Rush, Vallarelli Lead No. 11 Women's Lax Past Richmond 9-8
April 19, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. - Sam Rush led all scorers with three goals and Rachel Vallarelli made a save with 1.6 seconds left on the clock to preserve the win as the No. 11 UMass women's lacrosse team defeated Richmond 9-8 on Saturday afternoon at Robins Stadium. The win gives UMass sole possession of the Atlantic 10 lead while handing Richmond its first league loss of the season.
UMass (14-1, 5-0 A-10) has now won 34 consecutive games against Atlantic 10 opponents including 26 straight during regular-season play. The Minutewomen have also won 10 straight meetings against Richmond (9-5, 4-1 A-10) - five of which were by just one goal.
Rush scored the game-winning goal with 3:27 left in regulation. With the game tied at 8-8, UMass was able to force a turnover in the Richmond offensive zone. After clearing the ball and holding possession, Rory Sadoff earned a free position attempt with 3:38 to go. Her shot ricocheted off the post, but Tanner Guarino (1 goal, 1 assist) was there to scoop up the ground ball. She found a cutting Rush who netted the go-ahead goal.
Richmond won the ensuing draw control, but Vallarelli was there to make a save on an Emily Castle shot with 1:49 to go. UMass was able to clear the ball running the clock down to 18 seconds before the Spiders forced a turnover to regain possession.
A quick clear for Richmond saw the Spiders have a chance to tie the game with Castle receiving the ball at the top center of the 8-meter arc. With two defenders closing in on her, she fired a shot between them that Vallarelli was able to save with her body with 1.6 seconds left on the clock preserving the win.
The game had been a defensive battle for the first half with the teams trading goals and going into halftime tied 3-3.
Richmond came out of the intermission with a three-goal run over the first 3:26 of the second half with a pair of goals from Hayley Ross and one from Anna Jeszeck to go up 6-3.
UMass took back the momentum with four straight goals book-ended by a pair from Rush. She scored her first just 13 seconds after Jeszeck, while Melissa Carelli and Guarino netted goals in the next two minutes afterwards to tie the game 6-6. Rush gave the Minutewomen the lead for the first time in the game with 23:24 to go.
The Spiders fought back as a pair of goals once again put Richmond ahead. Makenna Pohle scored her second of the day to tie the game, while Bailey Zerr put Richmond up 8-7 at the 18:27 mark.
Just over eight minutes later, the Minutewomen were able to tie the game once again when Courtney McGrath opted not to shoot on a free position attempt and instead found a wide open Carelli for the dump in goal.
Neither team was able to capitalize on its offensive possessions after that until Rush scored the game-winner.
Ross added an assist to lead Richmond with three poings, while a total of seven Spiders scored goals in the game. Goalie Emily Boyce was strong in cage making 10 saves.
UMass held a 23-to-16 advantage in shots and a 13-to-7 edge in draw controls thanks to seven from freshman Hannah Murphy.
The Minutewomen will close out the regular-season next weekend with a home game against St. Bonaventure on Friday (1 PM) before heading to Pittsburgh to face Duquesne on Sunday (Noon).
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