Women's Lacrosse

Women's Lax Looks For 4th A-10 Championship

April 27, 2012

Atlantic 10 Tournament | No. 1 Seed (9/16) Massachusetts (16-1, 7-0 A-10)
 Date  Friday, April 27 - 3:30 PM vs. No. 4 George Washington
 Friday, April 27 - 1:00 PM No. 2 Duquesne vs. No. 3 Richmond
 Sunday, April 29 - 1:00 PM - Championship Game 
 Location  Robins Stadium | Richmond, Va.
 Tickets  At The Gate ($10 Weekend Pass; $6 adult, $4 youth, $3 student)
 TV/Radio  CBS Sports Network (Championship Game)
 Watch Online  A-10 All-Access Streaming Video (Friday Only)
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Twitter Updates  Click Here For Live Updates


Top-Seeded UMass looks For League-Best 4th Atlantic 10 Championship Title
• The No. 9/16 UMass women’s lacrosse team will seek its fourth-straight Atlantic 10 Tournament Title starting this Friday when the Minutewomen face George Washington at Richmond University’s Robins Stadium. Game time is set for 3:30 PM between the No. 1 seed UMass and the No. 4 seeded Colonials.
• The Minutewomen enter the conference tournament after posting a 16-1 record during the regular season and a perfect 7-0 mark in A-10 play. UMass won the league’s regular-season title for the third time in four years thanks to its second perfect run through the conference schedule. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 UMass won the A-10 Tournament Title. The Minutewomen will be looking to tie Temple’s league-best four consecutive Championship titles won from 2001-04.
• This will be the 12th time UMass has made the A-10 Tournament since the league began sponsoring women’s lacrosse in 1999. The Minutewomen have reached the league championship game in each of the last four years. Along with the 2009, 2010, and 2011 league titles, UMass also won the tournament title in 2000.
• No. 3 Richmond will face No. 2 Duquesne at 1 PM on Friday. The winners of the semifinals will meet in Sunday’s Championship Game - televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network (1 PM).

How They Got Here
• With 9 returning starters entering the 2012 season, UMass was the heavy favorite to repeat for the Atlantic 10 title in the preseason. Under the guidance of two-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Angela McMahon, the Minutewomen picked up where they left off last season with a blistering offense and a stifling defense.
• UMass started the season with a 7-0 record before falling at No. 1 Northwestern on March 17. In five of the first seven games, the Minutewomen posted 15 or more goals while allowing opponents to reach double-figures just twice.
• Following the Northwestern loss, UMass exacted a bit of revenge with a 12-11 overtime win at No. 13 Albany on March 21. That win sparked another nine game winning streak which included all 7 regluar-season A-10 contests.
• The A-10 season started with a jolt as a determined Richmond team took UMass to overtime before the Minutewomen were able to pull away for the 15-14 road win. After dominating wins at George Washington and against Saint Joseph’s, UMass was again pushed to overtime - this time at Duquesne. In the last three games of the A-10 regular-season, won by an average 18-7 score to take the No. 1 seed in the A-10 Championship Tournament.

UMass In The Atlantic 10 Tournament
• In 12 appearances in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass sports an 10-7 overall record. UMass made it to the Championship Game in 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - winning the Tournament title in 2000, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
• This will be the second time UMass and George Washington have met in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has played Richmond five times; Temple four times; Virginia Tech and Duquesne twice; and La Salle and Saint Joseph’s once. UMass is 4-2 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 each of the last two seasons.
• 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.
• This is the third time UMass has entered the A-10 Tournament as the No. 1 Seed. In 2009, 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 enters the Tournament for the second straight season coming off an undefeated run through the Atlantic 10 schedule.
• UMass is attempting to become the second program in Atlantic 10 history to win four consecutive championship titles. Temple won four straight from 2000-04.

A-10 Postseason Honors
Katie Ferris headlined the Atlantic 10 Women’s Lacrosse awards for 2012 as the sophomore from Carthage, N.Y., was named the league’s Player of the Year on Thursday. For UMass, this marks the third 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 second straight season.
• Ferris, who enters the A-10 Championship Tournament with 87 points, was also named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team for the second straight season. In 2011 she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year. She is joined on the All-Conference First Team by senior defender Ali Houlis, senior attack Jesse O’Donnell, and senior defender Riley Perry.
• Sophomore midfielder Tanner Guarino and senior attack Nina Sarcona were named to the All-Conference Second Team, while goalie Rachel Vallarelli was named to the All-Rookie Team.
• Perry and Sarcona were joined by senior midfielder Danielle Pelletier on the A-10 All-Academic Team. For Perry, this was her third straight season on the all-academic team.

Ferris Sets Pair Of Records
• Against Saint Joseph’s, sophomore Katie Ferris set a new single-season point record for the Minutewomen. Her five goal, one assist day pushed her past Whitney Thayer whose 1981 total of 74 points had been the gold standard for 31 years. Ferris then set the single-season assist record with a six-helper day against St. Bonaventure giving her 35 for the year breaking the previous record of 34 set by Cari Nickerson (1980) and Whitney Thayer (1981).
• Ferris needs five goals to break her own UMass single-season record for goals in a year (56).
• Ferris also needs 13 more points to become the first-ever play in program history to crack the 100-point plateau for a single-season.

