Katie Ferris, Sam Rush hit milestones as UMass win streak meets 10

By Peter Cappiello

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

After junior attack Katie Ferris became the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s all-time scoring leader with a seven-point performance against Temple on Friday, it was junior attack Sam Rush’s turn to break a record.

Rush took over the scoring responsibilities in a 14-7 road win over Saint Joseph’s on Sunday afternoon, as she broke the 100-point barrier with a six-point outing, including a team-leading five goals.

Senior attacks Lauren Terracciano, Cori Murray and Ferris also combined for eight points in the victory.

UMass coach Angela McMahon said that after three consecutive wins with a two-goal scoring margin or less, it was key for the No. 17 Minutewomen (13-2, 5-0 Atlantic 10) to find some breathing room in their defeat of the Hawks (8-6, 2-3 A-10).

“It’s definitely important for us to really set the tone,” McMahon said. “A big focus for us was ball possession and playing a complete game and I think we did a pretty good job of doing that.”

Murray, Terracciano and Rush opened the game with five unanswered markers that put the Minutewomen up 5-0 with 14 minutes, 21 seconds remaining until halftime.

SJU junior midfielder Michele Granger put away a free position goal nearly 19 minutes into the game, but Ferris and freshman midfielder Nicole Troost curbed Saint Joseph’s momentum by adding goals within five minutes of each other, widening the gap to 7-1 with three minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the first half.

Freshman attack Bianca Angstadt chipped away at the lead following UMass’ run, but Rush sent her side into the half with momentum thanks to a goal in the final 20 seconds before halftime.

McMahon said that there was an initiative to prevent the Hawks from putting together runs of their own, especially after her team traded runs in recent games.

She said staying focused, sticking to the game plan and keeping fresh legs on the field was a strategy to prevent fatigue in the group’s second game in two days.

Junior midfielders Tanner Guarino, Melissa Carelli and Rush led a Minutewoman attack after halftime going on a 3-0 run to put UMass up 11-2 before Saint Joseph’s sophomore midfielder Julia Falcone and junior attack Abby Ananian posted a team leading two goals to fight for an 11-4 scoreline.

Despite doubling the opposition’s scoring output, McMahon said she would’ve liked to see her players adjust their shots a little more against SJU freshman goaltender Genevieve Giblin (13 saves). However, McMahon was pleased with the Minutewomen’s ball movement.

“Everyone’s getting involved,” McMahon said. “Katie and Cori both had a lot of looks on cage that didn’t fall their way, but I think those four attackers (Rush, Terracciano) have been solid for us all year. Katie had a big game Friday and now, Sam and L.T. – anybody can step up at any time.”

Ferris’ record-setting day leads UM past Temple

The record may have been out of the way, but Ferris didn’t stop there.

Ferris broke UMass’ all-time scoring record on an assist to Courtney McGrath 4:48 into the game, but Ferris continued on to log six critical goals in a 12-10 win over Temple on Friday at McGuirk Stadium.

Ferris, a junior, surpassed Jackie Lyons’ previous record of 226 points.

After a back-and-forth first half, the Owls (8-6, 3-2 A-10) used a 3-0 run to take an 8-6 lead with 18:36 to go.

Then Ferris got mad.

Ferris netted her first goal of the game to bring the deficit to one. And after Jaymie Tabor pushed the lead back to a pair for Temple, Ferris reeled off four unanswered goals in a 4:35 frame to turn the tables on the Owls and hold onto the lead for good.

“Something just sparks in me when I get mad,” Ferris said. “We weren’t playing the greatest and something needed to be done about it. When they were up by two, I was like, ‘Alright, enough.’”

Ferris also added that her offensive outburst was fueled by anger and that she often plays better when frustrated because it focuses her.

UMass’ next matchup is at St. Bonaventure on Friday to wrap up a two-game road trip.

Peter Cappiello can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Cappiello.