Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Another road trip for UMass women’s lacrosse has team staying loose

Minutewomen with only three games left in regular season

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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Finding themselves at the tail-end of the 2018 schedule, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team needs to play three more games to complete the regular season.

After finding themselves in the Virginia/Washington D.C. area last weekend, the team will return to the mid-Atlantic region this Friday and Sunday to play Richmond (12-0, 6-0 Atlantic 10) and Virginia Commonwealth (6-8, 4-2 A-10), respectively.

The Minutewomen, with 11 away-games listed this year, find themselves with a lopsided schedule that features only six home games.

“It varies year-to-year,” said UMass coach Angela McMahon on having a heavily-dominated road schedule. “We’re in a tough situation up here because we don’t have a natural travel partner. In some way, shape or form that’s going to put us on the road. This [upcoming road trip] is heavy, in that, it’s two games on the road right in a row—that’s two back-to-back weekends of that.”

While UMass opened the season at home this year against Dartmouth, they were forced to go on a subsequent six-game road trip, geographically stretching all the way from Boston to Sparks, Maryland.

“We were on the road early on and really feeling the travel; having to come out to compete and winning some of those games,” McMahon said. “I think [playing on the road] is something we’re pretty well prepped for.”

UMass, 5-0 at home and 6-2 on the road, also played a pair of neutral site games, going 1-1.

With A-10 championships set to be played in Richmond, Virginia this season, McMahon doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing her team got scheduled to play a fair amount of games down in the Virginia area.

“[We’re] going to Richmond on Friday,” McMahon said. “A-10s, the championship, is at Richmond—it’s good for us to get down there and feel familiar with the facilities.”

Carrying eight seniors, UMass has a good foundation for team chemistry through leadership. McMahon spoke on her team’s ability to play multiple road games in a row.

“They’re pretty resilient,” she said. “Honestly, they’re just really excited to play a great opponent … I think that overcomes some of that travel fatigue. We always try to get down there a little bit early, so that we can kind of rest and be ready to go that next day.”

As intimidating as this UMass team can be on the field, players are often seen playfully interacting with each other before games in order to stay loose.

“Sometimes, they’ll just do fun, little things,” McMahon said. “They’re just such a funny group that them just being around each other is pretty entertaining. It’s really just about resting and relaxing, maybe watching a little bit more film, trying to stay loose [and] doing a lot of stretching. It’s just [about] taking it easy, making sure our minds are in the right place to compete.”

While student-athletes have a lot to balance during the season, McMahon spoke on behalf of her players, alluding to the fact that it’s not always about lacrosse 24/7.

“Sometimes, school’s a good distraction though; takes their minds off of things,” she said.

After this last up-and-coming road trip, the Minutewomen will finish the regular season off with one more game at Garber Field against Duquesne.

The 2018 A-10 Tournament will start shortly thereafter, with the quarterfinals taking place on May 3, the semifinals on May 4 and the championship on May 6.

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

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