UMass Gets Set To Begin 2015 At McGuirk Stadium Against Army Saturday

Minutemen and Black Knights meet in season-opener for fifth consecutive campaign
UMass-Army Tilt Moved To McGuirk Stadium

The University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse team will play host to the Army Black Knights at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 at 1 p.m. Originally scheduled for Garber Field, damage to the playing surface at Garber necessitated the move to McGuirk.

All fans attending the game at McGuirk Stadium are asked to park in the lot directly South of the facility, accessible by Stadium Drive. More information on how to reach McGuirk Stadium is available here.

Scouting Army Men’s Lacrosse
The UMass and Army men’s lacrosse programs begin their respective 2015 seasons with a Saturday, Feb. 7 game at McGuirk Stadium. The game marks the fifth consecutive season the teams started their years against each other. The Minutemen claimed victory in each of the previous four, including a 6-5 win at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York, last year. Army is ranked No. 20 in the USILA Coaches Top-20 Poll and Inside Lacrosse media rankings. UMass receives votes for both polls.

Army returns key attackman John Glesener, the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year. Glesener recorded a team-high 57 points last season via 43 goals and 14 assists in 14 games played and started. Will Mazzone, who is also back with the Black Knights, had the next-most points a year ago (34) through 19 goals and 15 helpers. Another key cog in the Army starters is fourth-year goalie Sam Somers, who sported a 5.43 goals-against average and .622 save percentage over 563 minutes in the cage during 2014.

Black Knights head coach Joe Alberici, who is in his 10th season guiding the program, will put his squad up against stiff competition in 2015. Army will face USILA Preseason Poll No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Syracuse during the non-conference season while conference foe Loyola (Md.) is No. 7 and Lehigh sits at No. 18.

Last Meeting: Massachusetts 6, Army 5; Feb. 8, 2014
The University of Massachusetts men’s lacrosse program opened its 2014 season with a 6-5 victory at Army’s Michie Stadium in West Point, New York, on Saturday, Feb. 8. Grant Whiteway and Nick Mariano each recorded a pair of goals to pace the offense while redshirt-sophomore goalie Zach Oliveri made eight saves.

Grant Consoletti and Mariano generated the UMass offense in the first quarter with help from Rob Lynott and Connor Mooney as the Minutemen raced to a 3-0 lead. However, Army responded with three consecutive goals in the second quarter to tie the game at 3-3.

Jeff George put the Minutemen up 4-3 before the break and Whiteway added his two during the third quarter on feeds from Ryan Izzo and Mooney. The defense then had to stave off a Black Knight fourth quarter rally after Army scored back-to-back goals, the final of which came with nearly nine minutes still to play.

The defense was able to keep the Black Knights from registering an on-target shot down the stretch as the Minutemen forced Army into a trio of turnovers, including two failed clearing attempts, during the final three possessions.

On Top Of The Tweet Game
Instant information about the men’s lacrosse program, including an inside look at key points and statistics in each game as well as updates from practice and other team events can be found through the Twitter handle @UMassMLacrosse. Follow the Minutemen there and catch information about each UMass Athletic Department program through @UMassAthletics.

All Home Contests Available On UMass All-Access
UMass men’s lacrosse will have each of its seven home games broadcast online through UMass All-Access, a CBS Interactive product. The link for each broadcast was accessible in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer is asked to purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.

Two Decades Under The Influence
The 2014 season marked Greg Cannella’s 20th as the head coach of UMass. The University of Massachusetts graduate is 178-110 overall during his 20 completed seasons as the program leader and he stands as one of the longest tenured coaches in Division I men’s lacrosse. In terms of total Division I experience, Cannella is eighth while his 20 years in Amherst place him fifth for longest head coaching tenure at a current school among the 67 head coaches in D-I during the 2014 season.

Cannella has guided the Minutemen to many of the most successful campaigns in program history since being named the head coach on Nov. 9, 1994. The Lynbrook, N.Y., native took the 2006 squad to the NCAA Championship Game and led UMass to the most single-season victories in program history (15) as well as the No. 1 national ranking during the 2012 season, which culminated in the most recent of the team’s eight trips to the NCAA Tournament under Cannella.

Izzo Earns First Career USILA All-America Award In 2014
The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) awarded short-stick defensive midfielder Ryan Izzo a spot on the organization’s all-America listing on Thursday, May 22. Izzo was tabbed an honorable mention recipient after he provided 25 groundballs and six caused turnovers during the 2014 season.

The honor marks the 135th all-America award issued to a Minuteman by the USILA and the 44th during head coach Greg Cannella’s 20 seasons leading the program.