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December 29, 2016

Minutewomen explode for 23 goals in rout over Marist

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

After a heartbreaking loss left them with their first defeat of the season, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team bounced back Tuesday afternoon, trouncing Marist 23-7 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The Minutewomen had a 13-goal run between the first and second half that keyed the victory. The 23 goals marked the second-most in school history for a single game and most since 1980.

Thirteen different Minutewomen found the back of the net with Nina Sarcona (four goals, one assist), Jackie Lyons (two goals, three assists), and Katie Ferris (three goals, two assists) leading the way. Jesse O’Donnell had a hat trick and both Courtney McGrath and Sam Rush chipped in a pair of goals. Goalkeeper Katie Florence stopped four shots en route to her seventh win.

“We put a lot of goals in the net today,” said head coach Angela McMahon. “It was good to see a lot of different people step up.”

The teams went back-and-forth for the first 13 minutes, each team fighting for the lead. With 17:02 remaining in the first half, Lyons scored to break a 4-4 tie. From that point on, the game was never in doubt for UMass as they went on to score seven more goals before the half concluded, making the score 12-4.

The Minutewomen did not let up in the second half, as they scored the first five goals. Marist’s Kelly Condon broke UMass’ 13-0 goal run by scoring her second goal of the game. That barely deterred the Maroon and White, though, as the Minutewomen went on another 6-0 run to increase their lead, 23-5. Marist tacked on a pair of goals in the last five minutes of the game to solidify the score at 23-7.

When all was said and done, the Maroon and White had outscored Marist, 19-1, from Lyons’ tie-breaking goal to Melissa Carelli’s first collegiate score with 5:41 remaining. During that stretch, Ferris collected all three of her goals, Lyons had two goals and two assists, and Rush had two goals and an assist.

McMahon was impressed with her team’s run, and she attributed the success to the players execution of the intangibles.

“I think that came from us winning the draw controls and winning the groundball battles,” said McMahon. “That just gave us a lot of momentum at the offensive end.”

The Minutewomen collected 25 groundballs and won 23 draw controls, while the Red Foxes picked up 13 groundballs and nine draw controls. UMass set season-highs in a number of different areas including goals (23), assists (10), and caused turnovers (21).

Condon led the Red Foxes offensively with three goals. Ashley Casiano started in the cage and made nine saves before being replaced by Alyssa Littin who stopped four shots.

The Red Foxes only attempted 13 shots in the game, a season-low for them and a season-best for UMass in shots allowed.

McMahon gave her stingy defense credit for shutting down a dangerous Marist attack.

“I think we did a pretty good job on defense, holding them and limiting their shots.”

This impressive defensive performance was no anomaly for the Minutewomen, who have allowed opponents just over 20 shots per game through their last five games. In its first three games, UMass allowed an average of 33 shots per game.

The Minutewomen will conclude their non-conference schedule on Saturday against No. 2 Northwestern. The game will be played at 7 p.m. under the lights at McGuirk Stadium.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at jtalexan@student.umass.edu.

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