Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Offensive outbreak puts UMass women’s lacrosse past Yale

By Nick Souza

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(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team spent the majority of Saturday’s game in the offensive zone as it scored on over 50 percent of its shot attempts in the Minutewomen’s 13-3 victory over Yale.

UMass (4-0) came into the game averaging close to 30 shots per game as well as 14 goals. Against the Bulldog’s (1-2) full-ride defensive game plan it maintained the same up-tempo performance gathering a total of 25 shots and 13 goals.

“We want everyone to be involved as possible and be as dynamic as possible,” Minutewomen coach Angela McMahon said.

While Yale struggled at the offensive end against a stout defense by UMass, the Minutewomen found little issue with finding scoring chances and capitalizing on them.

UMass’ system on offense ran mainly through senior attacker Erika Eipp starting from behind the cage, and then working the ball forward to the top dodgers as they crashed towards the net.

“Anyone on our offense can score, and anyone can step up and make plays and I thought they did a great job of that today,” McMahon said.

Eipp quickly established her role as the playmaker for the Minutewomen’s offense racking up three assists and a goal in the first half. All four of her points came during UMass’ seven-goal run to close out the first half for the Minutewomen giving them a 9-2 lead heading into the locker room.

“Usually I feel more comfortable playing from behind the cage, sometimes team pressure me back there and I have to move to the front, but it worked really well today,” Eipp said.

Fellow Attacker Nicole Troost was on the receiving end of the first Eipp assist scoring with 19 minutes, 21 seconds to go in the first half breaking the 2-2 tie and starting UMass’ run. Troost would then go to score three more goals later the game.

“We always look to push the ball and play fast, and we’re always looking to go for the cage,” Troost said. “That’s just how we play UMass lacrosse.”

One of the top dodgers for the Minutewomen, transfer sophomore Bella O’Connor, was part of arguably the most impressive assist of the day for Eipp. The two attackers connected on a give-and-go with 13:05 remaining in the first, and the exchange was completed with a goal by O’Connor directly in front of the cage after catching the pass above her head, for her first of two goals on the day and third of the season.

“O’Connor just came into this season with a mentality to help the team however she could,” McMahon said. “She’s been so open minded which is a big help, a lot of transfers come in and they can be a bit timid.”

While UMass is know for applying aggressive man-to-man defense, Yale’s defense entered Saturday with a similar game plan on defense to try and dampen the hot start that the Minutewomen were poised to get off to.

“I think our defenders did a great job moving the ball up the field, because we were expecting a lot of pressure from the full ride,” Eipp said.

The second half saw UMass utilize the slow break as they grinded away the clock with a comfortable 11-2 lead at their backs by the middle of the second half.

The Minutewomen will look to keep the strong start going as they go on the road for the first time this Wednesday to face Boston College in Chestnut Hill.

Nick Souza can be reached at [email protected]

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