Defliese Named Defensive Player Of the Week
• After helping the UMass women’s lacrosse team wrap up its second consecutive perfect Atlantic 10 regular-season schedule, senior midfielder Dayna Defliese was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the league office on April 24. 
• The native of Garden City, N.Y., posted 2 assists, 3 caused turnovers, 5 groundballs and 3 draw controls helping the Minutewomen to a 2-0 weekend with wins over La Salle and at Temple.

Palmer Named Defensive Player Of the Week
Kelsey Palmer was named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Minutemen defeat Saint Joseph’s 19-4. The four goals allowed were the fewest of the season as Palmer anchored the back row with a pair of caused turnovers and a pair of groundballs. For Palmer, it marked her first career weekly honor from the conference.

Ferris Picks Up 4th A-10 Weekly Honor
• After scoring 13-points and helping the No. 15 UMass women’s lacrosse team to a pair of league wins, Katie Ferris was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Monday. Ferris recorded nine goals and four assists to pick up her fourth Player of the Week honor this season. Ferris is the first player in program history to earn A-10 Performer of the Week honors four-or-more times in one season.

Ferris, Houlis Earn A-10 Honors After UNH, SHU Wins
Katie Ferris Earned her second Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor of the season, while Ali Houlis was named the Defensive Player of the Week following the Minutewomen’s wins over New Hampshire and Sacred Heart. Ferris had a 17-point week with 9 goals and 8 assists shooting 75 percent. Houlis led the defense which allowed a combined 12 goals, while collecting 10 groundballs, causing three turnovers, earning 4 draw controls and recording one assist. 

Guarino Earns A-10 honors After BU, Marist Wins
Tanner Guarino was named the Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week following her seven goal, two assist effort in the wins over Boston University and Marist. She shot 70% for the week and had the game-winning goals in both games. Against the Terriers, she had four goals and an assist, while she followed that up with three goals and an assist against the Red Foxes. 

Ferris Earns Weekly Honors Following Holy Cross Win
• After her 10 point game last weekend against Holy Cross, Katie Ferris was named the Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week and the UMass Athlete of the Week. Her seven goals and three assists marked the most points scored by any player in the country to date. 

Record Setting Year For Offense
• With the season hitting the postseason, UMass’s vaunted offensive attack has already set two program records and is looking for a third. The Minutewomen shattered the previous points record of 388 set last season with a whopping 415 this year. UMass also broke the longest standing record in program history of the 129 assists set in 1978. The Minutewomen posted 139 in the regular-season this year.
• Next on the list is season goals which UMass set last year with 293. That bested the previous record by 83 goals - 210 scored during the 2009 season. 
• UMass’ 293 goals in 2011 was just 20 goals shy of tying the 15th-best single-season mark in NCAA history (Duke, 2009, 313 goals).
• Prior to last season’s record total of 388 points, the previous record was 308 set back in 1978 - one of the oldest team records to be broken.
• UMass’ 16 goals scored in each game of the A-10 Tournament last year was also a new league record along with the 32 combined goals for the championship weekend. 

Defense In Top Form
• While the offense gets much of the publicity, the UMass defense is also among the best in the country. UMass has the 11th ranked scoring defense allowing just 8.82 goals per game. Only five teams have reached double-figures against the Minutewomen this season. UMass also ranks 19th in caused turnovers (8.59/game) and 1st in draw controls (17.6/game).

McGuirk Magic
• UMass is in its sixth year playing at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and is 30-16 all-time at the facility. So far in 2012, UMass is 10-0 at McGuirk. Last year, UMass was 7-2 at home.
• UMass is not scheduled to 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.

UMass Building Upon A-10 Success
• UMass is 29-6 in the Atlantic 10 over the last fours seasons (including 2012) which includes three A-10 Tournament Titles (2009, 2010, 2011), three regular-season title (2009, 2011, 2012) and one tournament runner-up finish (2008).
• Since the loss against La Salle to end the 2010 regular season, UMass has won 18 consecutive A-10 games.
• In addition to the past two A-10 Titles, UMass also won the A-10 title in 2000.
• All-time, UMass is 64-29 (.633) in the Atlantic 10 and 10-7 (.533) in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has the 2nd most regular-season wins behind Temple (70).

First Half Success
• Once again, big first halves are leading UMass to success as the Minutewomen are undefeated when leading at halftime. For the year, UMass has outscored its opponents 154-to-69 in the first half compared to an 117-80 mark in the second half.
• Part of the reason for UMass’ success last year was also good starts to games. UMass outscored opponents 161-to-74 in the first half. The second half has been a bit closer with UMass leading 130-to-100.

UMass Leads NCAA IN Wins
• UMass’ 16 wins this year are the most for any team in the country. Three other teams have 15 wins: Navy, Florida, Maryland.

