UMass shares the wealth offensively in 19-8 victory over Holy Cross

11 Minutewomen found the back of the net in Sunday’s win

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Chris Tucci/UMass Athletics

By Freeman Alfano, Collegian Staff

One of the common factors in the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s victories this season has been a takeover performance by one player on offense. Whether it was Haley Connaughton’s nine-point outing in the season opener or Kelly Marra’s five-goal performance in the redemption win over UConn, it has generally been one Minutewoman dominating offensively and the rest of the attackers filling in where they can.

That was not the case on Sunday, as 11 different UMass (4-2) players tallied a goal to go with nine total assists as UMass cruised to a 19-8 victory over Holy Cross.

“They played so well together; they love feeding it to each other,” UMass head coach Angela McMahon said of her team’s offensive approach on Sunday. “They’re unselfish players, so we want anyone who’s opportunity it is to put it away to do so.”

It was this free-flowing attack that allowed the Minutewomen to generate so many opportunities on net. UMass had an impressive 41 shots with 36 reaching Holy Cross (2-2) goalie Grace Flink at the cage. If it weren’t for Flink’s hot start and her timely saves throughout the contest, UMass could have easily surpassed the 20-goal mark in this one.

“I thought we did a much better job in the second half of pushing the pace, moving the ball quickly, getting our transition game going and sharing the ball,” McMahon said. “When we did that, we were very in sync and just [threatening] at all times.”

Their togetherness offensively allowed some surprising Minutewomen to get on the scoreboard, as well. Defensive-minded midfielders Amy Moreau and Audra Tosone both notched their first goals of the season in the blowout victory. The team also subbed in freshman Charlotte Clavelli in the second half, who scored her first career goal with just 10 seconds left to go in the contest.

“Even some of our defenders got involved in the offense,” McMahon said. “Amy Moreau had a goal… and Audra Tosone [was] pushing the pace up there and getting in on offense. It’s really just whoever has the best opportunity; everybody has bought into that team-first mentality.”

Between bona fide scorers in Connaughton and Kaitlyn Cerasi and aggressive midfielders in Marra and Stephanie Croke, this multi-headed Minutewomen attack was one that looked awfully tough to slow down on Sunday. As the team continues to integrate all of its weapons on offense—such as sophomore transfer Alex Finn, who scored twice on Sunday—this attack will only become more lethal.

“I think we can play with anybody, honestly,” McMahon said of this group when everyone is playing together. “With each game, there’s definitely been a progression of steady improvement, which is exactly where we want to be in the middle of the season.”

UMass’ next chance to show off its offensive firepower comes on Wednesday against Vermont. Faceoff in Burlington is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Freeman Alfano can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @freemanalfano.