Scrolling Headlines:

Report: UMass football’s Todd Stafford arrested Saturday morning in Stamford, Connecticut -

Monday, July 20, 2015

UMass names Molly O’Mara newly-created associate director of athletics for communications and PR -

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baker approves state budget, UMass to receive $5.25 million less than legislature’s proposed figure -

Friday, July 17, 2015

UMass bathroom policy to provide comfort, safety for transgender and non-gender conforming students -

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Long-time UMass professor Normand Berlin, 83, dies -

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

UMass professor and poet James Tate dies at 71 -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

State legislators propose budget, UMass could receive almost $532 million -

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cause of death determined for UMass student Chloe Malast -

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass returns to Amherst for home opener against LIU Brooklyn

Leaving the California sun behind, it’s home sweet home for the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team.

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

After getting outscored 25-22 in a season-opening road trip against No. 1 Northwestern and Southern California in Los Angeles, the Minutewomen (1-1) return to Amherst for their home opener against LIU Brooklyn on Saturday evening at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

UMass coach Angela McMahon has never faced the Blackbirds in her time as coach, giving a sense of unfamiliarity entering the game. And she believes a spotlight on fundamentals is the key to success against a new opponent.

“I think we (should) just put the focus on us and the things we need to do to be the best team we can possibly be,” McMahon said. “Focusing on the little things, details, specific sets we want to run and just making sure we’re taking care of business on our end. If we do that, then we should be successful.”

LIU, who went 1-15 last year with a 1-8 mark in Northeast Conference play, only graduated two seniors last year, both of which were goalkeepers.

Despite youth in net, the Blackbirds retained their top four scorers.

Attackmen Shakoya Smith, Ashley Delaney, Brittany Rader and Caitlin Farrell headline LIU’s offense heading into its season-opener against UMass, combining for 132 points last season.

However, the Minutewomen returned their top two scorers from last year’s Atlantic 10 championship team in Katie Ferris and Lauren Terracciano.

Following up a tough season-opening loss against Northwestern with an 18-9 beatdown of USC, junior defenseman Kelsey McGovern hopes her team can carry that momentum into Saturday’s game.

“I think it’s really big that we start (with a) win at home and keep that momentum going throughout the season,” McGovern said. “We can always improve, but I think things are going really well.”

McMahon said establishing a home-field advantage is crucial, as well as playing in top form for a full 60 minutes.

“It’s really important that we start off on a good note and start finding our chemistry on the field,” McMahon said. “There’s just pure excitement to play at home. It’s something we take a lot of pride in, our home games, and trying to stay undefeated at home is always a goal for us.”

With inexperienced players finding playing time early in the season, McMahon said that her team is showing bright spots.

“We’re getting there,” McMahon said. “It’s definitely a work in progress, but I think having the opportunity to go on the road and spending that time together, both on and off the field, really helps. We’re just in the beginning stages here.”

McMahon said another positive of the young campaign is the defensive play of McGovern.

Totaling eight ground balls, 10 draw controls and five forced turnovers, McGovern is raising the team’s confidence in addition to making her mark on the scoresheet, according to McMahon.

“Hustle stats are kind of what we try to pride ourselves in as a team,” McMahon said. “Coming out of last year, we were one of the leading teams in the country with draw controls and that’s something we wanted to put a focus on because we graduated our main person on the draws.”

Transitioning from midfield halfway through her sophomore year, McMahon said McGovern’s size, aggressiveness and athleticism, as well as intelligence and leadership have allowed her to make a huge impact in her new role.

McGovern said that while her team subscribes to a brand of unselfish lacrosse, they are no strangers to tenacious play.

“The little things are really important to me, if I get a goal, great, but that’s what the offense is supposed to do,” McGovern said. We are pretty gritty, that’s kind of our (modus operandi) so I don’t have to worry about that.”

Confident in her squad’s abilities, McGovern said the team is ready for Saturday’s matchup.

“It’s hard to beat us at home so we’re excited,” McGovern said.

Peter Cappiello can be reached at pcappiel@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Cappiello.

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