Scrolling Headlines:

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August 27, 2016

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UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

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UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Defensive cohesiveness quietly yielding results for UMass women’s lacrosse

Currently on a three-game winning streak, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team has used its defensive cohesiveness to quietly limit its opposition to less than 10 goals in three of four games this season.

Taylor Snow/Collegian

Though it graduated a core of defenders, highlighted by Riley Perry and Ali Houlis, who led the team in ground balls, UMass (3-1) returned a group that left room for new faces to emerge in leadership roles.

With more than one pair of shoes to fill – as the leader on draw controls, attacker Nina Sarcona, who also graduated – UMass coach Angela McMahon said her team’s defense has shown no drop-off, remaining consistent with the Minutewomen’s usual standards.

“I think our defense is doing a great job of really limiting opponents’ opportunities,” McMahon said. “From Northwestern, where they score 16 goals against us and we kind of well apart a little bit, I think that from that game on, our defense has completely come together and just done a really god job of limiting each team since then.”

McMahon also said her squad’s ability to force low-percentage shots has directly equated to a favorable scoring margin.

Junior defender Kelsey McGovern, who has emerged as the team’s top defensive force – leading UMass in ground balls (10), draw controls (27) and forced turnovers (five) – has not gone unnoticed by McMahon, who attributes recent success to McGovern’s grit.

“She had dominating days on the draw so that obviously is going to translate into us being able to score more,” McMahon said. “I think between her and also the people around her – because some of the draws she’s able to get to herself, some is trying to direct it towards the people that are around her – both ends of those things are happening pretty well right now.”

Despite McGovern’s standout play, McMahon maintains that not having a single go-to player, as well as believing that anybody can score at any time, has contributed to defenders playing as a unit.

Rush scores seven in two games

Reliable defense has also yielded offensive success for the Minutewomen, notably in the form of junior attack Sam Rush, who scored seven goals over the last two outings.

The West Babylon, N.Y., native, described by McMahon as a great finisher who has a knack for getting herself in a position to score goals, ranks second behind junior attacker Katie Ferris in points and goals with 11 each.

Rush and Ferris front an attack that has outscored its opposition 61-42 through four games.

Although UMass has built momentum, McMahon said the Minutewomen’s confidence has to remain constant, no matter the caliber of opposing teams.

“That’s the goal,” McMahon said. “That’s what we’re trying to stress and focus on. Sometimes there’s let downs, it happens, but we’re trying to have that be less and less during the duration of the game and have more time where we’re on and being consistent.”

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

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