Feb. 13, 2014
| No. 12/13 Massachusetts (1-0) vs RV Connecticut (0-0)
|| Saturday, February 15 - 1:00 PM (EST)
|| George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex | Storrs, Conn.
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No. 12 UMass Heads To UConn For Rematch Of 2012 NCAA Tournament First Round
After picking up a season-opening win on the road at Vanderbilt last Sunday, the No. 12 UMass women's lacrosse team returns to action this Saturday when the Minutewomen head to Connecticut. The opening draw is set for 1:00 PM at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex and will be a rematch of last season's NCAA Tournament First Round game that UMass won 14-10 at Penn State.
Despite being geographical neighbors, this is just the 10th all-time meeting between the two programs with UConn holding a 5-4 advantage. The two teams met each year between 1998-2004 before the series took a hiatus until 2010.
UMass One Of The Top NCAA Teams Over Last Three Years
With a record of 54-8, three Atlantic 10 Championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, UMass has been one of the top teams nationally over the previous three years.
The 54 wins are the third most for any team in the three years prior to the start of 2014. Maryland leads the nation in wins with a 62-7 record over that time span followed by Northwestern (61-7). UMass is ahead of Florida (53-10), Navy (52-11), North Carolina (48-13), and Syracuse (47-16).
Statistically, UMass has ranked among the nation's elite in points, scoring offense and scoring defense. In 2013, UMass was 3rd in points (467), 5th in scoring offense (14.76) and 9th in scoring defense (8.24). UMass led the nation in points in 2012 (491), was 2nd in offense (15.81) and ranked 11th in scoring defense (9.0). The 2011 campaign ended with UMass ranked 7th nationally in points (388), 5th in scoring offense (14.65) and 10th in scoring defense (8.70).
The Last Meeting
May 10, 2013
University Park, Pa.
Top 15 RPI For UMass Over The Last Two Years
In the final RPI report from the NCAA, UMass finished No. 11 and was the highest ranked Atlantic 10 program.
UMass finished 2012 with a No. 6 RPI according to the final NCAA report making it the highest ranked A-10 team.
This marks the first time in program history that UMass has posted consecutive years with a top-15 RPI.
After the first week of 2014, UMass has the No. 1 RPI rank and the No. 14 strength of schedule according to LaxPower.com
34 consecutive weeks ranked in top 20
Since the 2011 season, UMass has been ranked among the nation's top 20 in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and the deBeer Media Poll for 34 straight weeks. That is the longest span in program history to hold a ranking.
The highest rank during that span was when the Minutewomen reach No. 8 in the deBeer Media Poll entering the 2013 NCAA Tournament. UMass finished the year at No. 9 in the deBeer Media Poll to end the 2012 regular-season.
UMass was ranked No. 13 in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and the Brine Media Poll to start the 2014 season. After the opening win at Vanderbilt, UMass moved up to No. 12 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll.
Ferris Continues To Climb On Career Charts
Junior attack Katie Ferris continues to re-write in the women's lacrosse all-time career record book. Last season, the native of Carthage, N.Y., became just the fourth person all-time to score 200 career points in the history of the UMass women's lacrosse program. She is the UMass career leader in points (253) and goals (171) and ranks 3rd in career assists (82).
A member of the 2013 Tewaaraton Watch List, Ferris needs just two assists to move into 2nd all-time in career assists and 24 to break the record set by Cari Nickerson Lovejoy (1977-80).
In 2012, Ferris set the UMass single-season record for points (98), goals (59) and assists (39). Her 98 points was also a new Atlantic 10 record breaking Jami Wilus' record of 94 set in 2001 - Wilus is the sister of former UMass men's lacrosse player Mike.
Ferris is the second active leading career point scorer in the NCAA (253) behind Syracuse's Alyssa Murray (264). Ferris is the NCAA's active career leading goal scorer with 171 which is ahead of Syracuse's Murray (169) and Navy's Aimee Gennaro (170).
Rush Breaks Single-Season goal Record
While Kate Ferris gets most of the publicity for re-writing the UMass record book, it's junior attack Sam Rush who is doing some editing of her own. With a six-goal performance in the 2013 Atlantic 10 title game, Rush broke the program's single-season goal record with 61 for the year. Ferris had broken the record in each of the previous two seasons with 59 in 2012 being the old record.
