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UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Minutewomen look to continue A-10 success

Over the last four seasons, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team has been nearly unbeatable in conference play, thanks in large part to its early non-conference schedules.

Cade Belisle/Collegian

“With having all of our non-conference games first, I think that if we really learn from every single game, continue to grow and continue to improve, then I think that as we go along then it’s really going to help shape our conference season,” Minutewomen coach Angela McMahon said.

During UMass’ run of four-straight Atlantic 10 Conference titles, it has amassed a dominating 33-3 record against conference opponents, never losing more than two games to A-10 foes in a season. In the past two years, UMass has a perfect 18-0 mark, but were pushed to overtime twice last season.

“I wouldn’t use the word domination because we had two overtime games last year,” McMahon said. “So, we were literally seconds or one play away from losing two conference games last year that could have gone the other way.”

Though the Minutewomen suffered two scares last season against Richmond and Duquesne, their average margin of victory last season was nine goals, which jumped slightly to 9.5 in the A-10 tournament. UMass also owned the top offense in the conference last season, averaging 16.9 goals per game, while surrendering 7.7 on the defensive side.

While the quest for a fifth-straight A-10 conference title comes with its own pressure, that the Minutewomen are hosting this year’s conference tournament will certainly add to the stress.

“It’s definitely a little bit more of a pressure,” junior Katie Ferris said. “But, at the same time, we’re really excited that it is here at home and we don’t have to travel.”

McMahon added that the team needs to take a sense of pride in hosting the tournament and make sure it is still playing when the tournament rolls around.

Despite the added pressure, UMass heads into the season as the overwhelming favorite to capture  the A-10 title, as it is the only team from the conference to be ranked by the two major polls for women’s lacrosse. In the deBeers Media poll, the Minutewomen are ranked No. 13, while in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll they sit at No. 14.

Even with the high ranking, coach McMahon knows that, come conference play, every game has its own importance and must be played with the same level of intensity.

“Going into (the conference) prepared and ready to go,” she said, “we know that every single game within the conference is critical and that we really have to step up and take care of business on our end.”

UMass will not get into its conference schedule until the 11th game of the season when it visits La Salle on March 30. The Minutewomen’s conference home opener is scheduled for April 5 against Richmond – a rematch of last year’s A-10 conference final that UMass won, 14-9.

The Minutewomen will not see rival Duquesne until April 20, also at home, which will be a rematch of last year’s 10-8 overtime thriller.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter at @MDC_Strohecker.

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