Minutewomen’s lack of possession proves costly

By Melissa Turtinen, Collegian Staff

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Looking at the statistics from Sunday afternoon’s Massachusetts women’s lacrosse game, one would assume that the Minutewomen came away with a win, but the score of the game tells a different story.

UMass lost to Temple, 12-9, after having the lead for most of the first half. The Minutewomen dominated on shots, 22-19 and groundballs, 10-8. They were successful in draw controls, 13-10, in which UMass senior Kathleen Typadis had two giving her a career total of 104 to surpass the school record of 103. UMass also had a season-low eight turnovers to Temple’s 12. None of that seemed to be enough to beat the Owls, who remain undefeated in the Atlantic 10.

“[Temple’s] goals and possessions were timelier. When they had the ball, they were under control,” UMass coach Alexis Venechanos said.

The reason for the Minutewomen’s loss was the lack of possession in the second half. Temple controlled the ball for the last 15 minutes of the game, which did not allow UMass to get a chance to gain control for a run at the goal. In the second half, Temple scored six goals and held UMass to two.

In the last six minutes of the game, Temple ran four minutes off the clock in its offensive zone until senior Whitney Richards scored her third goal of the game that assured Temple the win.

“We were tied or down by one, and we didn’t have the ball. It could have been us going up by one [but they had control],” Venechanos said regarding the Owls’s long possessions. “They played to their strengths.”

In the first half, UMass was on top of its game. The Minutewomen seemed to recover on loose balls very quickly. The defense didn’t allow quality shots on their goalkeeper, freshman Colleen Speth and they played aggressively to keep control of the ball. They also came back very quickly whenever Temple would score a goal, which has been hard for the Minutewomen to do in recent weeks because they have trouble resetting and seem to get let down.

The Minutewomen did well when they had control of the ball and gained momentum, allowing them to dominate play during the first half. They controlled the field in between the 30-yard lines, which has been difficult for the team in the past. During the second half in the defensive zone, typically a strength for the Minutewomen, it was hard for them to get control of the ball.

The turning point in the game was when Temple controlled the ball and slowed the game down. Temple took its time and got the ball to the players it wanted to take shots.

The Owls took their time and controlled the pace of the game making UMass play down to their level.

Melissa Turtinen can be reached at [email protected]