Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse looks to back from loss to VCU

Veterans to play key role

By Emilia Beuger, Assistant Op/Ed Editor

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The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will play its final home game of the season on Saturday against Duquesne. It will be Senior Day as the Minutewomen will round out their regular season schedule.

Coming off a loss against Virginia Commonwealth over the weekend, the Minutewomen (12-4, 7-1 Atlantic 10) are looking to play better in Saturday’s matchup against the Dukes (4-11, 2-6 A-10).

The team will have almost a week of rest, which UMass coach Angela McMahon sees as crucial.

“Recovery and rest does a lot, not just for their bodies but their minds too,” she said.

While Minutewomen have not faced much conference adversity in recent years, the veterans, many of whom are seniors, can still provide a sense of poise which is key to the atmosphere of the game.

“Initiate the tempo and set the tone of the game,” McMahon said. “It’s a big class and also a big class of a lot of leaders that we really lean on. For them to really set the tone and set the tempo of the game is going to provide us not just a spark, but a really good energy that will hopefully carry us through the whole game.”

Duquesne secured a large victory over George Washington last week, scoring 14 goals in the second half to win 20-13. Maddie Hart and Jill Vacanti, Duquesne’s top scorers, led the effort. Hart had four goals and Vacanti had three goals, and will pose a threat to the defense on Saturday.

McMahon recognizes the team needs to focus on what they can improve upon in Saturday’s game.

“I think really it’s about the focus on us and cleaning up some things on our end,” McMahon said. “Especially at this point in the season, where everyone’s really fighting, whether it’s to make the playoffs or make a playoff run. Everyone’s really honing in on the intensity and aggressiveness of play,” said McMahon about how the upcoming Atlantic 10 tournament affects play.”

According to McMahon, the Minutewomen need to focus on maintaining possession and dictating the tone of the game.

“That’s going to be our focus point, valuing the ball, making sure we have good possessions,” McMahon said. “I think if we really dominate time of possession, whether it’s off ground balls, draw controls, things like that. The more we have the ball the better. We have more offensive opportunities, so that will be a key thing for us.”

The seniors as well as the rest of the team realize the need to create opportunities in front of the net.

“We just have to go out and match it. On defense, we just have to limit it,” said redshirt senior Hannah Burnett. “I think [McMahon] preaches to us that we want to get at least 40 shots on goal, so if we can go out and get 40, shooting around 50 percent or even a little bit lower, you’re going to get a lot of goals. We just have to be able to match their offense and weather the storm on defense as well.”

Coach McMahon wants the team to do well for the seniors, stating: “We want to honor the seniors and really send them out with a game that they really feel good about, and walk off the field feeling good about that last regular season that they play.”

The Minutewomen will play their final home game of the season and last game of the regular season at Garber Field on Saturday at noon.

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

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