UMass women’s lacrosse looks to finish off regular season with perfect conference record

Saturday’s game will honor seniors

Photo+by+Jon+Asgeirsson
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UMass women’s lacrosse looks to finish off regular season with perfect conference record

Photo by Jon Asgeirsson

Photo by Jon Asgeirsson

Photo by Jon Asgeirsson

Photo by Jon Asgeirsson

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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If there were ever a time for the UMass women’s lacrosse team to take their foot off of the gas pedal, it certainly isn’t now.

The Minutewomen have already clinched the regular season Atlantic 10 title, but with the last game of the regular season approaching, they are as locked in as ever.

“Our focus is improving,” said UMass coach Angela McMahon. “Especially when it comes to the turnovers and limiting unforced errors. Our focus and intensity in practice today was great. We’re just trying to get to a point where we have complete game consistency.”

UMass (13-3, 8-0 Atlantic 10) will conclude the 2019 regular season this Saturday at home against George Washington (5-11, 3-5 A-10). The team’s three seniors—Hannah Palau, Cassidy Doster and Kiley Anderson—will be honored in a pre-game ceremony to commemorate the last time they’ll lace up cleats on the Garber Field turf.

“They’re just great kids and great people,” said McMahon on the seniors. “They’ve really been the backbone of our program for a few years now. You just want everything to come together for them. The whole team is really excited to honor them.

“We play for the tradition of our program and all the alumni that have come before us. To do that, we need to exude the attitude, commitment and effort that all the alumni have given. We just want to be constantly playing with pride.”

And the UMass seniors have done exactly that—putting up top numbers for their team. Anderson is one of the top point-getters for the Minutewomen, with 59 points. As the fifth top point-getter, Doster has 39. Palau is not far behind, sixth in points, with 32.

Last time out, UMass captured a 13-12 overtime thriller against an equally talented Richmond team. They were stunned last year when they were upset—also in overtime—by the Spiders in the A-10 championship game.

Saturday, the Minutewomen will be looking to ride the wave of recent success, remaining undefeated in regular season play through eight games. The ninth game is scheduled for a less than intimidating George Washington team.

“I think that they’re an improved team,” said McMahon. “They have a great coach that’s very experienced. I think they’re going to give us a fight. They’re playing to extend their season, so they’re going to give us everything they have. It comes down to that possession game that we’ve been focusing in on the whole season.”

The Colonials have had moderate success this season converting on free position opportunities, making 36-of-90 attempts—good for 40 percent. This year, their opponents convert slightly less often, with a 36.7 percent chance. However, UMass has let their opponents score on 52 percent of their attempts.

“[Cutting down on penalties] is a focus for us all the time,” said McMahon. “Just playing sound body defense versus swinging and checking—we’ve really been trying to hone in on that level of discipline, how we play our defense.

“In the playoffs, you don’t want to have that be a glaring stat. Free positions attempts are eight-meter shots. You want to give your goalie the best opportunity you can—I wouldn’t say that’s an eight-meter shot.”

The Minutewomen will be in action Saturday at Garber Field. Game is set to start at 11:45 a.m.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected]umass.edu.