Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse to focus in on a regaining momentum in regular season finale vs. Duquesne

UMass looks to bounce back following a loss at VCU

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After losing in overtime at Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday to snap a 61-game interconference win streak, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team is focusing in on regaining  momentum in its regular season finale vs. Duquesne on Saturday.

Motivated by the loss, Coach Angela McMahon wants the team to give it their all on Saturday.

“The motivation in it is to play the way we know we are capable of,” McMahon said. “Not just the way that we have played, but to play better than we’ve ever played. Our focus is really being 1-0 and not thinking outside anything but Saturday and performing well on Saturday, because if we do that, it’s going to give us momentum moving forward.”

Senior forward Hannah Burnett also acknowledged the loss has given the team an extra edge.

“We’ve been preaching for the last couple days, just using [the loss] to build a fire,” Burnett said. “Just using it as motivation and knowing what that feeling was like losing that game, and never wanting to feel that again. So, we had a team meeting and we kind of banded together and said we don’t want this to happen again, and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Having to get back into the win column following an Atlantic 10 loss is foreign to the Minutewomen (12-4, 7-1 A-10), who haven’t suffered an interconference loss since 2010. However, the overall family-like culture of the team could play a key role in regaining momentum against Duquesne (4-11, 2-6 A-10).

“I think that this is by far the closest team we’ve ever had as far as chemistry on and off the field,” Burnett said. “We’re just a really tightknit group of people. I think that there’s so many different moments that bring us together, and we’ve been able to stay together through a lot of highs and a lot of lows this season.”

Winning against Duquesne would secure UMass the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Though Burnett and the Minutewomen recognize this as important, they know the game has other implications.

“Being No. 1 is important seeding wise and all that,” Burnett said. “But I think that it’s important to us to win that game to show that we can bounce back from what happened, and to show that we’re going to be okay and keep our season on track the way we want it to go.”

Another motivating factor for the Minutewomen on Saturday will be the Senior Day celebration. Eight different players including team captains Burnett and Holly Turner will be playing their final games at home for UMass on Saturday. Though the possibility of getting lost in the emotion of a final career home game exists, McMahon thinks the circumstances will be good for the team.

“I think [emotions] will impact the game in a positive way,” McMahon said. “I think coming home for this weekend, there’s just a unification across the team, specifically the group of seniors. I think they’ve really come together in making sure that we’re covering every single base of doing all the little things well and everything that’s made our program successful.”

A bounce back victory vs. the Dukes would help the Minutewomen regain the momentum needed for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which begins next week.

“I expect them to have a great day and a great energy, especially playing at home to have a good crowd and feed off that energy and just enjoy playing at home,” McMahon said.

Game time for Senior Day is at noon on Saturday at Garber Field.

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

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