Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse aims to rebound against Marist on Wednesday

Minutewomen are currently on a two-game losing skid

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(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

By Dan McGee

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Following a pair of disappointing losses to Boston College and Yale, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will be looking to rebound at Marist College on Wednesday.

Though the two-game losing skid is less than ideal for the Minutewomen (1-2), head coach Angela McMahon isn’t too worried about the team’s outcomes so far.

“I think, number one, it’s early in the season,” McMahon said. “We’re still working on our team identity and coming together and finding that chemistry. And number two, I think we’re playing really good teams. I think we’ve done a good job at competing, we just had a couple too many missed opportunities.”

McMahon sees the losses to Yale (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League) and Boston College (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)—currently ranked No. 2 in the nation—as learning experiences for the Minutewomen.

“I think we need to use both of those losses as learning experiences,” McMahon said. “I think we’ve really had some great moments out there where we’ve had amazing plays all over the field, it’s just putting it together for that full game.”

Moving forward to Wednesday’s game against Marist (2-0), the Minutewomen know they will need to collaborate as a team to turn their missed opportunities and fragmentary play together to get the win.

Last season, the Minutewomen were able to pull off a 10-7 victory over the Red Foxes behind three goals from junior Abby Walker and two from redshirt senior Hannah Burnett. However, both programs have changed over the past year. Moving into this season, McMahon is more content with the fierce approach the UMass team has shown against every opponent.

“I like how in our approach this season, we’ve been really taking everyone that we play extremely serious,” McMahon said. “We’ve been doing our due diligence both as coaches and players to prepare our team, make sure we’re ready to go and make sure we aren’t taking anyone lightly.”

Significantly, Minutewomen assistant coach Jana Drummond previously served as Marist’s defensive coordinator and draw specialist coach. Marist was able to remain competitive in the draw circle in last season’s matchup vs. the Minutewomen, who ultimately won the draw battle 12-7. Drummond’s presence for the UMass team—and her absence from the Marist team—could sway the outcome of this one.

While UMass has been averaging 11 draw controls a game, Marist has won 15 per game, though they have played lesser opponents so far this season. With Drummond’s presence on the UMass sideline, the Minutewomen will look to turn the tide on the Red Foxes’ draw circle advantage.

McMahon has also stressed the importance of maintaining possession of the ball.

“We need to have the ball,” said McMahon. “We need to battle on draws and ride very hard on missed shots and turnovers. We need to be physical, be tough and be relentless for the 60 minutes that we’re out there.”

The Minutewomen have done their diligence claiming ground balls and have had the advantage in all three games they’ve played. However, the UMass team has suffered from turnovers this season, and has been unable to create any advantage forcing takeaways. They have forced 55 turnovers on the season but have turned the ball over 55 times as well.

Game time Wednesday is set for 4 p.m., as the Minutewomen will be looking for their second win of the season in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Dan McGee can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DMcGeeUMass.

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