Rush added four more goals in the NCAA Tournament First Round giving her 13 goals in three postseason games last year.
The senior currently ranks 9th all-time in career goals at UMass with 112 after a three-goal performance at Vanderbilt to start the season. She needs two goals to take over 8th all-time and 10 for 7th place. A 60-goal-plus season would put the West Babylon, N.Y. native second all-time behind Katie Ferris.
Guarino On The Cusp Of 100 Goals
Tanner Guarino is one of the active leading scorers on the team this season with 70 goals and 107 points following the Vanderbilt game. She needs 30 goals this season to hit the 100 goal plateau. She is also one of the Minutewomen's top midfielders with 81 career groundballs, 61 draw controls and 47 caused turnovers.
McGovern Is Quick On The Draw
Aside from being one of the Minutewomen's top defensive players, Kelsey McGovern is also UMass' primary draw specialist. After recording 35 draw controls as a freshman and sophomore back-up Nina Sarcona, McGovern had a career year in 2013 with 110 to her credit. She now has 145 draw controls for her career, good for 2nd on the all-time leading draw controls list. The 110 last season is the best single-season total in program history (Sarcona set the previous record in 2012 with 109 and holds the career record at 193) and makes her just the second player in program history to hit the century mark.
McGovern missed the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament with a knee injury, but returned to play in the NCAA First Round against UConn where she hauled in a game-high eight draw controls.
Her 110 draw controls in 2013 ranks as the 11th-best mark in NCAA history for a single season.
Sheridan & Walker Have Breakout Years Defensively
Senior Kelsey Sheridan and junior Morgan Walker each had breakout year's defensively in 2013. Sheridan had a career-best 21 caused turnovers and 47 groundballs. She was also key on draw controls with 53. Walker was just behind Sheridan with 19 caused turnovers and 25 groundballs - both career highs - in helping anchor the Atlantic 10's best defensive unit.
McMahon An Up-And-Coming Coach
In just three years as the head coach at UMass, Angela McMahon is already the second-winningest coach in program history in terms of wins (55) and is No. 1 in win percentage (.885). With a 54-7 record entering the 2014 season, she has the best overall record of any women's lacrosse coach in NCAA history in the first three years at a school - She ranks 2nd in terms of win percentage behind Maryland's Cindy Timchal who was 40-5 (.889) in her first 3 seasons with the Terps. McMahon's 55 wins at UMass is second to just Hall of Famer Pam Hixon's 91 from 1979-87 which included 3 NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1982 NCAA National Championship.
Balanced Offensive Attack
One of the hallmarks of the UMass offense last year was goal production from a multitude of players. In fact, 21 different players have accounted for at least one goal with nine having 10-or-more goals through 21 games. As impressive as that number was, the Minutewomen also had more players involved in the passing game as 19 had at least one assist. As a team, UMass had 157 assists (310 goals) compared to 85 (173 goals) for its opponents.
As prolific as the offense was last year, it was the defense that once again served as the unsung hero. UMass allowed opponents to score 10+ goals on just six occassions and gave up just 8.24 per game. That made the Minutewomen the No. 1 defense in the Atlantic 10 and the 9th-ranked unit in the nation.
First Half Success
Over the last two years, big first halves are trending the Minutewomen towards wins. UMass outscored opponents 169-to-85 in the first half in 2013. The Minutewomen have lost just once (37-1) when leading at halftime over the last three years. In all but four games last year, UMass went into the locker room with a lead. UMass trailed No. 1 Northwestern in an opening season loss, was tied with USC before winning and trailed Albany before coming back to win. In UMass' win at Vanderbilt, the Minutewomen took a 5-4 lead just as the first half expired before going on to win 13-6.
UMass is in its eighth year playing at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and is 41-16 all-time at the facility. Over the last three seasons, UMass is 27-2 at home including 11-0 last year and 10-0 this year.
UMass has won 26 consecutive games at McGuirk. That ranks 3rd all-time in NCAA history for most consecutive home wins.
UMass did not play any games this spring at Garber Field which is the home of the men's lacrosse team and the field hockey team. The women's lacrosse team previously played there until 2007.
