Women's Lacrosse

Top-10 Showdown As No. 10 Women's Lax Hosts No. 7 Northwestern

March 24, 2014

No. 10/10 Massachusetts (9-0) vs. No. 7/8 Northwestern (4-3)
 Date  Tuesday, March 25 - 7:00 PM (EST) 
 Location  McGuirk Stadium Amherst, Mass.
 Watch Online  UMass/Atlantic 10 Digital Network
 Live Stats  Live Stats
 Twitter Updates  @UMassAthletics

Top 10 Showndown As No. 10 UMass Hosts No. 7 Northwestern
• It's a top-10 battle under the lights at McGuirk Stadium as the 10th-ranked and undefeated UMass women's lacrosse team hosts seven-time national champion and 7th-ranked Northwestern on Tuesday night at 7 PM. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs with both ranked among the top 10 nationally. Aside from keeping their perfect record in tact, the Minutewomen will also be looking to keep their 31-game home win streak - the third longest in NCAA history - alive as well as looking to snap a 12-game win streak in the all-time series for Northwestern.

UMass One Of Six Remaining Undefeated Teams In 2014
Entering Tuesday's game, UMass is one of six remaining undefeated teams this season. Only Maryland (11-0), Johns Hopkins (10-0), and North Carolina (10-0) have more wins than the Minutewomen (9-0). Albany (7-0) and Brown (7-0) are the other undefeated teams remaining.  

9-0 Start 4th Best In Program History For UMass
The win over Southern California gave UMass its fourth-best start to a season in program history at 9-0. The best start was in 1979 at 15-0 followed by a 13-0 start during the 1980 season. In 1982, UMass was a perfect 10-0 for the season - the only undefeated season in program history and the year of the Minutewomen's National Championship title. 

UMass in the National Rankings
UMass enters this week as the No. 4 scoring defense in the country allowing just 5.89 goals per game. The Minutewomen have the No. 21 scoring offense and are ranked 15th in points. The defense is bolstered by a No. 5 ranking in caused turnovers with 11.56 per game.
• Individually, Katie Ferris ranks 10th nationally in points and 3rd in assists. Sam Rush ranks 12th in goals. Defensively, Rachel Vallarelli ranks 4th in goals-against-average (5.84).

UMass One Of The Top NCAA Teams Over Last Four Years
• With a record of 63-8, three Atlantic 10 Championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, UMass has been one of the top teams nationally over the last four years. 
• The 63 wins are the third most for any team in the four year time span (including 2014). Maryland leads the nation in wins with a 73-7 record over that time span followed by Northwestern (65-10). UMass is tied with Florida (63-12) and ahead of Navy (60-12), North Carolina (58-13), and Syracuse (56-17).
• 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).

Top 15 RPI For UMass Over The Last Two Years
• In the final 2013 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 sixth week of 2014, UMass has the No. 8 RPI rank and the No. 47 strength of schedule (as high as 19) according to LaxPower.com. 

40 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 Brine Media Poll for 39 straight weeks. That is the longest span in program history to hold a ranking.
• The highest rank during that span was when the Minutewomen reached No. 8 in the Brine Media Poll entering the 2013 NCAA Tournament and in the March 10, 2014 poll. UMass finished the 2012 regular-season at No. 9 in the deBeer Media Poll.
• UMass was ranked No. 13 in both the IWLCA Coaches Poll and the Brine Media Poll to start the 2014 season. After opening the season 7-0, UMass is ranked No. 9 in the Brine Media Poll and No. 9 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll with the March 16 release. This week, UMass is No. 10 in both the most recent update to the IWLCA poll and the Brine media top-20.

Ferris Continues To Climb On Career Charts
• Senior 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 (289) and goals (187) and ranks 2nd in career assists (102).
• A member of the 2013 Tewaaraton Watch List, Ferris needs just five assists to move into 1st all-time breaking 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 Wilus.
• Ferris is the second active leading career point scorer in the NCAA (289) behind Syracuse's Alyssa Murray (294). Ferris is also the NCAA's third leading active career goal scorer with 187 which is behind Navy's Aimee Gennaro (195) and Vermont's Sydney Mas (198). Her 102 assists are the 5th most of any current player in the country.

Rush Breaks Single-Season Goal Record
• While Kate Ferris gets most of the publicity for re-writing the UMass record book, it's senior 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 5th all-time in career goals at UMass with 139 after scoring 30 goals in nine games. She needs four goals to move into 4th all-time passing Jackie Lyons (2008-11). 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 82 goals and 122 points following the game against Southern California. She needs 18 more goals this season to hit the 100 goal plateau. She is also one of the Minutewomen's top midfielders with 98 career groundballs, 68 draw controls and 60 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 173 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.

Vallarelli Steady In Goal
Rachel Vallarelli has quietly been one of the top performers on the defensive side of the ball. The goalie from Hartsdale, N.Y., is having her best career year in cage with a 5.84 goals-against-average and her second best year so far with a .473 save percentage. For her career, she has played in 38 games posting a 20-2 overall record. She has a career 7.56 goals-against-average and a .432 save percentage in nearly 1,600 minutes played. She ranks 4th all-time at UMass in terms of wins and is 3rd in goals-against-average. 

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 four years as the head coach at UMass, Angela McMahon is already the second-winningest coach in program history in terms of wins (63) and is No. 1 in win percentage (.884). With a 54-7 record entering the 2014 season, she had 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 63 career 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 had accounted for at least one goal with nine having 10-or-more goals over the 21-game season. 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.

Stingy Defense
• 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 occasions 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.

McGuirk Magic
• UMass is in its eighth year playing at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and is 46-16 all-time at the facility. Over the last four seasons, UMass is 32-2 at home including 11-0 in 2012 and 10-0 in 2013.
• UMass has won 31 consecutive games at McGuirk. That ranks 3rd all-time in NCAA history for most consecutive home wins. The last time UMass lost at McGuirk Stadium was on March 26, 2011 against No. 2 Northwestern (17-7).
• 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 July 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.

2013 A-10 Postseason Honors
• For the second straight year, Katie Ferris headlined the Atlantic 10 Women's Lacrosse awards for 2013 as the native of 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 midfielder Tanner Guarino and defender Kelsey McGovern.
• Sam Rush and Kelsey Sheridan earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team honors, while Nicole Troostwas named to the All-Rookie Team.
• McGovern and midfielder Melissa Carelli were also named to the league's All-Academic Squad.

Streaming Video
• Can't make a home game? Have friends and family back home who want to keep up with the Minutewomen? Sign up for the UMass Atlantic 10 Digital Network Package and you can watch every home game live on the Internet. Along with live games, fans can check out interviews with the coaches and players, news highlights, and feature stories on the team.

Sign Up For The Lacrosse E-mail List

• Want to get all the latest information on the women's lacrosse team delivered straight to your E-Mail Inbox? Sign up for the UMass Women's Lacrosse E-Mail List and you will receive game previews, recaps and feature stories delivered straight to you. To sign up, send an e-mail with the subject line "Sign Up For Women's Lacrosse E-Mail List" to jsinnett@admin.umass.edu.

The Last Meeting
#1 Northwestern16
February 8, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif.
No. 1 Northwestern Downs No. 14 Women's Lax 16-4
No. 1 Northwestern used a strong performance in the draw control circle to propel the Wildcats past the No. 14 UMass women's lacrosse team 16-4 on Friday afternoon at Southern California's McAlister Field. The game was the season opener for both teams with the Minutewomen returning to action on Sunday against USC in the first meeting between the two programs.



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