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May 14, 2016

Eipp leads No. 10 UMass women’s lax to victory over BU

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

The No. 10 Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team has a group of players that it typically counts on to step up score when the team needs an extra push: Katie Ferris, Sam Rush and Tanner Guarino.

But in Wednesday’s game against Boston University, it was sophomore attacker Erika Eipp who shouldered that responsibility for the Minutewomen, leading the team with four goals on their way to an 11-8 victory over the Terriers.

“Sometimes people are looking for Katie (Ferris) to do it all the time, but a good defense is going to be able to really focus in on our key players,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “So we need other people to step up, and that’s when we saw Erika take on that role.”

With the team down 3-2 in the first half, Eipp scored the tying goal, then scored the go-ahead goal a couple minutes later.

“It really felt great to help the team come out with a win today,” Eipp said.

The team still got plenty of help from its usual contributors, as Rush finished with three goals and Ferris added a goal and two assists.

The first half of the game was a back-and-forth battle throughout. BU (0-3) took an early 3-1 lead in the first 10 minutes, but UMass (4-0) scored four unanswered goals (three by Eipp and one by Rush) to come back and take a 5-3 lead.

After her team fell behind, McMahon called a timeout and made sure her team stayed poised under pressure.

“I think it was just settling down and everybody taking their time when they had the ball,” McMahon said. “I think we were just a little rushed and we just needed to be a little bit better composed.”

The Terriers scored the last goal of the half and then tied the game within the first two minutes of the second half. However, the Minutewomen took back their lead just two minutes later on a free position goal by Guarino that sparked a four-goal run for UMass, which put the game out of reach for the Terriers.

McMahon said that a big difference between the first and second half was the team’s ability to execute on their shots against BU goaltender Caroline Meegan, who finished the game with nine saves, six of which came in the first half.

“Our shooting in the second half was definitely better than our first. The goalie was making some huge saves, but we were able to put our shots away in the second half.”

The Terriers played a very physical game, committing 30 penalties, compared to the Minutewomen’s 23. But McMahon said that UMass played well in the face of BU’s tough style of play.

“I think we handled it pretty well. Didn’t really necessarily dictate the game either way,” she said. “I think that’s how it’s going to be going forward against top teams, so we have to be ready for it.”

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

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