Go With The `Flo’
Katie Florence enters her fourth season as UMass’ starting goalie with a career record of 52-22, a goals-against-average of 9.89 and a .448 save percentage. She ranks 2nd all-time at UMass with 544 saves (Jen Nardi ranks 1st all-time with 600), while her 52 wins is by far a program record (Nardi is 2nd with 26). Last year, Florence had the best campaign of her career with a 8.80 goals-against-average, a .460 save percentage, and 137 saves. Florence ranked 19th nationally in save percentage, 10th in GAA, 56th in saves per game and 36th in total saves last year.
• Despite playing fewer minutes in 2012, Florence has a 8.26 GAA which ranks 9th nationally. She has played a total of 654 minutes which is 400 fewer than her previous three year average.

No Sophomore Slump For Ferris
Katie Ferris picked up the 2012 season where she left the 2011 campaign - in the goals’ scored column. In the season-opener against Holy Cross, the sophomore scored seven goals and added three assists for a career-high 10 points. She followed that up three games later with another 10-point game with 5 goals and 5 assists in the win over New Hampshire.
• Ferris leads the Atlantic 10 in overall points and assists, while ranking 2nd in goals. She is No. 2 in the NCAA for points, 9th in overall goals, and 13th in assists.
• Ferris proved herself to be one of the top rookies not only in the Atlantic 10, but in the entire country last season. As a freshman, Ferris was 2nd on the team in points (72) and first in goals (56). She ranked 12th nationally in goals per game (3.24) and 10th in overall goals. She led all freshmen nationally in goals per game, while leading the A-10 in goals per game and points per game.
• She holds the UMass single-season record for goals with 56.

Sarcona Key In Draw Circle
• One of the key’s to UMass’ offensive and defensive success comes in Nina Sarcona being one of the country’s best draw control specialists. Sarcona ranks 4th nationally with 5.8 wins individually, but her ability to place the ball where he teammates can win possession has been key. The Northport, N.Y. native has 176 draw controls for her career which broke the UMass record held previously by Meghan Reddy (2006-09, 124). Her 10 draw controls against St. Bonaventure gave her 83 for the season breaking Reddy’s single season mark of 77 set in 2009. She enters the weekend with 92 for the year.

Terracciano Having A Breakout Season On Offense
Lauren Terracciano is in the midst of her best season offensively as she is the Minutewomen’s second leading scorer in 2011. Her 30 goals and 26 assists are both season bests for her career. She also has one of the most accurate shots on the team scoring her 30 goals on just 49 shots - a .612 shooting percentage.

One of Best Turnarounds In NCAA History
• UMass’s 17-3 record last year under first year head coach Angela McMahon served as the 4th-best season-to-season improvement in NCAA history. UMass’ 7.5 win/loss ratio improvement came on the heels of a 10-10 season in 2010.
• In 2006 Notre Dame and  in 2010 James Madison, each had a 10 win/loss ratio improvement which is the best in NCAA history. Fairfield’s 8.5 ratio is third-best.  

Offensive Outlook
• UMass returns the bulk of its offensive attack and midfield as five of the top seven scorers from 2011 return. Katie Ferris will look to take over the mantle of Jackie Lyons after producing a single-season record last year with 56 goals as a freshman. Jesse O’Donnell became one of the top attacks in the Atlantic 10 with a 48 point year and was the MVP of the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a breakout performance.
• The group loses All-American Jackie Lyons who finished her career as the top point producer in program history with 226 points. Along with Lyons, the Minutewomen also lose Haley Smith from last season. Smith’s play in the midfield and attack was pivotal as her 36 goals were the fourth most on the team.
• Senior Dayna Defliese and sophomore Tanner Guarino each return as starters to the midfield unit. Defliese was an All-Atlantic 10 Second Team selection last season, while Guarino and fellow middie Courtney McGrath were each named to the All-Rookie Team.

Defensive Outlook
• The defense returns nearly its entire corps from last season with the exception of Nazy Kerr. Senior Katie Florence will start for the fourth straight year after earning Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and IWLCA All-Region Second Team honors last year.
• In front of Florence is a group of defenders anchored by seniors Ali Houlis and Riley Perry. Houlis was an All-Atlantic 10 First Team pick and an IWLCA All-Region First Team honoree in 2011. Perry was an All-Atlantic 10 Second Team pick. Both will be starting for the fourth straight year.

2011 Saw Highest Ranking Since 1988
• UMass spent a school-record 11 straight weeks ranked in the InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media Poll last season finishing at No. 13 in the May 9th poll.
• In the April 4 InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media Poll,  UMass was tied for 11th with Princeton which was the highest ranking of the season.
• UMass’ highest ranking was in 1988 when the Minutewomen earned a No. 9 ranking in the fifth week of the season.
• UMass earned a No. 19 ranking in the InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media Poll on Feb. 28 after starting the 2011 season 4-0 for its first ranking of the year. 

CBS3 Now To Televise Select Home Women’s Lax games
• UMass athletics is pleased to announce that select women’s lacrosse games will be televised live in Western Massachusetts on CBS3 Now which can be viewed on Comcast 293 and Charter 230. The games are part of a 100-game package of all UMass sports which are shown on the CBS digital channel.

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 All-Access 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 received 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.



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