Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse opens season with win over Dartmouth

Minutewomen outscore Dartmouth 9-6 in second half

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UMass women’s lacrosse opens season with win over Dartmouth

By Emilia Beuger, Collegian Staff

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After a close first 30 minutes of play in the season opener, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team was able to pull away in the second half to earn a 17-13 victory over Dartmouth.

UMass went into the halftime break holding an 8-7 lead but would blow things open in the second half, scoring six of the first seven goals in the first eight minutes of the half.

The Big Green would score five goals after the Minutewoman run, but UMass added three of its own to secure the win.

“It feels good to start the season off right with a win,” said redshirt senior Hannah Burnett. “We’ve been working really hard, putting in all the work in fall and it all comes down to this first game, so I think we executed well and still have a lot to improve on but it was good that we got the win.”

The Minutewomen were the first to score with goals by Burnett, freshman Brinley Anderson and senior Abby Walker to put UMass up by three within the first five minutes. Burnett would go on to score five more goals in the game.

The Minutewomen offense kept their foot on the gas, maintaining possession for most of the first 10 minutes of play, capped off with a goal by Kaitlyn Cerasi to put them up 4-0 with 19:12 remaining in the first half.

Dartmouth would answer with a pair of goals, and after another goal by UMass’ Kiley Anderson (her first of four), the Big Green went on to score four unanswered, taking the lead with four minutes left in the half. It would be Dartmouth’s only lead of the game.

“At half time we really preached getting back to the way we play,” Burnett said. “We felt like they were dictating our play, so we just wanted to get back to our game.”

Minutewomen coach Angela McMahon credits the team’s transition play and strong defense with their success in the second half.

“We like to play fast so we wanted to push our transition game and really [battle] on the draws,” McMahon said. “I think Lauren Hiller came in with some huge stops as well in the cage, so setting that momentum from our defense and pushing it forward in our transition game really helped.”

A huge moment for UMass was Burnett’s third goal off of an assist by senior Holly Turner from behind the net at 23:37.

“I just know when she’s going to pass and she kind of knows when I’m going to cut, so it’s almost like this unspoken kind of thing,” Burnett said. “I just saw my girl was ball-watching, so I cut off of her back and then [Turner] just hit me cross-crease and I was able to finish it.”

Dartmouth saw a strong performance from Elizabeth Mastrio who tallied six goals for the Big Green. Seven of Dartmouth’s goals were scored on free position shots.

Burnett emphasized that the Minutewomen’s play in the beginning of each half is what made the difference.

“Our coach really preaches the first 10 minutes of the half and winning those 10 minutes, which we did in the first half,” Burnett said. “So we wanted to go out and do the same thing in the second half, which we did. We also limited our turnovers in the second half which helped a lot.”

While McMahon was pleased to get the win, she realizes that the team still has a lot of work to do.

“I feel like we had really good energy and intensity that translated into a bit of careless, sloppy plays,” she said. “But overall, we battled and stayed connected on both ends to come up with a win, so I’m really happy with it.”

UMass will play their first of four consecutive away games at Boston College on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Emilia Beuger can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @ebeuger.

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