UMass women’s lacrosse overcomes momentum changes to notch first overtime win
Heading into its first overtime contest of the season, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team found itself on the opposite end of the game’s momentum.
UMass (2-3) started the second half with all the momentum and a 7-4 lead, scoring six unanswered goals in the first. While UMass tallied the first goal of the afternoon, Connecticut outplayed the Minutewomen and buried a total of five goals in the second half to send the game into overtime.
“I think UConn is a great team and they were working really hard all game and just put a run together,” UMass head coach Angela McMahon said. “I think we were a little slow to make some adjustments and figuring out what they were doing.”
UConn’s (2-3) control over the second half was highlighted by its 4-3 draw control advantage as well as narrowly edging out UMass 14-13 in shots on goal. Though the Minutewomen accumulated 28 total fouls for the game, 16 of them occurred out of frustration in the second half.
Just one second before the whistle blew commencing overtime, UMass drew a yellow card to give UConn the man-advantage to start the extra minutes.
McMahon credited the Minutewomen’s vigorous practice schedule this past week, following their 17-8 loss against Syracuse, for their ability to stay mentally tough.
“I think the odds were against us but I think our team embraces those sort of situations,” McMahon said. “It’s just good to see the hard work that they’ve put in pay off.”
UMass’ first-half performance was highlighted by its 10-2 draw control over the Huskies as well as a 16-10 shot advantage. The Minutewomen capitalized on both free-position shot opportunities while the Huskies missed their only attempt.
“It’s exciting,” said Callie Santos, who scored the overtime winner. “We worked really hard in the first half and we had a lot of opportunities so I’m really happy that I was able to get the ball in the net.”
Santos saw a lot of heart in the Minutewomen today and also credited their performance to the week they’ve had in practice.
“We had a lot of confidence going into [overtime] because we’ve been working so hard,” Santos said. “We had all the confidence in the world that we could get the ball in the back of the net.”
Both McMahon and Santos credited freshman goalkeeper Lauren Hiller for standing strong throughout the ups and downs of the game. Regardless of momentum, Hiller was able to put a stop to multiple Husky runs, including a crucial save occurring just one minute into overtime.
“Hiller made some great plays for us,” McMahon said. “It’s still early in the season so we have to learn and take better care of the ball.”
Overall, McMahon was pleased with UMass’ first-half performance soley because the team had struggled with building a lead the last few games. Now, she hopes to teach the Minutewomen how to maintain the leads they build.
“Happy to come away with a win like that and we just want to keep getting better,” McMahon said.
Mollie Walker can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at MWalker2019.