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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #27 UMass Minutemen

Despite winning the CAA regular season title, the Minutemen were ousted in the conference semifinals.

UMass Athletics

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#27 UMass Minutemen

Conference: CAA
2019 Record: 10-5 (4-1 in CAA)
Postseason: Lost to Drexel in CAA semifinals
Head coach: Greg Cannella (25th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Gabriel Procyk (36)
Assists: Chris Connolly (36)
Points: Chris Connolly (63)
Faceoffs: Tom Meyers (212-of-347; 61.1%)
Ground balls: Tom Meyers (121)
Caused turnovers: Isaac Paparo (31)
Goals against average: Sean Sconone (8.61 GAA)
Save percentage: Sean Sconone (61.5%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: D Isaac Paparo (31 CTs, 65 GBs, 7 Gs, 3 As), G Sean Sconone (8.61 GAA, 61.5% SV %, 40 GBs, 13 CTs), FOGO Tom Meyers (61.1% FOs, 121 GBs, 2 CTs), M Ben Spencer (12 Gs, 2 As, 3 GBs, 2 CTs), LSM Mike Elcock (16 CTs, 15 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 25 of 312 points (8%)
Senior starts lost: 39 of 150 (26%)

Season Summary

UMass looked to have taken over as the kings of the CAA after winning the conference in 2018. They returned a majority of players from the previous season and looked to be the favorite coming in to 2019.

The start to 2019 was very parallel to 2018 with the Minutemen starting early. This time, they started 1-3 instead of 1-4 with their losses coming against Army West Point, Ohio State, and Yale. The Army and Yale defeats were by one goal, both saw the Minutemen tie the game up with one second left in regulation. UMass’ lone win came against Harvard as they held leads in the second half of each contest.

But then came the winning streak, six games to be exact, and the defense began to roll. The Minutemen took care of Albany, NJIT, UMass Lowell, Utah, and Brown before CAA play began with a one-goal win over Drexel. UMass scored the game’s final three goals to pull out the win.

Unlike last year, the Minutemen had a hiccup in the backend of the regular season. Despite holding a 9-7 lead in the fourth quarter against Hofstra, UMass lost the lead with goals from Jimmy Yanes and Ryan Tierney before allowing the game-winning goal in overtime on Dylan McIntosh. They did bounce back with a strong 14-10 win over Towson, despite allowing seven goals in the final quarter. After beating Fairfield, the Minutemen held on against Delaware in the regular season finale to clinch home field advantage in the CAA Tournament.

Their opponent was Drexel, the team they faced in their regular season conference opener. It was a rough first half that saw the Dragons take a 9-4 lead. But even though the Minutemen outscored Drexel 8-6 in the second half, it wasn’t enough as UMass’ season came to a sudden end.

Chris Connolly carried the offense at attack with a team-high 63 points on the season. He was the first sophomore since Jim McAleavey in 1989 to reach 100 career points before the end of his second season with the team. Freshman Gabriel Procyk led UMass with 36 goals and were all joined by Devin Spencer and his 34 points. Up top, Jeff Trainor became the first midfielder since Chris Fiore in 2003 to reach 100 career points. He recorded 37 points on the season. Kevin Tobin, Billy Philpott, Ben Spencer, Kevin Cutinella, and Charlie O’Brien also starred up top.

The defense had two of the best players in the conference in seniors Isaac Paparo, a defenseman who also saw time at long pole, and goalie Sean Sconone. Sconone became the first Minuteman in program history to win one of the USILA’s major individual awards as the recipient of the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award for the nation’s best goalie. Those two helped UMass be the third best scoring defense in the country. Paparo was joined alongside junior Jackson Subboch and sophomore Sam Eisenstadt on close defense with Greg Pandise also seeing time. Mike Elcock and Dan O’Brien were the primary LSMs, and Philpott, freshman Matthew Hill, and senior Anthony Reale were primary SSDMS. Reale also grabbed a pole at times. Tom Meyers assumes faceoff duties and went over 60% as a senior.

Looking Ahead

UMass’ dominant defense takes a couple of big hits in Paparo and Sconone as starters. The losses of Elcock, Pandise, and Meyers at the faceoff X also hurt. Joe Casucci, Adam Towey, and Quinn Towne are young options at close and perhaps even at LSM. Tyler Green will be a junior and went 17-of-29 (58.6%) last season and looks like the top returning option. Hampton Brennan and Cameron Carpenter are options to start in goal.

The only departure on offense is Ben Spencer and his 14 points at midfield, which shouldn’t be that bad to replace. Nick Roy and Scott Del Zotto are other depth options on offense.

With Towson losing a handful of players from their CAA winning squad, UMass looks like the favorite to win the conference. If all goes well.

Poll

How many wins will UMass get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    0-5
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    6-7
    (6 votes)
  • 38%
    8-9
    (21 votes)
  • 47%
    10+
    (26 votes)
55 votes total Vote Now