Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Palau scores five as UMass women’s lacrosse defeats Saint Joseph’s

Minutewomen open up A-10 play retaining conference win streak

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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Extending their streak to 55 straight Atlantic 10 wins, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team opened up conference play on a high note, taking Saint Joseph’s by a score of 23-13.

In a career-high game for Hannah Palau, the junior attackman tallied five goals on six shots, with an assist. Palau scored her first three goals of the season last week against Harvard, bringing her season total to eight.

“When she’s on the field I think we’re really hitting our stride,” said UMass coach Angela McMahon on Palau’s performance. “She is somebody that has a really high-level lacrosse IQ, so she reads plays and sees space very well. She’s really just been putting herself in a really good opportunity.”

After going the first going scoreless in the first seven games, Palau seems to have hit her stride.

She now sits sixth on the team in goal-scoring.

“[She’s] getting in front of the net and her teammates are finding her, so I think it’s all part of our offense and really having everyone be involved,” said McMahon. “She’s been able to see where she can slip in and she’s a great finisher. I feel really confident any time the ball’s going inside to her that she’ll be able to finish.”

UMass (6-3, 1-0 A-10) continues to stay aggressive when it comes to scoring. Saint Joseph’s (4-5, 0-1 A-10) found themselves overpowered, as shot production was tilted 48-22 in favor of UMass.

McMahon puts heavy emphasis on overwhelming aggression when it comes to offensive performance.

“We always, no matter whether it’s off of a draw or off of a clear, in our offense just constantly try to be in attack mode—really generating as many shots possible,” said McMahon.

The Minutewomen were consistent with their shots, pinning up 24 shots in each half of the game. UMass only missed three shots as they posted 21 shots on net.

Due to UMass’ towering shot total, Saint Joseph’s goaltender, Liz O’Sullivan, found herself in a unique predicament. While O’Sullivan let slide 23 goals against, she seemingly tacked up 19 saves in semi-redemption fashion.

“She played pretty well,” said McMahon on O’Sullivan. “I think a couple times we could’ve been a bit more disciplined—just throw a fake in.”

As much as McMahon has been known to coach an aggressively fast-paced offense, she emphasizes patience in shot taking as an equally important skill.

“[O’Sullivan] was a force in there and a catalyst for them,” said McMahon. “It’s one thing for a goalie to be really hot and another for us to keep making the same shots every time. So, I think we need to do a better job of making some adjustments on that.”

Kiley Anderson’s 16 draw controls are second most for a single game in school history.

With her six points on Thursday, Holly Turner now moves into second all-time for career points (231) at UMass. She trails only Katie Ferris (330) who graduated in 2014.

The Minutewomen look to keep an impressive streak going as have not lost an A-10 game since 2010.

UMass will play their second conference game of the season against Davidson on Saturday. The game is set to start at 12 p.m. from Garber Field.

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

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