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May 4, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse attempts to get closer to 50 consecutive conference wins at Davidson

Caroline O’Connor/collegian

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team is carrying its six-game winning streak into its first road conference game this season against Davidson.

“I think we embrace going on the road actually because we sort of love the team time,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “At the same time, it is a business trip. We’re going there to perform well and hopefully have our best game of the season on Friday.”

The Minutewomen (7-3, 2-0 Atlantic 10) are coming off a record-setting victory against Saint Joseph’s. Hannah Burnett led the team with a school-record eight goals and added two assists to surpass the UMass record for points in a game as well. The team also accumulated 24 total goals, tying the program record.

For McMahon, a win against the Wildcats would place her two games shy of 50 consecutive A-10 conference wins.

“I think we just try to play in the moment,” McMahon said. “[We] focus on the little things within the game that if we do all of those things well, consistently, through 60 minutes then hopefully we have a good result.”

Midfielder Hannah Murphy, a senior, acknowledged the pressure her team has felt throughout the seemingly never-ending conference win streak, referring to it as “good pressure.”

“I think we try to channel that pressure into just positive motivation because we hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Murphy said. “We want to keep that winning streak going obviously.”

Davidson (3-6, 1-1 A-10) recently broke its five-game losing streak, dating back to March 5, against Jacksonville with a 14-11 victory against George Washington last Sunday. The win came after the Wildcats opened the second half on a 6-1 run after trailing 8-6 at halftime. Three of those five goals marked a career-high for junior Christine Molinari while her four total points were a personal best.

During their losing streak, the Wildcats scored under 10 goals in each of their five games, revealing the team’s recent offensive struggles. They’ve accumulated 78 total goals this season, while the Minutewomen have netted 131.

Burnett and Holly Turner are currently tied as point leaders for the Minutewomen with 37. Burnett has 30 total goals, 14 of which occurred in the last three games. She adds seven assists and was recently named the A-10 Offensive Player of the Week as well as Student-Athlete of the Week.

Murphy continues to lead the A-10 in draw controls, averaging 8.50 per game, helping UMass as a team top the conference in draw controls as well, averaging 15.10 per game.

The Wildcats rank ninth in draw controls averaging 9.44 per game and have accumulated 85 total this season. Murphy has 85 draw controls on the season alone.

“[We’re] playing really hard in practice and preparing ourselves for the upcoming game,” McMahon said. “I think we’ll try to be a little bit more goal-oriented as oppose to winning-oriented.”

Annie Brocket leads Davidson in points with 21 goals and five assists for 26 points. As a team, Davidson has accumulated 77 caused turnovers, led by Mackenzi Sivilli who has 12 on the season thus far.

The Minutewomen are led by Sarah Crowley in caused turnovers with 27, contributing to the team’s total of 126. The senior was recently named the A-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Week, and leads the A-10 in caused turnovers per game (2.70) which ranks seventh nationally.

“Everyone is pretty excited and I think that we’re not getting comfortable which has been the talk,” Murphy said. “Because we have to keep holding ourselves to a high standard, we can’t let up even a little bit because we don’t want to lose.”

Mollie Walker can be reached at molliewalker@umass.edu or followed on Twitter at MWalker2019.

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