#17 UMass Lacrosse Opens at Sacred Heart (with Video)

The Series with Sacred Heart

UMass leads the all-time series with Sacred Heart, 6-1 after last season's 15-6 win to open the 2009 season at Garber Field on Feb. 14. The Pioneers won their first ever game against the Minutemen in the last meeting at SHU, 9-7, on Mar. 18, 2008. The teams have played each season since 2003.

Before Sacred Heart's win, UMass had won the first five meetings by an average margin of 6.2. In that span, the Minutemen won by at least five on every occasion.

In games in Fairfield, UMass is 2-1. UMass leads 4-0 in the all-time series in Amherst including the 2003 season opener, a UMass win over Sacred Heart in the first-ever meeting.

The three earliest opening games in UMass history have come against Sacred Heart, the 2003 lid-lifter in 2003 on Feb. 22, the 2009 opener on Feb. 14 and this season's opener on Feb. 12.

Last Season's Game: UMass 15, Sacred Heart 6

The UMass lacrosse team began the 2009 season with a rousing 15-6 win over Sacred Heart at a chilly Garber Field. Tim Balise scored three goals and added two assists for five points while four others scored two goals for the Minutemen (1-0). Evan Blum, Bobby Hayes, Ryan Marcus and Rory Pedrick all scored twice. Marcus was one of four Minutemen to score their first-career goals along with Joe Reale, Casey Rahn and Anthony Biscardi.

UMass avenged the previous season's 9-7 loss to the Pioneers (0-1) and the Minutemen pumped up 50 shots for the second year in a row against Sacred Heart. UMass outshot SHU, 51-22. Senior captain Doc Schneider made seven saves for the Minutemen in the nets. Sacred Heart's Timmy Katz had a hat trick for the Pioneers in the defeat.

Season Openers

UMass has an all-time record of 29-26-1 in season openers.

This will mark the third time the Minutemen have ever opened their season against Sacred Heart. The teams played the opener in 2003 and 2009.

Godoi A Preseason Second-Team All-American

Senior captain defenseman Diogo Godoi was named an Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Magazine Preseason All-American. He was an Honorable Mention USILA All-American last season. He will return for his senior year with numerous honors as has been also named an All-ECAC First Team defender and an All-New England pick. He anchored a UMass defense that finished the season 11th nationally in fewest goals allowed (7.93). He shut down the opponent's top scorer on numerous occasions, including in the NCAA Tournament contest at Princeton when he held the Tigers' top scorer Jack McBride (a Second-Team All-American) pointless. He started all 15 games while recording 28 groundballs and 21 caused turnovers, tied for most on team. He was twice named to Inside Lacrosse Team of the Week on March 23 and April 6.

UMass Picked Second In CAA; Trio Earn Honors

UMass was picked to finish second in the CAA based on the preseason lacrosse coaches poll. Hofstra was selected to win the league in the coaches' vote. The Minutemen placed three players on the preseason All-CAA team in senior midfielder Bobby Hayes, junior long-stick midfielder Casey Rahn and senior defenseman Diogo Godoi. The three selections was the second most in the league behind Delaware's four picks. This is UMass' first year in the CAA after playing in the ECAC, a league UMass captured the crown in last season.

Big Winners Over Last 8 Years

UMass has established itself as one of the top programs in the nation. Since 2001, UMass is tied for the seventh-most wins of any program in college lacrosse with 91 victories.

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