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Minutewomen fall to No. 1 Terps to end regular season

Prior to playing in next weekend’s NCAA Play-In Game, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team closed out its regular season on Saturday against Maryland at Ludwig Field.

The contest was a homecoming for Minutewomen head coach Alexis Venechanos and associate head coach Acacia Walker, who were two of the top Terrapins in program history.

Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Maryland (17-1) was the second No. 1-ranked team the Minutewomen faced this season, with the first being against Northwestern in an 18-6 loss back on Feb. 6 to begin the spring.

Coming off of their Atlantic 10 tournament title, UMass (10-9) couldn’t sustain its momentum and fell 14-4 to the Terps.

Senior Merritt Cosgrove played in her 73rd career game for the Minutewomen to set the program’s games played record. She scored half of UMass’ goals for the game, while earning one ground ball and draw control.

Maryland came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, taking a quick 7-0 lead by the 12 minute, eight second mark. All seven goals were scored by different players as the Terps production was spread out throughout the contest.

Facing a large deficit, the Minutewomen could only manage one goal for the half on a free-position score. Sophomore Jesse O’Donnell finally put UMass on the board with 8:52 remaining on her 37th goal of the season, placing her second on the team in goals scored behind junior Jackie Lyons (46).

Maryland continued its hot play to start the second half, scoring four more goals before the Minutewomen could answer with their second score. Sophomore Danielle Pelletier scored an unassisted goal to make it an 11-2 game with 17:06 remaining.

The Terps kept the pressure on UMass and ended any chance of a comeback with three more goals over the next three minutes. Cosgrove scored both of her goals in the final 11 minutes of play, giving the Minutewomen only four scores on the day. The goals marked a season low for UMass, as well as the 13 shots taken.

Maryland, meanwhile, took 29 shots and forced the Minutewomen into 17 turnovers.

UMass goalkeeper Katie Florence made seven saves in nearly 53 minutes of play before being replaced by freshman Christina Fey.

Nine different players scored goals for Maryland, including Sarah Mollison, who led all players with four points (two goals, two assists). Four Terps also had multi-goal games to round out the offensive attack.

On Saturday, UMass will play the winner of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship game between Stanford and Denver in the NCAA Play-In Game. The game will be hosted by the winner of the MPSF championship.

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

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