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

UMass’ mental strength helps rout Richmond, capture top spot in A-10

Fiona McGowan scores six goals in 22-12 win
Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

In a physical battle between the top two teams in the Atlantic 10, it was the mental toughness of the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team that earned it the 22-12 win against the No. 25 Richmond Spiders.

No. 24 UMass (6-1, 1-0 A-10) struck first when Kylee Bowen scored her first of three goals on a free position shot. Jordan Dean won the face off following the opening score, and Alex Finn found the back of the net just 11 seconds later on a feed by Hannah Heller.

“Our offense came out with a bang,” head coach Jana Drummond said. “I’m so proud of how [the players] just connected but I’m really proud of how coach Aurora [Cordingley] and coach Kendall [Goldblum] just took hold and were directing them and providing the girls with that confidence in the tactical side of things to come out and execute offensively.”

Richmond’s (5-2, 0-1 A-10) Lindsey Frank answered accordingly with two quick goals and subsequently tied the game. Frank landed her first goal after she wrapped around the net and punched it home, while her second goal was the product of Richmond’s precise passing along the shooting circle. With the Minutewomen in rotation, Frank attacked the gap with urgency and was rewarded as the Spiders were back in the game.

The momentum continued to swing like a pendulum between conference foes in the first quarter. Every time one team scored, the other responded.

With two and a half minutes remaining in the opening frame and UMass leading 7-3, the Spiders scored two consecutive goals and brought the game back within two points. Once again, the Minutewomen turned the tide.

Fiona McGowan deflated Richmond when she spun off her defender and fearlessly drilled the shot while fighting her way into a group of Spiders. Not even a minute later, McGowan got her third goal of the day when she positioned herself to corral a missed UMass shot and sank the putback.

With the energy successfully shifted and the crowd roaring at Richard F. Garber Field, the Minutewomen poured on the points and never looked back.

Just over a minute into the third frame, UMass surpassed its previous season-high for goals in a game when Heller found the back of the net for the team’s 18th score.

McGowan notched a double hat trick with a career-high six goals. Amy Moreau scored four goals while Kassidy Morris and Bowen each added three goals.

According to Drummond, UMass’ collective mental strength played a key role in the conference victory.

“It starts from our captains; it starts from our fifth years, our seniors and it trickles down to everyone on the team including the freshmen. That comes from practice… I think we saw some come out in play. Being tough but not saying it; by putting it into action.”

With the win, the Minutewomen overtake Richmond for sole possession of first place in the A-10. UMass also extended its winning streak to five games, dating back to their 14-5 win over Siena on Feb. 22.

Even with the big win, Drummond is unwavering in her team’s pursuit to get better every day.

“For each game, it’s like what can we learn from this and how can we apply that change to the next game. I’m proud that the team is listening and applying those changes so we can keep growing and progressing further down the road.”

The Minutewomen will travel to Providence, RI to take on Brown University on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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

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