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UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

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

Minutewomen cap perfect A-10 season with win over Hawks

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team concluded its regular undefeated Atlantic 10 season schedule by traveling to Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia and winning, 18-4. The win not only added an exclamation point to an already impressive season, but it also kept the Minutewomen undefeated in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Already having locked up the No. 1 seed in the A-10 tournament, the win over Saint Joseph’s was a testament to the staying power and will to win by all players on the UMass team.

UMass head Coach Angela McMahon has been talking all year about playing as a unit and taking things one game at a time, and by doing so the team would put themselves in the best position to win.

“We approached Saint Joseph’s with the same mindset we always come prepared with, and that is to just win the game,” said McMahon.

Even though their final regular season game at Saint Joseph’s carried no added weight because of the lack of tournament implications, the Minutewomen did not come out stagnant, instead coming out ready to play and, more importantly, ready to win. The Minutewomen opened the game against SJU by scoring first and scoring often. Their first three goals were scored in just a little over seven minutes of game time, and the Minutewomen would continue to pressure the Hawks. Saint Joseph’s scored only one goal in the first half, while the Minutewomen tallied 12, giving them a huge advantage going into halftime.

Just over two minutes into the second half, junior Ali Houlis scored the Minutewomen’s 13th goal of the game and increased a large deficit already facing the Hawks, who would only score three more goals in the course of the game.

The Minutewomen once again won almost every statistical category possible including shots-on-goal, saves, ground balls, draw controls, clears and free-position shots. Since the beginning of the season, the Minutewomen have been a very dominant team on the attacking side of the ball. However, in the last month of the season the defense has really stepped up its game and has been anchoring many UMass victories. In the final three games of the season, the Minutewomen defeated George Washington, Richmond and the Hawks. In those three victories, the Minutewomen defense let up a total of 14 goals, while the offense scored 53, giving them a plus 39 advantage in goals scored and goals surrendered.

“Our defensive play has really turned around during the course of this season, and that is a huge testament to our players and our core defensive players back there, but it is also a testament to our assistant coaches Sarah Albrecht and Eileen Finn who kind of run the defensive side of things,” McMahon said.

Even though the defense and the play in net have both been very strong over the course of the season, it has elevated the team to a new level in recent games. Since the Minutewomen have such young team, these regular season experiences could prove invaluable for how the team fairs as a whole during the A-10 tournament and the NCAA tournament. McMahon pointed out the cliché phrase that defense wins championships, and she believes that the team is going to have to rely on the defense to help win games come the A-10 tournament.

“The cohesiveness is huge, they [defense] are working really hard together, they are communicating, and definitely stepping up,” said McMahon. “The girls are faced with a lot of different opponents, so we have different game plans for everybody, and they are starting to see and understand the game a lot better.”

The next time the UMass women’s lacrosse team will step onto the field will be for the opening round of the A-10 tournament on Friday.

“We are coming into the tournament with the same approach we have been using all year, but with more of a sense of urgency because it is one and done, and we have to make sure that we are taking care of business and playing to our capability,” said McMahon.

Nicholas Bellofatto can be reached at nbellofa@student.umass.edu.

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