Women’s Lax: UMass splits pair before A-10 Tournament

By Melissa Turtinen, Collegian Staff

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With a 1-1 weekend the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team secured a position in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Minutewomen secured their position on Friday with a win against St. Bonaventure and are the fourth seed after a loss against Duquesne on Sunday.

The Minutewomen will take on top-ranked Richmond on Friday at home.

“We knew going into this weekend that it was going to be a tough weekend. I’m really proud [of] how the team played on Friday. We took care of business and in this game [Sunday] we really just wanted to play together,” UMass coach Alexis Venechanos said.

Sunday’s game against Duquesne (8-8, 5-2 Atlantic 10) was the deciding factor on which team would be ranked third going into the A-10 Tournament. Duquesne edged out the Minutewomen with a goal in the final 13 seconds for an 11-10 win.

“This game came down to a couple possessions and we had a couple opportunities to win the game and we didn’t do it, but I think that going forward, we’re going to learn a lot from this game,” Venechanos said. “We haven’t been really in a one-goal game, back and forth. It’s usually been two or three goals [that we’ve been in the situation where we’re] coming back or ahead. I definitely think that we’re going to learn a lot from this game.”

In the game senior Jeannette Villapiano and sophomore Kaytlin McCormick led the Minutewomen with three goals apiece. Villapiano also had an assist in the game for a career-high four points. She also added a draw control to total 77 for her career, which ranks sixth all-time at UMass.

Senior Krissy Anderson was in the cage, and after winning the last three games straight, she made seven saves against the Dukes.

The Minutewomen out-shot Duquesne, 27-22, and had more draw controls, 13-11.

The game began with back-and-forth goals to make it 4-4 going into the second half. UMass started the second half’s scoring spree with a goal from Jackie Lyons. Both teams again traded goals for most of the second half. With 9 minutes, 45 seconds left on the clock Duquesne was leading, 8-7.

As play continued Villapiano and freshman Kelsey Schriener scored back-to-back goals, giving the Minutewomen the lead once again, but not long after the Dukes tied the score at nine with 6:16 left to play.

McCormick scored to make it 10-9 with 5:54 to play and the Minutewomen held onto the ball running three minutes off the clock. UMass turned the ball over and Duquesne scored a game-tying goal with 2:04 remaining.

After a timeout for the Minutewomen the Dukes won the draw and controlled the ball until there were 13 seconds left on the clock. They then scored the game-winning goal to finish third in the A-10.

“I think in the first half that we both tried to feel each other out and we were trying to do some things defensively and they were trying to do some things as well,” Venechanos said. “I think both teams responded well and going into this game I knew it was going to be close. I’m very proud of how we played and I’m looking forward to having another game on Friday.”

Once the game was over, UMass honored its seniors, Anderson, Julie Papaleo, Kathleen Typadis, Villapiano and Melynda Zwick.

On Friday afternoon UMass clinched its position in the Atlantic-10 Championship with a 12-7 win over St. Bonaventure (4-10, 2-5 A-10). It was the Minutewomen’s third consecutive win.

“I was really impressed with our defense keeping this team at bay. They have two strong scoring threats and between both of them they only had on goal and one assist,” Venechanos said. “I was really impressed especially with Jackie Rosenzweig and Papaleo.”

Zwick led the Minutewomen with a game-high five points, three goals and two assists. Typadis also contributed largely to the win with four goals.

The game was very physical with 26 fouls called against UMass and 37 fouls called against the Bonnies. The Minutewomen had 11 free position opportunities, scoring on five of them which largely contributed to the win.

The Maroon and White entered the second half with a 5-3 lead and kept the lead going scoring the first five goals. Zwick ignited the streak after she scored two of her three goals in the first six minutes of the half. With 21:43 remaining the Minutewomen were up, 10-3.

The Minutewomen’s goals didn’t come completely unanswered; St. Bonaventure scored three goals in the final 12:08 of the game for a final score of 12-7.

Melissa Turtinen can be reached at [email protected]