Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass looks to end three-game skid against Harvard

By Kyle Predki, Collegian Staff

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With a disappointing 0-3 start this year, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will look for their first win this weekend as they head to Cambridge to take on Harvard.

For UMass, it will be the final game before the home opener against No. 13 Dartmouth, and the last chance to notch a win during their season-opening road trip. Harvard (1-0) will be a welcomed opponent for the Minutewomen, who have already played at No. 6 Maryland and at No. 10 Boston University.

The match will mark the home opener for Harvard, which defeated Holy Cross, 13-10.

Harvard and UMass have both played Holy Cross this season. For the Crimson, the results ended in their favor. In Harvard’s season opener, they were the victors in the match, 13-10. For UMass the outcome was not as fortunate. The Minutewomen dropped their season opener against Holy Cross, 11-7, on Feb. 17.

In the history between Harvard and UMass neither has the definite advantage. In the past 10 years, the two teams are set at an even record of 5-5. On the score sheet, Massachusetts has the advantage by outscoring Harvard, 101-87.

For UMass, traveling to Harvard may actually be an advantage, as UMass has a 3-2 record in the past 10 years. The Minutewomen have averaged 11 goals per game at Harvard in those games.

The one thing that Harvard has on its side is that when these two teams play, wins come in streaks of two. Since 1999, the outcomes of the matches switch every two years. Harvard’s last victory over UMass was the first win of the reoccurring statistic.

Leading the UMass offense against Harvard will be senior Holly Drown and sophomore Jackie Lyons. These two combine for almost half of the UMass goals, seven of 16, and also combine for a shooting percentage of .350.

UMass will also have to watch Harvard’s sophomore midfielder, Jess Halpern. Halpern opened the 2009 season by netting a career-high six goals. As a freshman, Halpern scored 34 goals and added 12 assists for the Crimson.

UMass will also need to watch freshman Katie Doherty. In Doherty’s collegiate debut, she scored four goals on six shots against Holy Cross.

Merritt Cosgrove and Jackie Rosenzweig will also look to help the Minutewomen. Both Cogrove and Rosenzweig ‘- along with UMass assistant coach Kristin Blanchette ‘- have been selected to represent Ireland in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women’s World Cup.

Cosgrove has notched three goals on 11 shots so far this season and has 13 goals as a midfielder in her career at UMass. Rosenzweig has earned recognition through her defense, a position that can’t be graded by comparing score sheets.

For these three, the tournament doesn’t start until June 18 in Prague, Czech Republic. For now the team will continue to prep for Harvard on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Kyle Predki can be reached at [email protected]

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