Cerasi and Connaughton dominate in 24-5 win over George Mason

Duo combine for 19 points

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

On a Friday afternoon from Garber Field, not even a drizzle of rain could extinguish the red-hot Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team. Attackers Kaitlyn Cerasi and Haley Connaughton caught fire, combining for 11 goals on 19 points against an outmatched George Mason team.

The Minutewomen (8-3, 3-0 Atlantic 10) would go on to trample the Patriots (6-5, 2-1 A-10) by a lopsided score of 24-5.

“It was a great team win,” said UMass head coach Angela McMahon. “From top to bottom, everybody stepped up—defense, offense, draw team—overall good energy.”

At the top were Connaughton and Cerasi, who managed to dominate the offensive statistical categories. Cerasi lead the team in goals, with six, and managed to rack up the highest amount of shots on goal for the Minutewomen. Connaughton lead the team in overall points for the day, tying the school record for a single game with 10.

“They were very player focused; they had their certain matchups,” said Cerasi on the Mason defense. “They weren’t really switching on certain players.”

“We just really came out dictating,” said Connaughton. “They kind of fell into our offense and that was really important [for us].”

Cerasi and Connaughton have combined for 98 points so far this season while they also both sit in the top three for point-getters on the team.

Despite dominating the stat sheet, both were quick to praise the team as a whole.

“Everyone on offense did their job. That’s why we had so many goals,” said Cerasi.

“We were really running our offense [well],” said Connaughton. “It’s [about] getting all of us open and not just one or two of us. We definitely showed today that we have a lot of scorers … our whole team can step up.”

Emma Dotsikas, Stephanie Croke and Julia Smith would also contribute, each adding three or more points for the Minutewomen. Draw responsibilities were split between six different UMass players, with Caitlyn Petro winning five controls.

The Minutewomen were on their shooting game, converting 80 percent of their shots on goal into scores.

“Our efficiency was great,” said McMahon. “This is probably one of our best shooting games in terms of shooting percentage.”

UMass has six remaining games as they continue to steamroll their way through conference play, with half of the remaining games scheduled to be played at home.

“We really want to use this game as a catalyst to continue to get better and better as we move forward,” said McMahon.

UMass will look to close out a three-game homestand when they host Saint Joseph’s on Sunday afternoon. Game is slated for a 1 p.m. start at Garber Field.

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