Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Defense and team effort key for UMass women’s lacrosse against Richmond

The matchup will end one team’s undefeated streak

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

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

By Emilia Beuger, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will take on Richmond on Friday at 4 p.m. in Virginia. This match marks the final stretch of games for UMass as it wraps up Atlantic 10 regular season play next week.

The Minutewomen (11-3, 6-0 A-10) need to end the Spiders’ (12-2, 6-0 A-10) undefeated A-10 streak to gain the top position in the standings.

UMass coach Angela McMahon expressed how the team’s effort and play has led to its success this season. The Minutewomen are looking to continue their energy moving forward.

“I think it’s good. They’re just focused on playing together and keeping our momentum going,” McMahon said. “The end of the year is always a fun time because you appreciate each and every day that much more because you know that the end is near. I think they’re really locked in. They’re really excited for games this weekend and going on the road again. I think that’ll be good. They’re always pumped. They’re excited to play our A-10 rivals.”

 Richmond has had a strong season, leading the A-10 standings all season due to having a better overall record. The Spiders’ offense has dominated the A-10 standings as well with Katie Sciandra and Kim Egizi ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in goals scored—52 and 48 respectively. 

The Minutewomen recognize the challenge that they face on Friday.

 “They’re tough, they’re a really good team,” McMahon said. “They’ve done really well over this past season. But really the past couple years, they’re doing better and better. They’re definitely strong all over the field. For us, it’s all about focusing on what we do well and trying to do it as often as possible.”

 Defense is going to be a large part of the game because of the strong showing by Richmond.

 “Richmond’s a strong team and every game that we played has really been a battle,” McMahon said. “I love how our defense is coming together and playing as a unit, especially these past two games were really great defensive games for us. Overall, I think in our A-10 play, we’ve had some really good defensive games. I want that definitely going forward and us really continuing to build and hitting our stride.”

The Minutewomen need to be up for the challenge against their toughest conference opponent and dictate the pace of play.

“Just really playing our game,” McMahon said. “When we do that and when we do that as a unit, from top to bottom, including energy from the bench, we are hard to stop. I think our focus is really on ourselves and what we need to do, playing, having fun, celebrating goals, celebrating plays.”

The veteran players who have been playing a large role this season are ready for the challenge and coach McMahon is confident that their experience will show on the field.

“I think that they just shine in these moments where they trust their teammates,” McMahon said. “It’s all about decision-making and putting yourself in the best position on the field possible. I think that they have so much experience playing together for so long that it’s really just playing off of each other and at any one given point, anyone of our players could go off for a great game. I think you’ve been seeing that probably in games where it’s rotating between Holly [Turner] has a big game, [Hannah] Burnett has a big game, Kate [Cerasi] has a big game, Kiley [Anderson]. You have some games like the other day where they’re all on. That’s awesome because we’re scoring a lot of goals in that situation.”

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

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