Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutewomen continue to dominate in Atlantic 10 postseasons

UMass is now 26-10 in its postseason matchups
Lynus Erickson
Lynus Erickson/Daily Collegian

The No. 22 Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team added to its ongoing postseason success on Friday, defeating Davidson in the Atlantic 10 conference semifinals 14-7.

This was the 26th postseason win for UMass (14-2, 8-0 A-10), and 13th straight trip to the A-10 tournament. Head coach Angela McMahon spoke about how the program has prospered with a “team-first mentality” over her 10-year tenure.

“I think it’s belief and confidence that we can do it,” McMahon said. “The players that we bring in, the process of it all, the culture of our program, that’s what we aspire to in terms of winning those championships. Every year it’s a grind. Our kids put in the work and it’s really trusting that process.”

Whether it’s the 14-2 Minutewomen or 41-21 Philadelphia 76ers, trusting the process is apparently a recipe for success. UMass now owns a perfect 8-0 record against the Wildcats (11-4, 6-1 A-10) all-time and 3-0 in the postseason.  Haley Connaughton, Stephanie Croke, and Kelly Marra combined for six goals both today and in their last win over Davidson back on March 22, 2019.

The cancelled 2020 “COVID year” permitted the Minutewomen to return a host of graduate students with an added year of availability. McMahon highlighted the value of having so many experienced leaders to lean on throughout this season and 13-game winning streak.

“This year in particular relying on our fifth-year returners, they’ve done a phenomenal job of leading this group and they have so much game experience,” McMahon said. “The last time we won an A-10 Championship was when they were freshmen.”

That 2017 championship run also started with a win over Davidson. The Minutewomen eventually defeated Richmond 13-12 for their ninth-straight conference title. Attacker Kaitlyn Cerasi is the only current player that scored in that game, but goalkeeper Lauren Hiller played all 60 minutes.

Coming into this year’s tournament, Richmond again looked like the most daunting task for UMass. Boasting a 7-0 conference record in the South division, it seemed these two schools were destined to battle it out in the championship for the seventh time in a row.

Saint Joseph’s had other plans. They halted the reigning champs 19-8 earlier on Friday and will now try to figure out the Minutewomen for the third time this season.

“We’re ready to play anybody at any time,” McMahon said. “We have to have that mentality in terms of us being successful. Honestly, St. Joe’s is a better team [than Richmond]. Richmond has so much talent and I’m sure they’re going to bounce back. Ultimately our priority is ourselves and focusing on what we need to do to win on Sunday.”

Opening draw is set for Sunday at noon in Amherst, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

Dylan Corey can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @theDylanCorey

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