Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse narrowly defeats Richmond, loses to VCU during hard fought weekend road trip

The loss snapped a 61-game streak of Atlantic 10 wins for the Minutewomen

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(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

By Dan McGee, Collegian Staff

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Despite overcoming an early deficit to push the game into overtime, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team couldn’t pull out a victory against Virginia Commonwealth, losing 17-16.

The loss snaps a 61-game consecutive inter-conference win streak for UMass that stretched back to 2010.

“We never ever really were worried about [the streak],” UMass coach Angela McMahon said. “It’s something I’ve never thought about. I don’t think the players ever really thought about it. The focus has always been trying to win our game every time we step out on the field. It’s a prideful thing, but in the end its just not that important. What is important is that every time we come to play, we play to the best of our ability but unfortunately today we were on the short end of the stick.”

After falling behind 3-0 within the first five minutes, the Minutewomen (12-4, 7-1 Atlantic-10)  battled their way back to take a 10-8 lead going into halftime. Holly Turner led the offensive battle, assisting on five goals in the first half. She would finish with seven in the game.

“Holly is a connector, and she has just great field vision,” McMahon said. “She was seeing her teammates really well and moving the ball well.”

Trailing by two at halftime, VCU (7-9, 5-3 A-10) didn’t let up. Midway through the second half, the Rams went on a 7-1 run, giving them a one-goal lead with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

Turner wasn’t done yet, however. With one second remaining in regulation, the forward netted her third goal of the game to send it into overtime. Turner is familiar with late-game heroics, as she also assisted on the game-winning goal in overtime against Ohio State this season.

The overtime period saw back-and-forth offensive efforts as VCU and UMass both had opportunities to score, including a Hannah Burnett free-position opportunity for the Minutewomen that was saved, and another shot by Burnett that hit the post.

With 1:43 remaining in overtime, UMass defender Jill Boehmcke committed a foul, giving the Rams a free-position shot. VCU forward Molly Barcikowski was able to find the back of the net for the win, tallying her fifth goal of the day.

“It’s a regular season game,” McMahon said. “We’re going to move forward. We have another game on Saturday, and we’re in the Atlantic-10 Championship weekend. That’s where our focus is going to shift, and we’re making sure we are preparing to be the best team we can possibly be in those competitions.”The Minutewomen will look to get back on track in their final regular season game on Saturday versus Duquesne.

UMass tops Richmond on Friday

After falling behind early to Richmond, UMass was able to battle back from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Spiders 17-13.

Though trailing on the scoreboard is an uncommon occurrence for the Minutewomen, coach Angela McMahon knew what it would take to reverse the team’s underwhelming first half performance at halftime.

“The focus was just to be a little more dynamic with what we were doing and not just going through the motions,” McMahon said. “We needed to be a little more aggressive, but aggressive together to really create opportunities for us to go to the goal.”

UMass was able to get the momentum at halftime with goals scored by Kaitlyn Cerasi to end the first, and by Ashley Faulhaber to begin the second. However, the Spiders (13-3, 7-1 A-10) wouldn’t go away, tying the game at nine early in the second half.

Despite the back-and-forth play of most of the game, the Minutewomen put their foot on the gas during the second half. A 6-2 scoring run allowed them to build an insurmountable four goal lead, excelling them toward the eventual 17-13 victory.

McMahon had high praise for her team following the victory.

“Overall, I was just really proud of our resilience,” McMahon said. “But specifically having so many different people step up, that’s something we’ve talked about all season long. We play as a team. We aren’t somebody who revolves offensively or defensively around one player. I just think that we had a lot of people step up and really seize the moment when it was right there in front of them.”

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

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