Scrolling Headlines:

Report: UMass men’s basketball set to hire Matt McCall as next head coach -

March 29, 2017

Community talks education, immigrants’ rights, climate change with state senators -

March 29, 2017

Q&A: Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, an advocate for access and affordability for underrepresented students -

March 29, 2017

Plant-Based Nutrition club promotes healthier, sustainable diets on campus -

March 29, 2017

Rolling tobacco and high profits for iRollie -

March 29, 2017

UMass softball to kickoff conference schedule on Thursday at Boston University -

March 29, 2017

UMass baseball coach Mike Stone trying not to dwell on 2017 being his final season -

March 29, 2017

Fresh off NCAA Championship appearance, UMass diver Emma Roush looks ahead -

March 29, 2017

Notebook: UMass men’s soccer adds junior college transfer to roster for next season -

March 29, 2017

Newly appointed UMass defensive line coach Dave Wissman has taken interesting road to Amherst -

March 29, 2017

Student Union Craft Center serves as an open space of expression for students -

March 29, 2017

An ode to Amherst’s American Legion -

March 29, 2017

Letter: The Graduate Employee Organization wants to empower those who are marginalized -

March 29, 2017

To counter and balance: A place for conversation in the opinion pages -

March 29, 2017

Activism can change the world -

March 29, 2017

Active Minds strives to start conversation about mental health, end stigma -

March 28, 2017

Native American Student Association plans for powwow after travelling to Native Nations Rise March in Washington D.C. -

March 28, 2017

Black Student Union aims to be a strong voice for the African-American community on UMass’ campus -

March 28, 2017

UMass Students for Reproductive Justice continue fighting for student rights -

March 28, 2017

UMass notebook: Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry reportedly interviewed for a second time Monday for men’s basketball head coaching vacancy -

March 28, 2017

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.

Leave A Comment