UMass women’s lacrosse prepares for last place Bonnies

By Jesse Korzen

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team continued to find success in conference play after its 17-7 win over George Mason on Sunday increased its Atlantic 10 winning streak to 40 games.

Morale was especially high in the Minutewomen’s locker room as they celebrated their UMass coach Angela McMahon’s 100th career win.

But the Minutewomen’s attentions now turn to the team at the bottom of the A-10 standings in St. Bonaventure (1-9, 0-2 A-10).

The success of the Minutewomen all year has been driven by the nation’s top defense led by senior goalie Rachel Vallarelli’s consistent play in net. Against the Patriots, Vallarelli only allowed three goals in 46 minutes, 18 seconds of action while recording three saves.

But while defense has been a staple all season long, it was the offensive performance against George Mason that gives McMahon confidence moving forward.

McMahon said at the beginning of the season that she expected to see an evenly distributed scoring instead of just having one or two offensive threats. This objective was met on Sunday as a total of 12 different UMass players recorded a goal.

Hannah Murphy led the Minutewomen’s offensive charge with four goals against George Mason. Nicole Troost added a hat trick in the lopsided victory.

According to McMahon, if UMass can replicate its offensive balance last weekend, it will give the Minutewomen an added dimension and will make it more difficult for opponents to key in on certain players.

“Every team we’ve played so far has kind of played us differently,” McMahon said. “Duquesne tried taking Erika Eipp out of the game, George Mason just tried playing us more straight up. You know, it really varies, and that’s what makes our offense so special because we do have so many different threats.”

This offensive burst couldn’t have come at a better time for the Minutewomen as they now prepare to face the defensively weak Bonnies who have given up 157 goals in just 10 games. Starting goalie Morgan Conroy (117 saves) has allowed 147 of these goals.

Despite its defensive struggles, St. Bonaventure boasts six players with double-digit goals compared to UMass’ trio of Murphy (19 goals), Erika Eipp (18) and Katie Ott (14).

Mikayla Place leads the way for the Bonnies with 18 goals and an efficient .600 shot percentage.

Saturday’s matchup with the Bonnies in Allegany, New York, begins at noon.

Jesse Korzen can be reached at [email protected]