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UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Minutewomen look to work on teamwork against Holy Cross

After a crushing defeat by Northwestern, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team looks to make early adjustments in today’s contest against Holy Cross.

The Minutewomen (0-1) are looking to open their home schedule with a victory, banking on three aspects of the game.

Team work

UMass isn’t looking to change its strategy, but rather use a simple tactic in order to defeat the Crusaders in today’s contest: team work.

“I thought just overall teamwork, I think we weren’t there for each other [against Northwestern] on our slides, defensively, and groundballs we were by ourselves,” UMass coach Alexis Venechanos said.

“UMass lacrosse is built on doing all the dirty work and doing it all together,” Venechanos said. “And I thought we needed more of that, and we’ve been working hard this past week with our drills.”

Just like last week, Venechanos is unsure of her starting lineup. While she stated she did want to keep similar sets of plays going, the actual lineup is still in question.

“We’re going to try and move some people around,” Venechanos said. “We’re going to be moving a lot more people around, but I think getting more opportunities on goal will be a high priority for us.”

The Minutewomen are hoping to fix the mistakes they made against the Wildcats in their 18-6 loss in San Diego by uniting more as a team.

“As a group, [we want to be] limiting [Holy Cross’] high-quality opportunities, which I felt Northwestern had a lot of,” Venechanos said. “[We hope to be] playing more as a team on the attack and also on defense.”

Draw controls

In the season opener against Northwestern, the Minutewomen were overpowered, 21-5, in draw controls, with the Maroon and White nabbing just a pair in the second half.

“I think draw controls killed us last week,” Venechanos said. “I think the final score was very consistent to the draw controls. We talked about how we need the ball and we need to gain that to get possession and gain opportunities.”

Last year, one of the keys to the success of the Minutewomen came from their earned draw controls. Over the course of the season, UMass outclassed its opponents in draw controls by a 266-197 margin.

“A lot of draw controls are heart and hustle, and we’ve been working hard,” Venechanos said. “The girls have been coming out earlier at practice, and continue to try to get the ball back in our hands after we score.”

Leading the team last season in draw controls were attackers Meghan Reddy (78) and Holly Drown (44). Below the now graduated players was current senior Jackie Lyons, who had 31 draw controls, while midfielder Merritt Cosgrove also earned a high amount with 27.

“We’re not asking someone to be Superwoman,” Venechanos said. “We’re not asking one person to replace each of these people, but we’re asking to do it as a team. I think as a team we could replace Meg Reddy, as a team we could replace Holly’s finishing ability.”

With the losses of Reddy and Drown, along with a combined 122 draw controls, the Minutewomen offense is looking to recapture their draw control dominance.

Home-field advantage

Today’s game against the Crusaders is the first contest to take place in McGurik stadium in the 2010 season.

“[We’re looking to] refocus, regroup, and we’re excited we have sixteen more games,” Venechanos said. “We’re glad that we didn’t end with Northwestern, we started with Northwestern, and we have 16 more games.”

Including today’s game, UMass will play five of its next six games at home before hitting the road for six games.

Last season, the Minutewomen went 5-2 on their home field. Absent from UMass’ home schedule last season was Holy Cross, who defeated the Minutewomen, 11-7, in Worcester.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

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