Hot start lifts UMass women’s lacrosse lacrosse past No. 20 Connecticut

By Thomas Johnston

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

After a 10-day layover coming off of its first loss of the season at the hands of Boston College, there was reason to wonder if the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team would be rusty in its contest against No.20 Connecticut.

There was no rust whatsoever.

UMass (5-1) scored the games first nine goals and led 12-2 at halftime before easily cruising to 15-6 win over the Huskies (4-1), giving them their first loss of the season.

“We were chomping at the bit. We were ready to stop practicing and play an opponent,” Minutewomen coach Angela McMahon said.

“I think we had a really great day and I’m glad at the way we were able to rebound off the loss against Boston College. We worked on a lot of things this week, and I thought we came out strong and really stuck to our game plan. It was a great win,” McMahon added.

It was a balanced scoring attack for the Minutewomen with Erika Eipp leading them with four goals, while Holly Turner and Eileen McDonald each recorded had a hat trick. Eight UMass players finished with at least one goal.

“We want everyone to be a threat at all times, because we know how easy it is to cut down one player, but if you have six others to step up and score at any time it makes it a lot harder for defenses to plan for us and scout against us,” McMahon said. “It adds to the flow of everything and making our team successful the more players we get involved.”

Nicole Troost was the first Minutewomen to get on the scoreboard, putting one into the back of the net just 33 seconds after the opening whistle. From there, Eipp, Turner, Callie Santos and McDonald scored goals, putting UMass out to a 5-0 lead with 13:05 remaining in the first half.

The Minutewomen scoring was not done there, adding four more goals to their total before the Huskies got on the board with 5:37 left in the first half. Eipp had all four of her goals during that span.

After the Huskie goal scored by Alexandra Crofts, UMass responded scoring three of the next four goals, including one from Troost that came with just two seconds left in the half.

“We started off really strong, just had great energy and intensity and came out on fire. We came up with some draw controls early on and pushed in transition. We caused a ton of turnovers and the goalies made some great stops,” McMahon said.

“I thought across the board we had a really great day, we went up to a 9-0 start and that kind of dictated it and we continued that momentum going into the second half.”

UMass continued its scoring streak in the second half, scoring three of the first four goals of the half, extending its lead to 15-3. UConn closed the game scoring the final three goals, but it was far too late for it to mount a miraculous comeback.

The Minutewomen have got out to a hot start this season and are now 5-1 on the year. Playing strictly non-conference opponents has given the team a chance to see different systems and schemes, as McMahon sees this as a positive for her team.

“It’s great, we’ve had great non-conference opponents. We’ve seen a lot of schemes and types of defenses and offenses and its allowed us to really shape our team and be multi-dimensional across the board by running different defenses and offenses.”

UMass will next take on Michigan in the famous Michigan Stadium this Friday.

Thomas Johnston can be reached at [email protected]