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 moves past No. 4 Davidson, advances to Atlantic 10 Championship game

Fiona McGowan and Alex Finn combine for eight goals
Kayla Wong / Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team hung on for a 15-8 win against No. 4 Davidson in the semifinal round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded UMass (16-1, 10-0 A-10) fought off a ferocious Wildcat (12-6, 6-3 A-10) comeback and refused to be denied a trip to the championship round.

After three straight Davidson goals tightened up what once was a runaway game, Fiona McGowan and Alex Finn took control. Finn assisted McGowan on three Minutewomen goals through the final six minutes to put the game to bed.

On the first shot, Finn dissected the defense from behind the cage before delivering a pinpoint pass to McGowan who scored in stride for the hat trick. The duo struck again less than a minute later the exact same way.

McGowan scored five goals in the game along with three assists. Finn had three goals and four assists.

“[Finn and McGowan are] such great players,” head coach Jana Drummond said. “They both work so hard off the field and to do that together was phenomenal. Both of them really know each other and they’ve been playing together for so long. To see that come to fruition today as phenomenal.”

UMass’ Kassidy Morris landed the first punch and scored just over a minute into the game. Davidson responded by scoring back-to-back goals to take the lead. Rarely trailing at any point during the regular season, the Minutewomen remained poised and outscored the Wildcats 9-2- for the remainder of the first half.

“It was early and we just kept chipping away and our focus was on the play and not the score,” Drummond said. “That’s what helps us set up for success. Just keeping that on the forefront and the focus the entire time which I thought [the players] did a good job of.”

Davidson goalkeeper Amanda Monahan was a pivotal part of the team’s success and UMass’ struggles. Known for their offensive firepower, the Minutewomen’s slow start was partially because of Monahan’s defense. She had 11 saves and was a major component of the Wildcats success.

To minimize Monahan’s impact, UMass had to use its speed and passing.

“If we can shift and make [Monahan] move, that’s where we can find a little more success because [Monahan] is so good at tracking the ball,” Drummond said. “She moves well. We had to keep the ball quick moving to make that harder.”

With the win, the Minutewomen will play the winner of Richmond and defending champion Saint Joseph’s. The winner of the eventual championship game will punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Ahead of the biggest game of the season, Drummond’s message to the team is simple, but sage.

“This is just another game. We’ve done a very good job so far and if we can keep our poise, stay calm, be really tough and fight for every play regardless of who we’re playing, we can find success,” Drummond said. “It’s going to be a battle regardless of who we’re playing so just keeping that in mind and continuing to chip away even if there are ups and downs.”

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

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