We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Massachusetts Minutemen, located in Amherst, MA, are up for Preview!
2012 saw UMass go 15-1, win all their regular season games, and enter the tournament as the #1 seed. After beating four top 20 teams in the regular season, UMass lost to Colgate 13-11, and their potential season of ’72 Dolphins glory went down the drain.
2013 once again sees UMass enter the Colonial Conference as the favorite, but other teams, like Penn State, Drexel, and Hofstra all seem to be on the rise. The Minutemen will also face Army, UNC, Harvard, Brown, Albany, Bucknell, Lehigh, and Hartford. Lots of good tests, and at least 8 games that could conceivably turn out either way.
Will Manny returns as one of the most dynamic ball carriers and dodgers in D1 lacrosse. He is joined by Kyle Smith, who put up 52 points last year, and a younger group of attackmen, as well as some middies who could see time down low on the offensive end, like Colin Fleming. Out of all the players on UMass’ roster, Greg Canella will definitely be able to find 6-12 guys who can really get it done. Offensively, UMass should be just fine, although I’d like to see some more midfield scoring, to get through tight games.
Tim McCormick is gone in cage, and Anthony Toresco is no longer taking face offs. These are two big, and immediate holes to fill. Of course if middies like Bobby Tyler and Ryan Izzo can score more goals, it becomes less of an issue. Reed Goodhue saw some time in net last year, but I definitely get the feeling that Zach Oliveri will be the starter. If Joe Calvallo can emerge as a tested FoGo, UMass could be ok in that department. Otherwise someone else will need to step in, and possessions could become an issue.
Ryan Hollenbaugh and Jake Smith both return on defense for UMass, and these two guys logged a ton of minutes last year. They will provide good senior leadership for the D. One can also bet that at LEAST one of the guys who sees time will be from Massachusetts. Of the 12 defenders on UMass’ roster, NINE are actually from Massachusetts. As someone who used to see UMass rosters lined with LI kids, this is awesome! In-state recruiting. Love it.
Overall, UMass has some studs, and a couple of younger guys with huge upsides. If they want to make the same (or bigger) waves as they did in 2012, new players will need to step up, and some of these Mass HS recruits will really need to pan out. If they do, UMass could see another great year. So far, so good for the Minutemen.
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, and Maryland!