I think we still leave a lot out there with our opportunities. In each game we’ve played, the opposing goalie has been in double digits in saves,” Cannella said. “That has to change.”

Trainor, who had three goals on Tuesday, will be a key player for UMass, looking to make plays all over the field. He is a true midfielder, playing on the wing on faceoffs, making plays in the offensive end and staying on for defense if needed.

Trainor shares coach Cannella’s sentiment about the offense and sees a lot of potential in his teammates’ success finding the back of the net.

“Offensively were really just starting to figure it out,” Trainor said. “So, I think with this opportunity to play against a really good defense it’s going to be a really good test for us.”

Another player to look out for is freshman face-off specialist Zack Hochman, who will be battling against TD Ierlan, one of the best face-off specialists in the country.

“I think it’ll be a good test for me to test where I’m at,” Hochman said. “He’s proven himself as a player, obviously, so I think it’ll be a good opportunity to prove myself.”

It certainly will be a test for Hochman. Ierlan comes into this contest winning 68 percent of his draws. Hochman has won 60 percent of face-offs in his own right, including a dominant performance last Saturday against Harvard where he won 16 of 22 face-offs.

Despite the Bulldogs being the best team in the country, Cannella doesn’t want the Minutemen to approach this game differently than they would any other opponent on the schedule.

“I think that’s a bad way to go as a coach,” Cannella said. “I think we have to prepare the same way for UMass Lowell that we do for [Yale].”

Although their mentality will not change, the Minutemen will have to alter their preparation slightly, given that Saturday’s game will be their third in the span of one week.

“There’s a lot of rest because you got to get these guys’ legs back,” Cannella said. “Maybe do a little bit more than you would do on a Friday. Typically, Friday’s are pretty light, but we’ve got to get stuff in.”

The minutemen are considered major underdogs in Saturday’s clash with Yale, but that doesn’t seem to bother Trainor or the team.

“Oh yeah it’s something we definitely take a lot of pride in,” Trainor said. “UMass is full of a lot of blue-collar, really gritty kids.”

The Minutemen and Bulldogs will face off at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Garber Field.

Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.