UMass women’s lacrosse looks to continue winning streak against St. Bonaventure Friday

By Henry Brechter

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

At this time of the season, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team seems like it cannot lose.

The Minutewomen (11-1, 4-0 Atlantic 10) have been rolling since their only loss of the year against Boston College on March 2nd and now look to continue their run with an eighth-straight win when St. Bonaventure comes to Garber Field Friday afternoon.

A victory over the Bonnies (3-9, 1-3 A-10) would give UMass its 41st consecutive win over an A-10 opponent.

But before the Minutewomen can look too far ahead, Friday’s game against the Bonnies is all they care about.

“The key component for us is to keep playing seven-on-seven, with each one of our players helping out,” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “We want to be really aggressive and continue to generate scoring opportunities.”

St. Bonaventure is in the midst of a disappointing regular season campaign, which has featured a lot of scoring on the wrong side of the ball. The Bonnies allow a A-10-worst 14.7 goals per game, while the Minutewomen have outscored their opponents 101-50 during the current seven-game winning streak.

In last year’s matchup, 11 different UMass players scored in an 18-8 rout in Olean, New York. Junior midfielder Hannah Murphy led the team with four goals, building on an outstanding season in which she was named the conference’s midfielder of the year. Katie Ott, Holly Turner, Callie Santos and Eileen McDonald all added a pair of goals. The win was UMass’ 31st straight league win, making the Minutewomen 11-1 after 12 games.

Both offense and defense has been coming easily to the Minutewomen, who have climbed to No. 14 in the national rankings. A combination of organized ball movement and athleticism has propelled UMass to many of its wins, as players are seemingly able to outlast and outperform opponents on a regular basis.

“Our focus is always just to play hard and high-pressure,” Murphy said of her team’s defensive play. “Our ‘go in twos’ strategy allows us to help each other out a lot on defense.”

The entire team has been on a hot streak of late, but none are coming close to matching the production of senior attacker Erika Eipp, who has been stuffing the stat sheet again in her last season as a Minutewoman.

Eipp was named A-10 conference player of the week for her efforts against George Mason and George Washington this past weekend. She had 15 points, including 10 assists, between the two games. Her nine points against GW tied her single-game career high and were the fifth-most by an UMass player in a game in the past 10 seasons.

“She works really hard and sets a solid example on and off the field,” McMahon said of Eipp, who leads the A-10 in assists per game by almost a full point.

Eipp averages 2.83 assists with the next best mark being Saint Joseph’s Maggie Egan with 1.75. Eipp also averages a conference best 4.92 points per game, also almost a full point ahead of the second place scorer, fellow UMass attacker Nicole Troost, who averages 3.83.

After Friday’s contest, the Minutewomen have one more game on the homestand before traveling to Richmond, Virginia, where they will face conference foes Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth before returning to Amherst to finish the regular season against Davidson on April 30.

Faceoff against the Bonnies is set for 3 p.m.

Henry Brechter can be reached at [email protected]