Strong first half powers UMass women’s lacrosse past Boston University

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Makoto Yabusaki/Daily Collegian

(Makoto Yabusaki/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team scored five unanswered goals in the first 12 minutes of the first half against notoriously physical Boston University, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“BU has a certain style where they’re very physical, big, rough and aggressive,” Minutewomen coach Angela McMahon said. “I think that we played pretty well despite that.”

Along with the resilience of the Terriers (1-2), UMass (3-0) overcame poor weather conditions and torrential downpours in an 11-8 win over BU on Wednesday at Garber Field in Amherst.

The Minutewomen finished the opening half with a staggering nine goals, proving to be the key in their third straight win to begin the season. Junior Callie Santos was first on the board just three minutes in, starting the relentless goal show that UMass would put on.

Santos managed to score two more goals to record a hat trick, all occurring inside the first 10 minutes of the game.

Senior Erika Eipp contributed all five of her goals in the first half, giving her nine goals for the season so far.

“It’s the chemistry throughout the team, I’m lucky enough to get the ball and score but I feel like everyone on the team can do what I do,” Eipp said.

Eipp’s stellar performance was no surprise coming from a player who was recently named as one of 50 players to the initial 2016 Tewaaraton Award Watch List for best college lacrosse player.

“She’s improved and progressed as a player, she can dodge one-v-one, she loves to feed, set up her teammates, she’s a team player and I can’t say enough good things about her,” McMahon said.

Holly Turner also added a goal and an assist for the Minutewomen, while Sam Walters started in goal and finished with four saves and four goals allowed in the first half for UMass.

It took the Terriers 15 minutes to get on the board, but once they did they put away another goal just 11 seconds later to trim their deficit to three.

The cold rain took its toll on both teams, resulting in a slow start to the second half. The Minutewomen outshot BU 16-11 in the first half, while offensive numbers significantly dropped in the second with the Terriers outshooting UMass 9-6.

It wasn’t until the 10-minute mark in the second half that anybody at Garber Field could get on the scoreboard, with the Terriers beginning their comeback by striking first.

Santos rallied back for the Minutewomen, scoring her seventh of the season, an unassisted goal to bring her team into double digits.

“I think our strengths are our quickness and speed, and for that I think we saw how offensively we were able to capitalize on that,” McMahon said.

BU pushed an extra wave of energy late in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals to cut the deficit to two with just 10 minutes remaining. After the third goal, their loud celebrations alerted everyone that the game wasn’t over yet.

Eileen McDonald silenced the Terrier’s cheers with a wrap-around shot as she fell towards the turf, putting the game out of reach.

“I think it was just some key moments, they scored a couple runs, and fortunately we were able to come back and put one away and then our defense obviously causing some turnovers and getting the ball back for us,” McMahon said.

The final minutes consisted of a strenuous game of keep-away, with UMass being able to hold onto the ball.

The Minutewomen are back in action this Saturday at 12 p.m. against Yale at Garber Field.

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected]