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 dominates in up-and-down battle against La Salle

Minutewomen decisively clinch third Atlantic 10 victory
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

In a fiercely contested matchup Wednesday afternoon in chilly Pennsylvania weather, the Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team dominated, notching an impressive 20 goals against La Salle, winning 20-9.

The Minutewomen (4-4, 3-0 Atlantic 10) maintained a firm grasp on possession against the Explorers (2-6, 0-3 A-10). Winning many of the draws with 31 shots on goal, UMass maintained a commanding and persistent hold on the ball throughout the entire 60 minutes of play.

“Possession is the name of the game for us,” head coach Jana Drummond said. “Having more [draws from Jordan Dean] on her end is awesome and that’s exactly what we’ve been practicing.”

Dean clinched 19 of 31 draws against La Salle and provided a crucial link between defense and attack. Dean’s performance at the center circle not only secured possession for UMass but also set the tempo for the entire game.

“We saw a couple of different drawers from La Salle … and it was just great to see [Dean] put [what we practiced] into motion throughout the whole game.” Drummond said.

Other key players for the Minutewomen included Fiona McGowan and Kassidy Morris, who spearheaded the offense. Morris did not hold back, notching three of her four goals against the Explorers in the first half, and extended her streak to seven consecutive games with a hat trick. McGowan also proved instrumental, dishing out four crucial assists, while Morris contributed three of her own.

“La Salle came out super strong … so [we had to] move the ball hot and fast on the offensive end so I’m really excited about our different looks,” said Drummond. “Most of our goals were assisted, which is exactly what we wanted to do [Wednesday].”

Despite the intensity at the start from the Explorers, Charlotte Wilmoth wasted no time opening the scoring, scoring less than two minutes into the game with her first of three goals. The energy continued surging for UMass as it added two more goals to its tally, pushing the score to 3-0 with more than 10 minutes left in the first.

The Minutewomen sustained this momentum consistently throughout the matchup, going into the second quarter up 6-3 and into the half up 11-5.

“We’ve really worked on staying focused and staying present,” Drummond said. “You know, that’s what we try to focus on, that this is the play we’re focused on now, we can’t control any of the past, we can’t control any of the future, we can only focus on what we’re doing in this moment.”

The third quarter unfolded much like the second, with UMass continuing the scoring while La Salle managed to pick up a few goals here and there. However, the tide turned slightly in the middle of the fourth quarter when the Explorers mounted a comeback, scoring two consecutive goals against Bridgette Wall. This sudden surge stunned the Minutewomen as both teams intensified their battle for possession. Despite the efforts, neither side could find the back of the net for a stretch. It wasn’t until Norah Prizzi broke the scoring lull, followed swiftly by Ava Connaughton with another goal, effectively sealing the victory for the Minutewomen.

“The biggest thing is … we’re focusing on what we can do as a team to keep ourselves progressing so we are continuing to get better,” said Drummond.

UMass is back in action with another A10 matchup against Saint Bonaventure at Garber Field on Saturday March 23, at 12 p.m.

Kate Endres can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @Kate_e_endres.

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