UMass women’s lacrosse has three-game winning-streak snapped by BU in OT

By Patrick Strohecker

In a rivalry that has seen blowouts and nail-biting games, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team and Boston University made history Wednesday afternoon by playing in the first ever overtime game at BU’s Nickerson Field.

After regulation ended with the game tied at 7-7, the Terriers (1-0) scored two goals within the first three minutes of overtime, en route to a 9-8 victory over the Minutewomen (3-2), snapping UMass’ three-game winning streak.

It was the fifth time in the last eight meetings a game between the two was decided by two goals or fewer.

“It was definitely a battle back and forth the majority of the game,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “It was pretty sloppy on both sides, a lot of turnovers. I just think they made a couple key plays down at the end and that was really the difference.”

In overtime, BU jumped out to grab a quick lead, opening up a 9-7 advantage in the six-minute extra frame. Tanner Guarino made the final minute of overtime interesting when she scored her only goal of the game.

After gaining position off a turnover, the Minutewomen turned the ball over with 40 seconds left in the frame and never got it back.

BU applied pressure on the Minutewomen throughout the contest. The Terriers respond to UMass’ tying goal by adding on two more early in the second half, opening up a 7-5 lead.

After Melissa Carelli cut the Terriers’ lead to 7-6, Sam Rush tied the game up with just over five minutes left to play, by tacking on her third goal of the game, giving her 14 goals this season.

“I think we responded fine,” McMahon said. “We battled back and tied the game and we were able to keep the play, but then we would turn it over and we couldn’t make any of the plays that we needed to take the lead.”

UMass started the game off fast, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead when  Rush and Cori Murray each tallied goals four minutes, 13 seconds into the game, forcing BU to play catch up for the rest of the half. The Terriers scored three of the next five goals to end the half, but still trailed 4-3 going into halftime.

BU extended its scoring run by adding the first two goals of the second half to jump ahead of the Minutewomen, 5-4, with just over 23 minutes remaining in the game. Rush responded to the Terriers’ run by notching her second goal of the game, tying the game at 5-5.

“Even though we haven’t necessarily had overtime games against them recently, every game has been very close,” McMahon said. “Knowing now that they’re a tough team, they’re a really strong team, they wanted to win more and so they came away with it.”

The Minutewomen were plagued by turnovers last night, and it proved costly.

“They were swarming the ball,” McMahon said. “They were really aggressive, but we didn’t help ourselves much either. A lot of times they put three of their girls going against one of our girls going for a loose ball and we’re probably not going to get it, if it’s three versus one.”

UMass turned the ball over 29 times in the game, almost twice as many times as its season average entering the contest. The Minutewomen have averaged 17.6 turnovers per game so far this season.

UMass returns home for its second home game of the season on Saturday against Iona. The game is scheduled to begin at noon at McGuirk Stadium.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @MDC_Strohecker.