UMass women’s lacrosse cruises to 11-3 win over Holy Cross Saturday

By Matthew Zackman

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

The Massachusetts’ women’s lacrosse team coasted past Holy Cross in an 11-3 victory Saturday to continue its perfect start to the season.

While Hannah Murphy has been the main source of offense for the Minutewomen (5-0) this season – she has 13 goals through five games – the sophomore was limited by the Crusaders’ defense, providing Katie Ott with an opportunity to lead the attack. Ott finished with a team-high three goals Saturday.

“Katie has been playing great all year and it is great that you can finally see the stats as a reward for all of her hard work,” UMass coach McMahon said. “I’m glad she’s putting herself in positions where she can capitalize.”

Along with her hat trick, Ott recorded an assist and a team-high six shots against Holy Cross. Her most important goal came at the beginning of the second half when she broke a 2-2 tie. Her score initiated a 9-1 Minutewomen run in the final frame.

Eileen McDonald, Sarah Crowley and Erika Eipp added two goals each for UMass’ balanced attack.
Murphy still played an instrumental part in the Minutewomen’s victory Saturday despite not scoring a goal for the first time this season. McMahon said that Murphy’s strong presence was crucial in drawing increased intention from the Crusaders’ defense.

“She still played well, despite not getting the shots she was looking for,” McMahon said. “Her just being a threat out there, being dangerous going to the goal, she is able to help get other people open.

“She wasn’t assisting those, but she was drawing attention from defenders and ultimately we were able to capitalize on the other side of the field.”

Murphy also won eight faceoff to lead both sides.

“She had eight draws, which played a huge roll for us,” McMahon said. “That gave us the possession and allowed us to be on offense, take shots and eventually score.”

UMass outshot Holy Cross 27-10, but McMahon said she wasn’t satisfied with the ratio between shots scored and shots taken on net.

“We need to do a better job with shooting,” McMahon said. “It has been a focus from the beginning. However, (the Crusaders) play great defense and put us into situations where we don’t get the shots we want.”

McMahon said that she was happy with the Minutewomen’s defensive performance. At one point, UMass held Holy Cross scoreless for a span of over 40 minutes.

McMahon said she believes her defense’s strength and endurance played a factor in the Crusaders’ long margin between goals, but pointed out that the offense’s ability to hold possession was the primary reason that Holy Cross only scored three goals.

“We didn’t change much of our defensive game plan, instead one of the key things that happened was that we started capitalizing on our offensive attack,” McMahon said. “As we got through the second half we had more momentum by winning a draw and scoring a goal, which allowed us to play less defense than we did in the first half.”

The Minutewomen host Drexel Friday at 4 p.m.

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]

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