Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s lacrosse stays perfect in A-10, picks up sixth conference win against St. Bonaventure

Brinley Anderson contributes four goals in victory

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UMass women’s lacrosse stays perfect in A-10, picks up sixth conference win against St. Bonaventure

(Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian)

(Eva Trainer/ Daily Collegian)

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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Maximizing focus and effort proved to be a key component in order to collect a win, at least according to Massachusetts women’s lacrosse coach Angela McMahon.

UMass (11-3, 6-0 Atlantic 10), with McMahon at the helm, continued to steamroll its way through conference play, this time stepping on St. Bonaventure (1-13, 0-6 A-10) 19-8. Although the Bonnies have struggled this season, McMahon said they prepared for the contest like any other.

“It was [about] focusing on doing the little things well—winning possession battles between draws, groundballs and loose balls,” said McMahon.

Both halves of the game saw fairly consistent play, with UMass posting 10 goals in the first half and nine in the second. St. Bonaventure would only score four goals in each frame.

The longest scoring run of the game would favor the maroon and white late in the game as they scored six unanswered to close out the second tilt of a three-game road trip.

“As we worked through the game, we found a little bit of a rhythm in the second half,” said McMahon. “We went on a nice little run [at the end] to put the game away.”

Brinley Anderson had herself a career-high performance, scoring four goals on six shots. Anderson, who is usually a regular contributor in the draw circle, contributed to a group offense effort Sunday.

“She was just really aggressive today,” McMahon said of Anderson. “Every time she got the ball, she was very confident and very aggressive, which is exactly what we needed.”

Stephanie Croke led the team with six points on five goals and an assist. Haley Connaughton and Cassidy Doster, like Anderson, would each add four points of their own.

“We try to pride ourselves on [the fact that] any one person can have a great game for us offensively,” said McMahon. “Technically, today was her day. She did a great job of seizing the moment.”

The Minutewomen owned St. Bonaventure in the circle, winning a whopping 23 of 28 draws.

When it comes to performances in the draw circle, UMass either dominates by committee or has one single player take over against its opponents. Sunday, it was Caitlyn Petro that stepped up, owning 17 draw control wins. Olivia Muscella added four more.

“In any given situation it might be one person’s strength to step up and have to draw for us,” said McMahon. “We try to really build everyone up so that we’re confident … getting [the draw unit] a lot of game experience [is crucial] so they can see different types of draws and find a rhythm.”

UMass’ defense, led by goalkeeper Lauren Hiller, shined, as Sunday was the sixth time this season that the Minutewomen defense held their opponents below double-digit scoring figures.

Hiller had 10 saves on 18 shots on goal – her sixth game back since returning from a thumb injury that kept her out of competition for the beginning portion of the season.

“It’s not just her getting comfortable, but the unit—defensively—is getting comfortable playing with each other,” said McMahon. “We have some younger players stepping up and playing like veterans, I think they’re coming together well.”

The Minutewomen will be back in action Friday at La Salle for their final road game of the regular season. The game is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected]

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