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 loses in first round of NCAA tournament by surging Johns Hopkins

Minutewomen lack execution in all phases of game
Kayla Wong / Daily Collegian

Right after dropping the Atlantic-10 title game to Richmond, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team’s season came to an end after a 19-8 loss to Johns Hopkins in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Despite a spirited defensive effort to begin the game on the Minutewomen’s (16-3, 9-0 A-10) part, the Blue Jays’ (9-8, 4-2 Big Ten) fast-paced, balanced offense left UMass vulnerable to wide open attacking lanes and gave it trouble in communication. After 10 minutes of cagey competition from both sides, the flood gates opened for Johns Hopkins on a heads-up play from Campbell Case; as soon as the referee put the ball back in play after a stoppage, Case looped around the back of the goal to break the 1-1 deadlock with no one but the goalie in the way, as no nearby UMass defender had turned around to check her in time. After that goal, the Blue Jays ripped five more scores over the next five minutes to end the quarter, and they never looked back.

Ava Angello, Case and Ashley Mackin each supplied Johns Hopkins with four goals. Angello could not be stopped as she combined her height and dodging skills to make space for quality shots, and unleashed a line drive shot to the far side of the goal on a free position shot that Minutewomen goalkeeper Gina Carroll had no chance of stopping.

Every attempt by UMass to win momentum back was quickly thwarted by the Blue Jays. Charlotte Clavelli’s goal 35 seconds into the second quarter figured to be a boost for the Minutewomen, but Angello canceled it out just two minutes later with her aforementioned free position goal. And when Charlotte Wilmoth scored to begin the third quarter to cut the deficit to five, Angello responded with a goal yet again just 43 seconds later.

“Hopkins, we knew, is a phenomenal program and they’re coached by a really great staff,” head coach Jana Drummond said. “They just didn’t slow down. They suffocated us on their ride. And I think those are little details that if we just possessed and took an extra second, we would have found success.”

The Minutewomen’s struggles getting out of midfield were apparent in the box score; the team was 12/16 on clears, outshot by Johns Hopkins 39-19 and coughed up the ball 20 times. However, Drummond still found plenty of positives in the team’s performance too. She specifically praised Jordan Dean’s execution on draw controls as a sophomore playing in the NCAA tournament, commended Audra Tosone’s performance and praised the game by both goalies as well.

“There were some great man-down defense sets and an awesome man-down offense set where we scored the ball,” Drummond continued. “So I think those little things were really great as a team coming together.”

Friday’s loss concludes Drummond’s debut season as the UMass head coach, in which the Minutewomen captured their 12th consecutive A-10 regular season title with an unbeaten conference record, but failed to win the A-10 championship and lost in the first round of the national tournament. But despite the sour note at the end, Drummond kept things in perspective and said she felt proud of her players for the heights they reached this season, noting that this was the second year in a row and just the second year in program history in which the team received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

“There’s only one team out there in the country that’s going to end on a win, and everyone else is ending on a loss,” Drummond said. “We’re just really proud of the team. We can’t look at ourselves as identifying as those last two games.”

Drummond reserved praise for her first senior class as head coach as well.

“Those fifth years and seniors… made this team feel like a family and a unit that doesn’t give up on each other and truly loves each other on and off the field,” Drummond said. “Those seniors have implemented such great characteristics for our future.

“I feel like the future is so bright for this program, and it’s really exciting.”

Jedhi Lee can be reached at [email protected].

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