UMass women’s lacrosse cruises toward regular season A-10 championship with win over Richmond

By Matthew Zackman

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian
Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

Within the first five minutes of the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse game against Richmond, two goals were scored. One would expect these to come from the Minutewomen, who have not lost a conference game since 2010. But that wasn’t the case Friday.

It was Richmond who came out of the gates strong and provided UMass with a rare opening deficit. But the Spiders’ positive start didn’t last long, as the Minutewomen tallied the next eight goals and pulled away in a 14-3 victory.

UMass’ offensive burst was led by the duo of Katie Ott and Erika Eipp, who combined for seven goals and five assists.

Ott played an instrumental role on attack and had a direct impact on the first three Minutewomen (15-1, 7-0 Atlantic 10) goals. The junior scored the first unassisted, assisted on a Callie Santos score and then scored another goal off of an Eipp pass, all in the span of under two minutes.

Eipp then followed as a key contributor of the next three goals, building a 6-2 UMass lead halfway through the first half.

According to Ott, UMass’ early struggles en route to a 2-0 deficit served as motivation for the Minutewomen.

“I got pretty angry because we are a much more disciplined team than we were showing in the beginning,” Ott said. “I wanted to show myself and the rest of the team that we could play to the greatest potential that we have…we just wanted to get fired up, which we did.”

By the final whistle Eipp tallied three goals and four assists, adding to her team-high 23 assists for the sesaon. Eipp said she believes her willingness to set up teammates has helped her team continue to excel offensively.

“The last couple of games, I have more looked for assists and helping the team out,” Eipp said. “That’s the role that I am playing and I love assisting.”

UMass coach Angela McMahon added that she was pleased with how the Minutewomen played, especially after rebounding from their slow start.

“We had a little bit of jitters just coming up with the loose balls, we were just a little tense,” McMahon said. “Once we settled down, we established some good momentum in the first 10 minutes of the game to get that lead.”

With the victory over the Spiders (8-8, 5-2 A-10), UMass clinched its sixth regular season A-10 title in its past seven years.

While McMahon said she was pleased with the accomplishment, she added she isn’t planning on dwelling on being the league’s best regular season team.

The Minutewomen will host George Washington Sunday for its season finale before attempting to win its seventh consecutive postseason title.

“I think we need to get one more on Sunday, then we might be happy for a couple of hours,” McMahon said. “It’s great to get a win on our home field but it’ll be even better on Sunday when it’s Senior Day by honoring them and what they’ve done in their four-year career here.”

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]