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

No. 16 UMass routs St. Bonaventure in 18-5 victory

Fiona McGowan ties season-high with six goals in the game
Kayla Wong / Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s 18-5 victory against St. Bonaventure was a result of pure domination in every facet of the game on Saturday.

From the opening face-off, No. 16 UMass’ (10-1, 4-0 Atlantic 10) came out firing on all cylinders. Sophomore Jordan Dean was unstoppable as she consistently won draw controls, leading directly to the Minutewomen’s 21-5 advantage in draw controls.

“Draw controls play such a crucial role in any game,” head coach Jana Drummond said. “Possession is the most important thing in the game. Having more possessions off the draw it’s great. [Dean] does such a good job talking to the draw circle people.”

Extra possessions resulted in more shot attempts for UMass, with offensive opportunities stockpiling in the early moments of the game. After four quarters played, the Minutewomen outshot the Bonnies, 33-11.

UMass jumped out to an early 6-0 lead thanks to its sovereignty in the draw control category. This edge allowed the Minutewomen to successfully pace the Bonnies, wearing them down with its unrelenting attack.

According to Drummond, UMass’ ability to dictate the flow of the game comes from being put to the test by talented teams week in and week-out.

“There’s been so many games and so many respectable opponents that we’ve seen that will push back,” Drummond said. “St. Bonaventure has been on such a high streak in the A-10. It was just messaging to our players that, ‘Listen, this team’s going to fight. We can’t back down; keep going and keep that fast pace, fast energy, high aggression all over the field.’”

Fiona McGowan epitomized relentlessness on Saturday afternoon. Her six goals tied her career-high for most goals in a single game. McGowan also added on two assists.

“St. Bonaventure ran a zone against us, and we saw that and prepared for it,” Drummond said. “[McGowan] is so smart behind the cage and she works really hard. You can always just rely on her to be calm and collective and not force too many looks inside.”

McGowan consistently gained separation, creating wide open shots for herself and her teammates and executed to perfection. She currently sits at No. 12 for total points in NCAA Division I with 45.

Charlotte Wilmoth scored three goals of her own, while Alex Finn and Hannah Heller each added two scores. In the last two games, Heller has forced seven turnovers.

“Defensively, Hannah Heller was someone who had a standout game today,” Drummond said. “I know sometimes stats don’t prove it but the fact that she’s had four goals and an assist in the last two games is a testament to our defense’s high pressure and high aggression. Then we’re able to push the fastbreak the other way.”

After UMass’ 22-12 win over No. 25 Richmond two weeks ago, it moved up four spots in the IWLCA Division I Top-25 Poll. After adding on three more wins this week, the Minutewomen moved to the No. 16 spot.

With the win, UMass’ win streak extends to nine. It will travel to North Carolina to battle Davidson on Saturday at noon.

“We’ve seen a lot of challenges, but every game can matter,” Drummond said. “We’re not letting up. We’re keeping our foot on the gas pedal but we’re being smart and strategic and taking it play-by-play.”

Michael Araujo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @araujo_michael_.

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