April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

After historic 2013 season, UMass women’s lacrosse aims even higher in 2014

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Coming off its best season in almost two decades, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team hopes to go even further in 2014.

Last year, the Minutewomen went 15-2 in the regular season, including a perfect 7-0 in conference play. They won their fifth straight Atlantic 10 championship and defeated Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1984, before being knocked out by Penn State the next game.

Senior attackman Katie Ferris said that while the team is taking things one step at a time, the ultimate goal is to surpass the results of last season.

“It’s usually every team’s goal to get further than they got to the year before,” she said. “But definitely getting that sixth A-10 championship, that’s first on our to-do list.”

The Minutewomen are expected to win that sixth conference championship in the A-10 preseason poll. They’re also ranked No. 13 in the nation in the IWLCA coaches’ poll.

UMass was strong in all facets of the game last year, finishing with the fifth-best offense in the country (14.76 goals per game) and the ninth-best defense (8.24 goals allowed per game), and has most of last year’s roster returning after losing just four players to graduation.

UMass should be challenged with a tough non-conference schedule, starting with Vanderbilt, a member of the tough American Lacrosse Conference, followed up with a rematch against UConn and the two teams that handed the Minutewomen their two regular season losses last year: Boston University and Northwestern.

“Each one of those games is absolutely critical to us in terms of looking at the big picture of everything,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said.

UMass has gone undefeated in conference play in each of the past three seasons, but McMahon said the team still needs to be wary of its conference opponents after close games last year against Richmond, George Washington and Temple.

“We have to expect and know that we are going to get every single team’s best effort and best game because we have done well and have that target on our backs,” she said.

The Minutewomen’s season starts on Feb. 9 in Nashville, Tenn., for their opening game against Vanderbilt. Ferris said that first game is critical to setting up the team for a successful season.

“I think our greatest challenge is going to be the first game we have,” she said. “I feel like if we do bad during that game, then it’s just going to set a bad tone for the whole entire season. If we do good, then it’ll be a good tone for the whole entire season.”

Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at jmayfiel@umass.edu and can be followed on Twitter @jgms88.

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