Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Minutewomen begin a six-game road stint beginning this weekend

Having played five of its seven games at home this season, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team has yet to face a long road trip. That changes this weekend as UMass begins a six-game road stint stretching into April.

First on the calendar for the Minutewomen (3-4) is Stony Brook, which UMass takes on Saturday. Then, the Minutewomen will remain in New York and head to the state’s capital the following Saturday to face Albany to round out the spring break schedule.

UMass is coming off a win against Yale to snap its three-game losing streak during its four-game homestand. Behind a strong defense and a possession-controlling offense, the Minutewomen seized the 9-5 win against the Bulldogs (1-3).

Sophomores Nina Sarcona and Jesse O’Donnell as well as junior Jackie Lyons accounted for all of UMass’ scoring to lead the way. Lyons scored a pair of goals and added two assists, while Sarcona and O’Donnell each recorded hat tricks with three and four goals, respectively.

“[Last game] was a huge win, [Yale] was a team with a different style of game and we looked to adapt to that and still come up with the win,” UMass coach Alexis Venechanos said. “Going on the road will be a lot tougher but the last win helps up heading to Stony Brook.”

The Seawolves, meanwhile, begin a three-game home stretch after playing three of their five games this season on the road. In its last two outings, Stony Brook fell against Johns Hopkins and American to drop to 1-4 this spring. In their only win, the Seawolves had their best offensive performance to defeat Duquesne, 16-8.

The biggest problem for the Seawolves this year has been a drop in production from the first half to the second half of games. Stony Brook’s inconsistencies have produced 28 goals in the first period and only 18 goals in the second period. Its shot opportunities have also declined by 17 in the second half while its opponents’ shots have increased by the same number.

In its last meeting with the Seawolves nearly a year ago, UMass outshot Stony Brook 34-16 en route to a 14-9 win. Then-sophomore Haley Smith scored a career-high six goals to lead the Minutewomen attack, including a pair of scores in the second half to spark a four-goal run.

Regardless of the Seawolves’ struggles this season, Venechanos isn’t overlooking them.

“Stony Brook is a really good team and they’ve been on the road a bunch,” Venechanos said. “They’ve been playing a lot and they’re battle tested, so it’s going to be another tough matchup.”

Albany will enter the matchup with UMass having played only four games, with two of those contests (Siena, Canisius) coming in the week leading up to the Minutewomen.

In their two games so far this season, the Great Danes suffered a closely-contested 17-14 loss to Hofstra on the road before exploding on offense for a 24-2 win over Niagara at home.

Albany has averaged 34 shots a game and has been efficient with its chances, holding a .559 shot percentage. Despite its success on offense, Albany has been dominated by its opponents on draw controls, amassing 22 and allowing 38.

The last occasion when the Minutewomen and the Great Danes met was back in 2007 in UMass’ first-ever home game at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Behind nine goals in the second half, the Minutewomen earned a 15-7 win to improve to 6-0 all-time against Albany.

Rather than vacation, UMass will get back to work this spring break as it looks for a pair of wins against Stony Brook and Albany on the road.

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

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