No. 5 Minutemen Prepare for Competition at Harvard

UMass men’s lacrosse heads to Cambridge, Mass., to continue in-state rivalry

QUICK HITS
In 2013, UMass men’s lacrosse…
• Started 2-0 for the 24th time in program history and fourth consecutive season.
• Had a pair of six-point performances against Army from players recording their first collegiate points in Matt Whippen and Andrew Sokol.
• Defeated a top-5 nationally ranked opponent in #4 North Carolina for the 13th time in program history.
• Won its season-opener for the fifth consecutive season, dating back to 2008.
• Notched its seventh straight contest scoring in double-digits dating back to last year.

In 2012, UMass men’s lacrosse…
• Finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1969.
• Claimed victory in a single-season program-record 15 contests, extending its regular season win streak to 17 games in the process.
• Notched the best scoring margin among all NCAA Division-I teams at +5.75.
• Tallied the third-best scoring defense in the NCAA, limiting opponents to just 7.19 goals per game.
• Outscored opponents by 92 goals, 207-115 and recorded 175 more points, 344-169.
• Defeated four ranked opponents: #11 Ohio State, #12 Bucknell, #14 Penn State and #19 Towson.
• Won in overtime at Penn State, marking the eighth consecutive victory for UMass when the game goes to OT, dating back to the 2007 season.
• Had six players named USILA All-Americans, including 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist Will Manny.
• Placed in the top-10 nationally in 10 team categories and seven individual listings.

SCOUTING HARVARD
Harvard men’s lacrosse will open its 14-game regular season schedule for 2013 with a home meeting against the University of Massachusetts, adding another chapter to the perennial in-state rivalry between the programs. The Minutemen took last year’s contest between the squads at Garber Field, 16-8 on March 27, 2012, and have won 30 of the 43 meetings to-date. UMass owns a strong advantage in games played at Harvard, drawing victory in 19 meetings while only falling four times to the Crimson, though UMass lost the last outing in Cambridge, Mass., on March 29, 2011, after winning 13-straight dating back to 1985. Chris Wojcik is in his third year as the head coach of Harvard, sporting a 16-16 overall record through two years, which is supported by a 10-6 campaign in his first year leading the program in 2011.

The Crimson graduated two of their top three point-scorers in 2012, with team-leader Jeff Cohen (48 goals, 8 assists, 56 points) and Kevin Vaughan (17, 19, 36), who notched the third-highest total, gone. Harvard will rely on strong years from Daniel Eipp, who notched 42 points on 24 goals and 18 assists as a sophomore in 2012 and freshman Will Walker, who added 15 goals and six assists during his first collegiate campaign.

Jake Grambitsky and Harry Krieger split time in goal for Harvard during 2012, accumulating 818:53 of a possible 841:23 between the piped. Grambitsky, a freshman, played nearly 470 minutes over nine contests, making seven starts on the year. Grambitsky averaged 10.61 goals allowed per game with a .471 save percentage and 3-4 overall record. Kreiger allowed 8.42 tallies per game with a .510 save percentage in eight appearances and six starts. Kreiger won two contests against four losses and enters his senior season in 2013.

Despite their 6-8 overall record last year, Harvard finished with positive margins in goals (145-137), assists (75-74) and points (220-211), while also recording a lead in groundballs, 400-373 and faceoffs won, 185-147.

LAST TIME VS. HARVARD
The No. 2 UMass men’s lacrosse team was able to break through the Harvard Crimson defense on Tuesday, March 27, with a 16-8 victory at Garber Field, improving to 8-0 on the 2012 season in the process. The Minutemen came into the contest having lost three of the last four against Harvard, but were able to snap that streak with the team’s third-largest margin of victory on the campaign.

Will Manny paved the way for head coach Greg Cannella’s squad with a game-high five goals, while dishing out two assists. Art Kell scored four times and Anthony Biscardi added a hat trick towards the UMass effort. Mike Fetterly was unselfish with a team-high three assists.

Play was back and forth throughout the first half, as UMass opened the first 15 minutes of play with two goals by Kell and Manny. The second stanza was much like the first, with UMass coming away with a 4-2 goal advantage on scores by Biscardi and Bobby Tyler.

It was not until the second half that the Minutemen extended their lead beyond four goals. Steve D’Amario and Kell reeled off consecutive tallies, six minutes into the final 30 minutes of play to make it 11-4.

The Crimson would not go away quietly, scoring twice in the third quarter and twice in the fourth. The final quarter of play was dominated by the Minutemen with a 4-2 goal advantage, including the first four of the quarter.

Alex White was a bright spot for Harvard with three goals, as the Minutemen held the Crimson’s leading scorer coming into the contest, Jeff Cohen, to just one tally.

UMass won the ground battle with a 28-23 advantage on groundballs. The Minutemen were 15-of-27 on faceoffs and 1-for-2 on extra man opportunities. Tim McCormack was rock solid in between the pipes, stopping 11 Harvard shots.

Photo courtesy UMass Athletics