Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Hannah Palau scores game-tying goal in big UMass women’s lacrosse win

Junior records hat trick against Harvard

%28Katherine+Mayo%2FDaily+Collegian%29
(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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In its first game home after a six-game road trip, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team beat Harvard 22-17 Thursday afternoon at Garber Field.

UMass (5-3) and Harvard (3-4) saw no shortage in scoring as both teams piled together 39 goals.

Team-leading goal scorers Hannah Burnett and Holly Turner lead the offensive charge, scoring five and four goals, respectively. Sophomore Stephanie Croke recorded a hat trick, bringing her season total to eight.

Taking the Harvard defense by surprise, the unsung hero of the game, Hannah Palau, registered a hat trick of her own, her first three goals this season.

“It was definitely necessary,” said Minutewomen head coach Angela McMahon on Palau’s multiple-goal performance. “I think she’s been working really hard in practice.”

At the end of the first-half, when Harvard’s Julia Glynn was taking over the game offensively, Palau broke up a pattern of Crimson scoring by netting her first of the season. Shortly after coming off the field, teammates were quick to praise Palau, yelling her name and swarming with pats-on-the-back.

“It’s really nice,” said Palau speaking of her teammates. “Just having everyone on your back and supporting you makes everything better. Having the team behind me [is great] because [I know] they want it just as much as I do.”

Now in her junior season at UMass, Palau presents a strong resume, collecting accolades season after season. Last season, as a sophomore, she recorded 10 points in 14 games, including 3 points in a game against NCAA championship runner-up, Boston College.

“She’s just a big threat in the middle,” said Burnett on Palau. “She gets her stick open a lot, so if her stick’s open, we’re going to give her the ball. And, she knows how to finish the ball, so she did a great job today.”

As a freshman, she converted 10 shots into nine goals, decorating herself with an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors. At her time at Vero Beach High School in Florida, she posted an impressive 99 goals throughout her four year career.

“For us, I think it’s all about the team offense and I think she not only [helped by] scoring the goals, but also providing a lot of energy and spark—really that willingness to do everything and anything for the team,” said McMahon. “She’s a great team player and a great teammate and I’m glad to see (hard work) translate into execution for her today.”

Seeming to run in the family, athletic success is no stranger to the Palau family. Father, Mark Palau was a former UMass football and basketball athlete.

“Yeah, it was awesome to follow in his footsteps,” said Palau when asked if her father’s alma mater factored into her decision to attend UMass. “The second I stepped on this campus, I knew I wanted to come here—he was with me and everything.”

As a side note, Hannah’s grandfather was a quarterback at Fordham University and is a member of the Fordham Hall of Fame, according to the UMass Athletics website.

Palau and the rest of the Minutewomen squad will look to build on their latest win going into A-10 conference play, which starts Thursday in Philadelphia against Saint Joesph’s.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ry_beaton.

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