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The NCAA.com website ran a feature written by Joey Saade of the Daily Collegian featuring UMass women's lacrosse senior goalie Rachel Vallarelli. The play of Vallarelli this season has been critical in the success of the Minutewomen and her leadership has helped turn the defense into the top unit in the country.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of this weekend's Atlantic 10 Championship where the UMass women's lacrosse team is the No. 1 seed. The Minutewomen have won six consecutive league titles and will face George Mason on Friday (1 PM) in the A-10 Semifinals.

"I really like how our team has performed in the bigger game scenarios. Sometimes the more pressure for us the better," Head Coach Angela McMahon said. "We have key players who have thrived in those moments. From the beginning our defense was strong and solid, the way our offense has come together and the number of different people who have become scoring threats is great. That's huge for us going forward."

Joey Saade of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on UMass lacrosse goalie Rachel Vallarelli who has turned in a phenomenal senior campaign in net for the Minutewomen this year. The anchor of the nation's No. 1 defense for much of the year talks about what her career has meant to her, while teammate Morgan Walker says Vallarelli's play has inspired the team's defense as a whole.

Collegian: @UMassLacrosse thriving with nation's top defense

Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian has a feature looking at the make-up of the UMass women's lacrosse team's defense which is currently ranked as the top unit in the nation. Anchoring the back line is goalie Rachel Vallarelli who is off to her best season ever and is an All-American candidate in goal.

Incoming women's lacrosse freshman Morgan Walker of Glastonbury High School was tabbed The Courant's Player of the Year over the weekend.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: After back-to-back losses in the semifinals the last two seasons, she helped lead Glastonbury (15-5) to the first state championship appearance in program history. The Tomahawks came up short to Greenwich, 12-10, in the Division L final. ... A tri-captain, she played all 20 games with 28 goals and 24 assists. Averaged 1.4 goals per game and 2.6 points per game. ... Scored three or more goals in a game five times. ... Had eight goals and one assist during Glastonbury's tournament run to the championship. ... A U.S. Lacrosse High School All American and All-CCC North selection. ... Four year letter-winner and three-year starter.

WALKER SAID: "I just try to play the game like I know how to play it and practicing and working hard has always paid off for me. Stats are not on my priority list. I don't even know how many goals I had this year. I think being a leader on the team is just as important. Ever since we made to the semifinals as sophomores we wanted to make it the finals, so [this season] had been in the works for a while. ... My size [5 feet 2] has always been a thing; people have always said she is so small. But all the coaches I have talked to always said 'you've always made yourself big.'"

Morgan Walker

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