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. 22 UMass falls in a nail biter to Brown

Mia Mascone leads Bears past Minutewomen with six points
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

Regardless of the loss, Saturday’s game was a test of adversity for the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team.

On a frigid Saturday afternoon at Garber Field with snow flurries, the No. 22 Minutewomen (0-2,) faced Brown in its season opener. Led by Mia Mascone with five goals and one assist matching her career high for goals in a game, the Bears (1-0) survived and won 15-14.

This was a game of momentum and runs. Starting early in the first period, Brown played with intensity and tenacity on the offensive and defensive end, jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. Eventually, UMass took the lead to close out the period. However, after another goal early in the second period for the Minutewomen, the Bears switched to another gear. Scoring five unanswered goals to close out the first half, including a beautiful behind the head goal by Annie Burton that left the defense stunned, Brown led the game 8-5.

“The biggest thing is what we did as a defensive group to come together, and [while] we started flat, we held together and stepped up on that,” head coach Jana Drummond said.

The third period continued the same, with Brown continuing its attempt to break the Minutewomen defense and get shots past Catrina Tobin. Yet it was also UMass’ offense and midfield that began impacting the game. Winning the battle of draw controls 21-11, UMass controlled the ball more, giving it more time to set up its offense.

Kassidy Morris and Fiona McGowan led the way for the Minutewomen. Morris had four goals and three assists while McGowan had three goals in addition to two assists.

UMass began raising its defensive fortitude in the fourth quarter by forcing multiple 90 second violations. Nonetheless though, after yet another Bears goal, the Minutewomen were staring at a 13-9 deficit with just under 12 minutes to play. It was make-or-break time in the game for them. Led by McGowan and Morris, the Minutewomen had a 4-1 run comeback tying the game at 14 a piece with just under four minutes to play. Brown was on its heels, everyone in the stadium on their feet in the blistering cold, UMass had fought back.

In the final three minutes, Greta Criqui scored the game winning goal, and Claire Mahoney made the game winning save as time expired on the Minutewomen.

Mahoney gave up 14 goals on 22 shots on net. After having a losing record as a starting goalie for the Bears, Mahoney started her 2024 campaign on the right foot. On the other side, Tobin finished the game giving up 15 goals on 18 shots on net.

“Defensively we were just playing more as a group and unified where in the first half you could see they were playing more individualized, so you could see that and then the energy totally [shifted]. [The] offense did such a great job of leading that momentum and really just finding some of those holes there. So if we could just put that full 11 minutes into all 60 minutes, it would have been a different game, but that’s what we’re going to keep working on as a team,” Drummond said.

The next Minutewomen matchup will be on Tuesday Feb. 27 at home against Holy Cross at 3 p.m.

Mehrob Fatemi can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MehrobFatemi

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