Minutewomen lacrosse falls to UConn, 12-11, in overtime  

The Huskies secured their win with a goal in sudden death

Jon+Asgeirsson+%2F+Daily+Collegian

Jon Asgeirsson / Daily Collegian

By Olivia Sault, Collegian Correspondent

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team went on the road to face Connecticut for the third game of its season. No. 22 UMass (1-2) fell to UConn (4-1), 12-11, in overtime.

Both teams came out strong in the first half and there was a back-and-forth battle for the lead for the first seven minutes of the opening half. Kaitlyn Cerasi played a major role in it, as she had a head fake, clean shot and a make to keep the score tied at three.

“There were a couple of swings in both directions,” UMass head coach Angela McMahon said postgame. “We were up and then they were up, then they came back, and they went up, and then we came back again to tie it.”

To keep the momentum going, the Minutewomen received a player-up opportunity on offense. Kelly Marra’s shot was good, and UMass took the two-goal lead to make it 6-4, keeping the ball hot for the first multi-goal lead for either side. The Minutewomen were confident in how they attacked the goal and their two-man picks are what kept them alive on offense.

At one point, UMass put up five straight goals, giving it an 8-4 lead late in the first half. The Minutewomen amped up the pressure on the defensive side with four caused turnovers in the first half. After the trade of goals early on and giving up one to UConn midfielder Sydney Watson, UMass was able to close out the first with an 8-5 lead over UConn.

To begin the second half, Olivia Muscella continued with the caused turnovers. The officials were not on the Minutewomen’s side in Sunday’s game, giving them a lot of yellow cards. With the fouls came an advantage for the opposing team and the Huskies were a man-up for the beginning minutes of the second half. Having the advantage of man-up on offense secured the Huskies two goals within the first two minutes of the second.

“We had a penalty issue, just like we did against Boston College, where we are getting yellow cards and that type of stuff is unacceptable,” McMahon said. “Things we can control will definitely be our focus points from now on.”

Watson was a force around UMass’ net, forcing the Minutewomen to step up their defensive game to stop her. Watson is a senior with 21 goals on the season, six of which came Sunday. While UMass put up five-straight goals in the first half, UConn went on a 6-0 run in the second half to go up, 10-8.

“We have to try and limit her touches as much as possible,” McMahon said of Watson. “She is a super dynamic player and does so much for their team all over the field, she’s overall a great player and is capable of making those big plays.”

It was UMass’ Maddy Moloney who put the Minutewomen back on the board after all those UConn goals. Maloney even put up the game-tying goal late in the second to force overtime.

In overtime, it was Watson who buried the game-winner to give the Huskies the 12-11 win.

UMass will look to put this game behind them as they will be facing UMass Lowell on Wednesday.

“Just getting back to fundamentals and basics like ball possession will help.” McMahon said about the preparation for their next game against Lowell and their rematch next Saturday with UConn. “We really need to build our chemistry amongst our team. I think we have a lot of amazing, talented players but we just need to fine-tune a couple of things to make sure we are working together, but we also have to clean some things up and keep ourselves disciplined.”

Olivia Sault can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Olivia_Sault.