Women's Lacrosse Season Preview
Feb. 9, 2011
WORCESTER, Mass. - Two-time defending A-10 Champions UMass women's lacrosse begin the 2011 season away against Holy Cross on February 16 with first year head coach Anglea McMahon. The Minutewomen return 10 of 12 starters to their force, as well as six of their seven top scorers.
This season's highlighted games include a clash away at Boston University (2/23) who were last year's America East champions, and the second ever women's lacrosse night game at McGuirk Stadium against NCAA Finalist and Five-time National Champion Northwestern (3/26). The Atlantic 10 season begins at home against Temple (4/1) in McGuirk Stadium where UMass will host four of their seven conference games. The most exciting conference test will be against Richmond (4/17) who UMass beat in the A-10 Championship last season. McMahon will be looking to lengthen UMass's Atlantic 10 Title streak to three in a row.
Jackie Lyons will lead the UMass offense in her senior season. Earning All-America and A-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors, Lyons scored 49 goals while assisting 20 in her junior year. Entering the season, Lyons has 102 goals and 51 assists for a total of 153 points on her UMass career. Also returning to the UMass offense are juniors Jesse O'Donnell (38 goals, 9 assists), Danielle Pelletier (24 goals, 12 assists), and Nina Sarcona (19 goals, 12 assists).
The UMass midfield is highlighted by returning senior Haley Smith who recorded 12 goals, 21 groundballs, and 12 caused turnovers last season. She is joined by junior Dayna Defliese who received Atlantic 10 All Conference Second Team honors, and finished last season with 5 goals, 22 GBs and a team high 24 CTs.
Katie Florence returns in goal for her junior year after starting all 20 games as a sophomore. Florence posted a 10.34 goals against average, while having a .431 save percentage (153 saves) last season. Entering the season Florence has a goals against average of 10.88 with 339 saves, and a save percentage of .447 for her UMass career.
Headlining the defense is returning senior Nazy Kerr who had 20 GBs and 8 CTs last season. She is accompanied by returning juniors Riley Perry (29 GBs and 14 CTs last season) who received Atlantic 10 All Conference First Team honors and Ali Houlis (Team leading 33 GBs, 16 CTs, and 7 goals last season)
After graduating three seniors, McMahon has brought in ten Freshman to compliment her returning squad. Out of the ten rookies, seven have earned All-America honors during their prep careers. "We return the bulk of our Atlantic 10 Championship team from last year and I feel this group will help us keep the program competing at a high level," said McMahon.
The Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament will be held at Temple, beginning on April 29. This will be familiar territory to the Minutewomen as Temple is where they won the 2009 Championship.