UMass triumphs over Holy Cross, 19-8

Senior attack Caitlyn Petro powers Minutewomen to win

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Olivia Sault, Collegian Correspondent

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team took down Holy Cross 19-8, extending its win streak to three games.

After the exceptional win over UConn last week, UMass (4-2) hosted Holy Cross on Sunday at Garber Field. The Minutewomen have frequently been faced with tenacious, non-conference opponents and Holy Cross (2-2) was another one of these teams.

“Today was a great win and we came up with a lot of possessions and created a lot more opportunities than usual,” Minutewomen head coach Angela McMahon said postgame. “I think we can play anyone honestly and with each game there has been a steady improvement.”

To open the first half, Holy Cross stole the first draw control and eventually scored the first goal of the game when Jolie Creo, the leading scorer for the Crusaders, fired one home to make it 1-0.

“We looked to play fundamental defense, nothing crazy,” McMahon said of Creo. “If she was looking to go to goal, we would be ready to help, and we really focused in on team defense, doing a great job moving our feet and limiting her opportunities.”

Quickly after Holy Cross scored the first goal, UMass came back to dominate, as Kaitlyn Cerasi and Olivia Muscella grew the Minutewomen’s lead to 3-1 early in the first. Both Haley Connaughton and Kelly Marra were able to throw quick pumps, go for the midfield cut and score, adding goals of their own. The Crusaders were only able to have four goals on the board by the end of the first half, ensuring a 10-4 UMass lead.

Coming out in the second half, Creo and teammate Catherine Guanci opened the scoring for Holy Cross by combining for three goals in the first 11 minutes. After that, it was all UMass, as the Minutewomen shut the Crusaders down. With under 20 minutes left, the Minutemen went on a 8-1 goal run, defeating Holy Cross 19-8.

There were several goal scorers for the Minutewomen and possession was shared amongst the team. Charlotte Clavelli scored the last goal of the game, her first of the season, and was able to prove herself as an offensive player.

“We had an overall aggressive mindset,” McMahon said of the Minutewomen’s lead in the second. “We did a much better job in the second half moving the ball quickly as well as sharing the ball. Overall, we were very in sync.”

With eight draw controls each half, Caitlyn Petro led the Minutewomen to victory. Petro is notorious for monopolizing the draw control, and effectively pushes the ball down the field for an offensive run. Winning the face-off brings the team one step closer to goal, and Petro executed this perfectly in Sunday’s game. Eight of Petro’s draw controls were effective, allowing the Minutewomen to go to goal and do so successfully.

“We were able to generate a lot more shots and this gave our defense a little bit of a break,” McMahon said of Petro’s draw controls. “She stepped up today, as did the players in the circle with her, making sure she could secure the ball safely.”

The Minutewomen will be on the road and ready to face Vermont this Wednesday.

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