UMass Clinches A-10 Regular Season Title
from press release
AMHERST, Mass. - Jackie Lyons received a few extra birthday
presents on Sunday as the No. 15 UMass women's lacrosse team
defeated Richmond 14-4 at McGuirk Stadium to clinch the Atlantic 10
Regular-Season Championship. The win also gives UMass the No. 1
seed in the A-10 Championship Tournament which will be held in two
weeks at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Sunday's game was a match-up of the two previous unbeaten squads in the Atlantic 10 standings. The win improves UMass to 13-2 overall and 6-0 in league play, while Richmond falls to 8-8 overall and 5-1 in the A-10. UMass will wrap up the regular-season next weekend at Saint Joseph's.
Lyons led all scorers with two goals and two assists as she celebrated her birthday and Senior Day at McGuirk. Alongside her, seniors Nazy Kerr and Haley Smith were honored in a postgame ceremony. Smith scored a pair of goals on the day, while Kerr anchored a defensive unit which surrendered just one goal in the first half to the Spiders.
The Minutewomen used a balanced attack with 10 different players scoring goals. Alongside Lyons and Smith, Katie Ferris and Dayna Defliese each recorded two scores in the game. Keeper Katie Florence won her 13th game of the season making seven saves.
Caitlin Fifield scored two goals for Richmond, while Hayley Ross and Gabi Wiegand had the others. Victoria Roebuck took the loss in goal making 10 saves. The Spiders were without the services of Mary Flowers, Richmond's top scorer and one of the top midfielders in the league, who has missed the last three games due to injury.
Fueled by the excitement of the day, UMass jumped out to an 8-0 lead holding Richmond scoreless for the first 23:34 of play. Smith and Lyons combined to score four of UMass' five goals, while Ferris capped the 8-0 run at the 8:41 mark.
After Wiegand put the Spiders on the board with 6:26 left in the
first, the Minutewomen responded with a three goal run in the final
three minutes giving UMass an 11-1 lead at halftime.
Defliese and Cori Murray scored the opening two goals of the second half to put UMass up 13-1 before Fifield's two goals and Ross' marker closed the game to 13-4 with 9:43 left in the game.
O'Donnell finished the scoring on an empty net free position goal with 4:15 left in the half and UMass was able to retain possession afterwards to run out the balance of the clock.
UMass outshot Richmond 27-to-13 for the game including an 18-to-4 margin in the first half. The possession battle also came out in UMass' favor winning 15-of-21 draw controls and holding a 24-to-13 advantage in groundballs.
Lyons' two assists in the game moved her into 2nd all-time at UMass with 75 for her career. She now has 130 goals and 205 points which both rank third all-time. On Friday, she became just the third player in program history to eclipse the 200-point mark.
Smith's two goals give her 75 for her career along with 10 assists in 72 games. Kerr continued her strong senior campaign as one of the top defensive players in the Atlantic 10 as she now has 31 career caused turnovers, 52 groundballs and 20 draw controls in 66 games.
The A-10 regular-season title was the second for UMass in the past three seasons. The Minutewomen have won the last two Atlantic 10 Championship Tournaments for berths to the NCAA Tournament.
UMass' 14 goals today also broke the program's record for goals in a season as the Minutewomen have 220 for the year. The previous record was 210 set in 2009. UMass needs 25 more points to break the program's all-time points record for a season which is 308 set in 1978 - one of the longest standing team records.
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