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 women’s lacrosse pulls away late to beat UConn in 16-12 thriller

Minutewomen overcome fierce challenge from interstate rivals
Shilpa Sweth/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team emerged with a 16-12 win against UConn on a wet and snowy Saturday afternoon in Connecticut.

For the first time this season, the Minutewomen (5-1) found themselves locked in a tight four quarter battle against a scrappy UConn (3-2) team.

After going down 10-8 on a goal from Lia Laprise with 10:23 to go in the third quarter, the UMass found its footing on defense and utilized a balanced scoring attack from multiple playmakers to fuel an 8-2 run to finish the game.

“They were really relying on each other and talking to each other,” head coach Jana Drummond said of the second half turnaround.“[They were] keeping [UConn] off the eight meter and not fouling, holding good body defense, putting that pressure in the rides.”

Early in the third, Alex Finn bailed out the offense on a largely uneventful possession, initially trying to find the right pass from behind the goal. Finn later found space to curl around and find the back of the net with eight seconds left on the possession clock. Then, with 4:39 left in the quarter, Finn once again made a move from behind the goal, pulling off a quick dodge to give herself space directly in front of goal and scoring once again.

“It’s more of a whole team thing,” Finn said of her effectiveness in attack. “If all seven players aren’t doing the right thing and aren’t in the right space, you can’t get the goals. Spacing is what opened it up for me because they were occupying their defenders.”

In addition to Finn’s performance, Kylee Bowen scored three goals over the course of the second and third quarters, the last of which came with 1:36 to go in the third, giving the Minutewomen their first lead at 11-10 since going up 2-0 early in the first. Amy Moreau, Kassidy Morris and Charlotte Wilmoth added two goals of their own.

Up until Laprise’s goal, UMass had few answers for an efficient UConn attack and struggled to establish a stable flow in its own attack; UConn responded to every positive play by UMass with a great play of their own.

“UConn’s a phenomenal team,” Drummond said. “Every year we see them, they give us a great game, so we knew possession was going to be key. So it was [about] taking care of that possession each chance we had, whether that was on offense or our defense, getting our bodies in front to slow down those hard one v. one drives that they do so well.”

The Huskies were clinical in attack but brought hustle to the rivalry game as well, scrambling for ground balls and sprinting down the field on clear attempts. In the second quarter, UConn went 4-5 on clears and recovered six ground balls to UMass’ three.

“For us, it was [about] staying calm and staying focused on our game plan and not getting too caught up in what they were doing or what the scoreboard said,” Drummond said, discussing adjusting to the adversity that UConn’s intensity presented. “We have a full game to play, [so] just keep chipping away and focus on what we have to do.”

Having played and won two straight road games, the Minutewomen return home to Garber as they begin conference play against Richmond. The game is set for 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.

Jedhi Lee can be reached at [email protected].

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