UMass women’s lacrosse rallies late to beat Boston College

UMass starts the season with a four-goal win over the No. 5 Eagles

By Kevin Schuster, Collegian Staff

On a frigid day in Amherst, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team rallied halfway through the second period to win an absolute thriller. Starting the season unranked, the Minutewomen (1-0) hosted No. 5 Boston College in what could be their hardest match of the season. The Eagles (0-1) were coming off a tremendous season, losing in the national championship game to Maryland by only two goals.

UMass won 15-11 in a great bounceback performance from last year’s loss to Boston College where the Minutewomen conceded 25 goals. UMass coach Angela McMahon had great confidence in her side throughout the whole game no matter the score or which way the momentum was shifting.

“I think that we just came out ready to play,” McMahon said. “We’ve been working so hard this preseason, trying to improve each and every day. It could’ve been easy for us to walk into this game being intimidated but I thought we took it to them and played very aggressively and didn’t back down even when our backs were against the wall.”

UMass had its offense rolling, scoring 15 of their total 27 shots (24 on goal). Playing a big role in their offense, Minutewomen attacker, Kaitlyn Cerasi, was able to score four goals on five shots with two assists.

“I felt amazing out there today,” Cerasi said. “More importantly we felt together as a team and were all confident. It was just an awesome game all around.”

With just under nine minutes to go in the second period, midfielder Stephanie Croke scored two goals in one minute to break a 10-10 tie, giving the Minutewomen a two-goal advantage.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates,” Croke said. “We kept our poise and stayed calm. We knew how to play and what we needed to do.”

The Eagles were able to stage a comeback of their own after trailing by four goals in the opening eight minutes of the second period. Led by attacker Jordan Lappin, Boston College were able to score five unanswered to take the lead with twelve minutes to go in the game.

“When they took that lead, I knew we were still in it,” Cerasi said. “We had a positive attitude and I knew we could come back. They got a lot of draws which was a problem for us, but once we got possession we were able to score there and get the lead back.”

McMahon also credited the Eagles with controlling the draw towards the end of the first period and to start the second period. She believed that was one of the bigger reasons Boston College was able to get back into the game, but credited her side for staying resilient in tough moments.

“Fortunately, we stuck to it and were able to work through different things,” McMahon said. “We were able to combat Boston College towards the end of the game by winning a couple draws of our own.”

Charlotte North propelled the Eagles with a team-high three goals and 12 draw controls. Boston College also relied heavily on their goalkeeper, Rachel Hall, to keep the score close. Hall saved six shots in the first period, two coming off of free position shots, limiting UMass to only a two-goal lead at the half.

“I think Charlotte North is a really special player,” McMahon said. “We tried to shut her down but she still found a way to score a couple goals. Fortunately, everybody else did their jobs on their girls and we were able to limit their opportunities. Across the board I thought we all supported each other and it was a great team win.”

McMahon attributed her side’s success in the big game by noting her team’s character and being ready to play anyone at any time.

The Minutewomen will look to start the season on a hot streak, hosting Dartmouth at Garber Field for their second consecutive home game to start this season. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Kevin Schuster can be reached at [email protected]