Minutewomen use last second goal to beat BU

By Nick Bellofatto

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The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team and head coach Angela McMahon headed to Boston University on Feb. 23 for a match against the No. 18 ranked Terriers for another non-conference game. The Minutewomen used a full team effort and a last second goal to beat the Terriers, 13-12, at Nickerson Field.

The game got off to a quick start as the Terriers gained possession of the ball and scored just 38 seconds into the first half.

Twenty-eight seconds later and only 1:06 into the game, UMass senior midfielder Haley Smith answered with a goal of her own, tying the score at one. Senior attacker Jackie Lyons followed Smith’s lead and scored another goal to give UMass a 2-1 lead with 25 minutes remaining in the first half.

In a five minute span following Smith’s goal, the Terriers scored three unanswered goals, taking a two-goal lead over the Minutewomen. UMass would continue to battle with BU throughout the first half before ultimately taking a 6-5 lead into halftime.

Statistically speaking, the first half was just as close as the score would indicate. While the Minutewomen won the ground ball battle, 11-7, they were beaten 13-11 in shot opportunities. UMass was in a similar situation in their first game of the season against Holy Cross when it had a chance to put the Crusaders away leading 7-2, but could not do it in regulation.

On Feb. 19 after the Vermont game, the Minutewomen overcame that issue by gaining an early lead on the Catamounts and never letting it slip away.

On Wednesday against the Terriers, the Minutewomen trailed early and were forced to rally from behind in order to take the one goal advantage into the second half.

BU began the second half just as they began the game, by scoring, and scoring in bunches. The scoring was answered by an UMass goal, but it was not enough as the Terriers opened up a 9-8 lead with 20 minutes left in the second half.

“They just went on a few runs, and we had a tough time getting some stops while they were making their runs,” McMahon said.

Coach McMahon has preached playing the full 60 minutes of every game, which in turn would put them in the best position to win. However, playing the full 60 minutes does not always mean having a cushy lead. Sometimes it requires battling back from a deficit.

With just seven minutes left in regulation, the Minutewomen did just that, overcoming a 12-10 disadvantage to ultimately win, 13-12..

“I just think we focused on chipping away,” McMahon said. “That was our goal, to try and just focus in on what we were doing with every possession, not the bigger picture.”

UMass netted three goals from Cori Murray, Lyons and Katie Ferris in the final five minutes, with Ferris’ game-winner coming with just five seconds left.

Jackie Lyons led the way for the Minutewomen (4 goals, one assist) as Murray, Smith and Jesse O’Donnell each added two goals of their own. Junior goalkeeper Katie Florence picked up the win in the cage, registering six saves.

“I think that our girls really wanted to win, and they wanted to prove that they were one of the top teams in the area, and in order to do that you have to beat the top teams in the area,” McMahon said.

Nicholas Bellofatto can be reached at [email protected]