Fans will see one of the most dramatic upgrades to the stadium facility happen this spring as a new UMass Football Training Facility and Press Box will begin construction. Both projects are slated to be completed in prior to Fall 2014.
UMass Building Upon A-10 Success
UMass is 36-6 in the Atlantic 10 over the last five seasons which includes five A-10 Tournament Titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), four regular-season title (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013) and one tournament runner-up finish (2008).
Since the loss against La Salle to end the 2010 regular season, UMass has won 29 consecutive games against A-10 teams (including A-10 tournament games) breaking the record of 25 set by Temple in 2001-03.
UMass' 21 consecutive regular-season conference wins (2011-2013) is tied for the sixth longest such streak in NCAA history.
In addition to the past five straight A-10 Titles, UMass also won the A-10 title in 2000.
All-time, UMass is 71-29 (.710) in the Atlantic 10 and 13-7 (.533) in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has the 2nd most regular-season wins behind Temple (74).
UMass' five consecutive conference championship titles is the longest consecutive run in Atlantic 10 history. UMass' six Atlantic 10 Championships is also a league record.
UMass In The NCAA Tournament
UMass has been to the NCAA Tournament on six prior occassions with the most recent being last season. The Minutewomen's appearance in the 2013 NCAA Tournament marks the third consecutive year and the fourth in the last five years. Prior to the recent run which began in 2009, UMass appeared in the Big Dance in 1982, 1983, and 1984. The Minutewomen won the 1982 National Championship - the first NCAA sponsored NCAA championship for women's lacrosse. In 1983 and 1984, UMass reached the semifinals.
In each of the prior three seasons, UMass appeared in the NCAA Play-In Game falling at No. 15 Stanford 15-12 in 2010 and defeating Canisius in 2011 and 2012. This season marked the first time since 2009 that the Atlantic 10 had an automatic berth which UMass won then and now with the league championship title.
In 2012, UMass lost at third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Maryland 15-12 in the NCAA First Round.
UMass' win against UConn marked its first NCAA Tournament win since defeating Harvard 5-4 on May 12, 1984 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round - A span of 29 years.
UMass In The Atlantic 10 Tournament
In 13 appearances in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass sports a 14-7 overall record. UMass made it to the Championship Game in 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 - winning the Tournament title in 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The 2012 meeting between UMass and Richmond marked the 7th time the two teams had met in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has played Richmond seven times; Temple four times; George Wahington and Duquesne three times; Virginia Tech twice; and La Salle and Saint Joseph's once. UMass is 5-2 all-time against Richmond in the A-10 Tournament including the dramatic 10-9 overtime win in 2008 where UMass tied the game with one second left in regulation and the Championship Game in of the three seasons prior to 2013.
UMass has played four overtime games in its A-10 Tournament history posting a 4-0 record. Two of those OT wins were for the league championship titles.
2013 marked the fourth time UMass entered the A-10 Tournament as the No. 1 Seed. In 2009 and 2012, UMass was also the No. 1 seed en route to the A-10 Championship title. In 2000, UMass finished the season in a three-way tie for 1st, but were the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
UMass entered the Tournament for the third straight season coming off an undefeated run through the Atlantic 10 schedule - 7-0 in league play in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
UMass passed Temple for the most A-10 Championship titles (6) and for consecutive titles won (5) - a league record for both.
2013 A-10 Postseason Honors
For the second straight year, Katie Ferris headlined the Atlantic 10 Women's Lacrosse awards for 2013 as the junior from Carthage, N.Y., was named the league's Player of the Year. For UMass, this marked the fourth consecutive season that a Minutewoman was named the Player of the Year. In all, eight players earned a spot on an all-conference squad, while Angela McMahon was named Coach of the Year for the third straight season.
Ferris, who entered the A-10 Championship Tournament with 68 points, was also named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team for the third straight season. In 2011 she was named the league's Rookie of the Year. She was joined on the All-Conference First Team by junior midfielder Tanner Guarino and junior defender Kelsey McGovern.
Sam Rush and Kelsey Sheridan earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team honors, while Nicole Troost was named to the All-Rookie Team.
McGovern and junior midfielder Melissa Carelli were also named to the league's All-Academic Squad.
The Last Meeting
May 10, 2013
University Park, Pa.