Seniors shine on Senior Day

By Jeffrey Okerman

On a day when the sun shined bright, the No. 10 Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s seniors shined brighter.

Cade Belisle/Collegian

In UMass’ (14-1, 5-0 Atlantic 10) 21-7 dismantling of the visiting St. Bonaventure team, several seniors displayed their talents.

Nina Sarcona stood out amongst a bright contingent of seniors, as she tallied four goals, an assist and 10 draw controls against the Bonnies (3-7, 0-5 A-10). UMass coach Angela McMahon, acknowledged the seniors contribution.

“[Sarcona’s] goals are great, but what she does for us on the draw is valuable,” said McMahon. “She is one of the best draw specialists I have ever seen, and she gives us the opportunity to win games by giving us possession of the ball.”

With the 10 draw controls, Sarcona boosted her season total to 83 and captured the single-season draw control record, previously held by Meghan Reddy (77). Sarcona also eclipsed the all-time draw controls record earlier in the season, also previously held by Reddy.

“I felt really good [about my performance],” said Sarcona. “It was a big team effort as always, but we were really finding each other, and felt like we were having fun just like in practice.”

Sarcona expressed mixed emotions about playing her final Senior Day.

“It’s definitely really different,” said Sarcona. “I remember every year thinking the seniors were so old and watching the seniors when I was freshman, and I can’t believe now it’s my Senior Day. It will be interesting [moving on], but it will be good, because I will always have these people in my life.”

Sarcona wasn’t the only senior to put in a solid performance for the Minutewomen. Ali Houlis found the net, and provided two assists. Riley Perry also grabbed a goal, and caused four turnovers on defense. Danielle Pelletier came away with two assists, and Dayna Defliese recovered five groundballs and caused two turnovers in the win. Jesse O’Donnell, Katie Florence and Brittany Schoen also were honored in the game.

“Dayna caused a few turnovers that were a catalyst, and Brittany Schoen played great on the defensive end,” said McMahon. “Jesse had a tough day shooting, but she propelled us to a win on Friday at Duquesne.

“Danielle played great. Riley scoring today, and [Florence] in the cage, having a great goalie for four years. They all did a great job,” said McMahon.

Ferris continues torrid campaign

Sophomore attack star Katie Ferris led the way to victory for the Minutewomen as she collected 10 points on four goals and six assists.

Ferris scored early and often, and provided the Minutewomen with their first tally in the game in the first half. She also assisted on the first four goals that UMass scored in the second half.

“Katie played great,” said McMahon. “Behind the cage she has great field vision. Her ability to pass, and find her teammates is amazing so that’s what we expect out of her, and she did a great job of being a catalyst for her offense today.”

Having already secured the single-season points record, Ferris is now well on her way to hunting down the all-time UMass points record. Former Minutewoman Cari Nickerson is the current record-holder with 219 career points, a record she set in 1980. However, with 169 points before the end of her sophomore campaign, Ferris seems poised to top the record.

With the four goals against the Bonnies, Ferris’ season total now sits at 52, four short of the single-season record she set as a freshman in the 2011 season. With two regular season games, and potential postseason games upcoming, the Carthage, N.Y., native is likely to capture another record.

Ferris leads the nation in points, with 87, she’s in fifth place for goals and eighth with 35 assists.

1982 national championship team honored

Thirty years after the Minutewomen were crowned national champions, the members of the team returned to their old stomping grounds to be honored.

In a halftime ceremony, members of the team were photographed with their national title trophy, and their championship banner hanging from the stands in the background. McMahon said she believes that the ceremony inspired her team.

“The girls really worked hard, and I think they were really excited honoring the seniors and the 1982 national championship team,” said McMahon.

The championship team posted a perfect 10-0 record on their way to a 9-6 victory over Trenton State in the penultimate game of 1982. That national championship team stands as one of only three national championship winning squads to hail from UMass, according to a UMass Athletics press release.

Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.