Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse earns 49th consecutive Atlantic 10 win over rival Richmond

Hannah Murphy (17). UMass women’s lacrosse versus Richmond at Garber Field on April 9, 2017 (Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

Callie Santos led the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team to a thrilling 19-13 win over Richmond with six goals for its 49th consecutive Atlantic 10 win.

With just over twenty minutes remaining in the second half, a quick 3-0 run by the Spiders (8-4, 3-1 A-10) left UMass (9-4, 4-0 A-10) with only a three goal lead. That’s when Santos took control, netting three consecutive goals to secure a comfortable lead heading into the end of regulation.

“[Callie] is just so aggressive,” Mintuewomen coach Angela McMahon said. “Honestly for her, the bigger the game the better. She thrives in that atmosphere.”

Thrive would be the appropriate word for a game featuring a career-high of six goals, an assist, and two draw controls for the senior. The sense of urgency that Santos played with could not have come at a better time.

After starting the game down by two, UMass rallied a 7-1 run against Richmond for a 7-3 lead with 14:29 to go. The Spiders managed to get within one before Santos and Hannah Burnett netted two final second goals before the half.

The Minutewomen held a hefty 13-4 draw control advantage in the first half that showed on the field with the majority of play occurring around Richmond goalkeeper Megan Gianforte.

“I think we just did a great job top to bottom,” McMahon said. “Just all the different things that we faced throughout the game, I love how we responded to it.”

McMahon acknowledged the Spiders’ impressive draw control game, though making sure not to take anything away from her own team.

“You know they got us on a few,” McMahon admitted. “I think that once they got us on a few I think we still responded and closed the game out pretty strong.”

Santos described the draw control game as one of the most important aspects of their win. She believes draw controls are “always crucial in women’s lacrosse” and credits the circle players for boxing out and helping force the ball on attack.

UMass Freshman Stephanie Croke made a name for herself having scored four of her five goals this season against the Spiders. Three of the four occurred in the second half, each time answering a Richmond goal that came just minutes earlier.

“The first seven or eight goals were scored by all different people,” Santos said. “we had a complete offensive and defensive team effort.”

Considering their identical records heading into the game it was expected that both teams would be neck-and-neck in most aspects of the game. The Minutewomen edged out Richmond 18-16 in ground balls and both teams exchanged 14 turnovers each.

However, UMass claimed the gritty categories that turned out to be the ultimate deciders of the game, including a 22-12 draw control advantage. The Minutewomen also were 3-3 on free-position shots opposed to the Spiders’ 0-7, which proved to be the extra effort UMass needed.

“The intensity was there since we got here in the locker room,” Croke said. “It just continued onto the field throughout the whole game.”

Minutewomen freshman goalkeeper Lauren Hiller made a total of 14 saves on the day, a handful stemming from free-position shots in the second half that could’ve been detrimental.

“Lauren came up with huge saves, our defense really came together,” McMahon said. “Just so many different people contributing all over the field and our bench had amazing energy and the crowd had incredible energy as well.”

UMass’ quest for 50 straight wins in the A-10 continues Thursday in Philadelphia against La Salle.

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MWalker2019.

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