April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass looks for first win in home opener

Looking for its first win of the 2010 season, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will host Holy Cross in its home opener today at McGuirk Stadium.

The Minutewomen (0-1) will attempt to rebound from their 18-6 loss to five-time defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Northwestern in their season-opener nearly two weeks ago.

In that contest, UMass fell into an early hole, trailing 7-0 after the first 15 minutes, 45 seconds of play. Jackie Lyons and Nina Sarcona, however, scored back-to-back goals in a 38-second span to cut the deficit to five goals.

The Wildcats (1-0) came right back with seven more goals to end the half while outshooting the Minutewomen 37-14. In the second half, UMass allowed only two scores but couldn’t close the gap with three goals, including one from senior Merritt Cosgrove.

Cosgrove, a Carlsbad, Calif. native, played in her home state for the first time in her collegiate career.

Northwestern’s Shannon Smith scored six goals and added three assists, setting new career highs in goals, assists, and points for the Wildcats.

Though the game against the Northwestern didn’t pan out like UMass coach Alexis Venechanos hoped, it did give the Minutewomen aspects to work on before facing the Crusaders.

“We have a lot to work off from this past week and I’m excited that we had almost a week to prepare for Holy Cross,” Venechanos said on Tuesday. “We’ve been going back to fundamentals and things we can control and just got back to UMass lacrosse.”

Holy Cross, meanwhile, will begin its season on Wednesday against UMass. In 2009, the Crusaders recorded a 5-11 overall record, while going 3-3 in the Patriot League.

Having already played a team this season, and a good one at that, Venechanos feels her team is currently in a better position than its opponent.

“We’re hoping we can use that to our advantage,” Venechanos said. “Getting those nerves out in the first game will hopefully give us better opportunities to put ourselves in better situations [today].”

Holy Cross is coached by UMass alum Stephanie Ridolfi ’00 and returns its top three scorers from 2009: Katie Gardner, Meg O’Leary, and Megan Fenton. Goalkeeper Amy Martin also returns after posting a 12.29 goals against average and a .462 save percentage in 15 starts last season.

“They run an attack that is very good and deliberate, so we’re going to have to play a good team defense to stop them,” Venechanos said. “On attack, we’re going to have to put our shots away when we get our opportunities. They’re greatly improved from last year and we always have a battle against them, so we’re looking forward to it.”

The Crusaders have been picked to finish fifth in the 2010 Patriot League preseason poll as voted on by head coaches and sports information directors from around the league. After missing the Patriot League Tournament by one game last season, Holy Cross will look to win its third league championship in the last five years.

The Minutewomen lead the all-time series, 9-4, though Holy Cross has won three of the last four meetings. At McGuirk Stadium, UMass has lost only once to the Crusaders, boasting a 5-1 record on the home turf.

“I think we’re just excited to play, home or away,” Venechanos said. “Having it be at home, we are a lot more comfortable and used to our stadium. We’re just trying to worry about ourselves, whether we’re playing home or away, it doesn’t really matter.”

Five of the first seven games to begin the season for the Minutewomen will be in Amherst, where they were 5-2 last season.

In the contest last year with Holy Cross, the Minutewomen suffered an 11-7 loss in Worcester in their season opener. UMass trailed that game, 6-3, at halftime, but managed to score three consecutive goals to even the score.

The Crusaders, however, answered with a four-goal run over the final 17 minutes to claim the victory.

Venechanos and the Minutewomen will look for a different result today when the game begins at 3 p.m. at McGuirk Stadium.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

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