Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse prepares to play Ohio State on Sunday

Minutewomen look to improve upon their 3-2 record to start the season

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(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Dan McGee, Collegian Staff

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On the heels of a clutch win versus Connecticut where senior Holly Turner ripped a game winning goal with seven seconds remaining, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will look to keep that momentum moving forward when it heads to Reading, Pennsylvania to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

Though she’s never played Ohio State before, UMass (3-2) redshirt junior Kiley Anderson is excited for the challenge of playing an unfamiliar opponent.

“It’s a team we’ve never seen before,” said Anderson. “I think since we play in the [Atlantic 10 conference] we mostly play the same teams, so it’s nice with our out-of-conference schedule to see some different people.”

Anderson, a midfielder, has led the Minutewomen in the draw circle this season with 19 draw controls. Though a series of new rules was added to the draw circle this year, Anderson has maintained her level of play by using her physical stature as one of her advantages.

“I think being 6-foot-3 really helps,” said Anderson. “We practice draws everyday so it’s just really a lot of focusing on that too. [Assistant Coach Jana Drummond] has been a really great draw coach this season. We work really hard every day and she really prepares us for who we’re going against and what kind of draws we’re going to face.”

The outcomes of the draw circle on Sunday could play a huge factor in how the game turns out. Anderson and the rest of the UMass midfield will have their hands full as Buckeyes (1-3) junior Baley Parrott and senior Molly Wood have won 16 and 17 draw controls on the season, respectively.

Before playing in Sunday’s matchup, the Minutewomen will have waited eight days between games — an unusually lengthy period — while Ohio State will have only had two days off following a Friday game at Binghamton.

Turner believes playing on shorter rest is helpful for the Minutewomen.

“I like having the usual Wednesday-Saturday games,” said Turner. “In the midweek, having a game and getting through that is kind of a quick turnaround. But I feel like that’s when we’re best, when we’re just playing.”

Ultimately, the game may come down to the performances of the two opposing offenses.

In each of their losses this season, the Minutewomen have failed to score over nine goals. While the Buckeyes have lost three games to start the year, they’ve remained competitive in the scoring department, averaging nearly 12 goals in their losses this season.

Turner will look to add to her team lead in points — tied with redshirt senior Hannah Burnett with 17 — on Sunday.

“I’m trying to do most of the same stuff [from last season],” said Turner. “But everything always needs to be tweaked, especially with the new rules. Just playing a fast game has helped us a lot because we love going down in transition and scoring.”

Though their 3-2 start hasn’t been the ideal way they’ve intended to start off a season with such high expectations, the Minutewomen aren’t letting their record define them. By maintaining a feisty playstyle early in the year, UMass has been learning a lot about itself.

“I think we’ve learned so far that we have a lot of fight in us,” said Turner. “We always battle for every possession, groundball, anything like that. I think our comeback versus UConn shows that. Just everyone doing the little things on and off the field has really helped us a lot.”

Game time is set for noon on Sunday.

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

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