Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse aims another perfect conference record against Duquesne

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)
(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

While the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s quest for an undefeated regular season might have ended March 19 against Albany, it still has the ability to accomplish another one of its goals: be perfect in conference play.

The Minutewomen have not lost a game in conference in four years, and have been the winners of 38-straight in Atlantic 10 play.

If UMass wants to make it number 39-in-a-row, it will have to take down Duquesne in the conference opener Friday night.

Goalkeeper Rachel Vallarelli knew where the Minutewomen stood in conference play, and was well aware of its success in the A10. Being as superstitious as she is, she even stopped midway through an interview to find wood to knock on before continuing.

“Teams want to beat us obviously, it’s been five years since we lost a conference game,” Valarelli said. “Anyone can come in and play great, but we just want to look at ourselves and know that everyone on this team is what matters and not who we are playing.”

As Friday’s matchup against the Dukes approaches, head coach Angela McMahon is looking at the long-term affects for the Minutewomen, rather than getting caught up in the moment.

“We have an amazing opportunity that we still have nine games to be able to improve,” McMahon said. “They are all conference games and at the end of the day, our goal is to win our conference and our first conference game is this Friday”.

The Minutewomen are ready to put the loss against the Great Danes behind them and continue the strong season they have had so far. McMahon believed that the loss was a good indicator of where they stood, and feels confident they will be able to shake the loss off.

“I think we’re pretty energized and focused for this weekend, we take everything game by game. We really are just focused on our upcoming opponent,” McMahon said.

Duquesne (3-5) has multiple players that are offensive threats, as it has three players that have scored double-digit goals this season. Clare Hurley leads the Dukes with 13 goals, while Kaelin Shaw and Tess Drotar follow closely behind with 11 apiece.

“I feel really confident about our defense. They are a tight knit group, they are focused and they work really hard. Every single game this season, even against Albany, the defense has been executing their game plan each game. Against Duquesne, we are really going to have to limit their offensive opportunities,” McMahon said.

Duquesne goalkeeper Jenna Bishop has struggled this season. Despite starting in all eight games, she posts a 2-5 record and has allowed 73 goals on the season. Bishop has a 10.9 goals against average and has a save percentage of .425.

Friday’s game will be played at McGuirk Stadium, with the opening draw coming at 4 p.m.

Jesse Korzen can be reached at [email protected].

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