New England Rivalry In NCAA Tourney First Round As UMass Faces UConn The No. 15/8 UMass women's lacrosse team will take on a familiar foe in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday, May 10 as the Minutewomen take on No. 18 Connecticut at Penn State. The Nittany Lions earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host Canisius prior to the UMass/UConn game. The winners will advance to Sunday's NCAA Second Round game which will also be at the Penn State Lacrosse Stadium. The game vs. the Huskies has several connections between the programs beside just the close proximity. UMass head coach Angela McMahon took over as head coach of the Huskies in 2009 and 2010 after serving as assistant coach for the Minutewomen in 2007-08. Current UMass assistant coach Whitney Michele is a UConn graduate who played under McMahon. UMass is 3-5 all-time against UConn. The last time the two teams played was in 2010, an 18-8 win for UMass, when McMahon was the head coach for the Huskies. UMass is also 2-0 against Canisius and 0-7 vs. Penn State. The Minutewomen enter the NCAA tournament after posting a 17-2 record during the regular season and a perfect 7-0 mark in A-10 play (for the third straight year). UMass won the league's regular-season title for the fourth time in five years and set a new A-10 record for consecutive Championship titles with five straight (six overall).
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. Last season, UMass lost at third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Maryland 15-12 in the NCAA First Round. UMass is looking for its first NCAA Tournament win since 1984.
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.
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 on Thursday. For UMass, this marks 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 enters 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 is 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.
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. This 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 enters the NCAA Tournament as the program's new career leader in points with 240 after passing Jackie Lyons who last broke the record in 2011 with 226 career points. Ferris is also 3rd in career goals (162) and 3rd in career assists (78). A member of the 2013 Tewaaraton Watch List, Ferris needs just 8 goals to tie Pam Moryl (1982-85) as the program's all-time goal scorer. She also needs 5 assists to move into 2nd all-time in career assists and 28 to break the record set by Cari Nickerson Lovejoy (1977-80). Last season 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.
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 Atlantic 10 title game, Rush broke the program's single-season goal record with 61 this year. Ferris had broken the record in each of the last two seasons with 59 last season being the new program standard.
Murray, Rush Join the 100 Point Club Cori Murray became the third member of the current Minutewomen to accumulate at least 100 career points with her performance at La Salle (3g, 3a). On her career, she has 81 goals and 46 assists. This season, she has 36 goals and 29 assists, good for third on the team in total points with 65. Sam Rush broke the 100-point club against Saint Joseph's (5g, 1a) to become the fourth member of the team to reach the milestone. She now has 122 career points on 105 goals and 17 assists and is UMass' second leading scorer this year.
Behind Lauren Terracciano's five goals and three assists, the UMass women's lacrosse team defeated Connecticut 18-8 on Saturday afternoon. Alongside Terracciano's eight points, Danielle Pelletier added five points (4g, 1a), while Jesse O'Donnell added three goals. In all seven players recorded multi-point days as the Minutewomen won their second straight.
Terracciano Hits The Century Mark Lauren Terracciano is the fourth leading career point scorer for the Minutewomen this season and hit the 100-point career mark with her goal against Northwestern. In 74 career games, she has 92 goals and 64 assists for 156 points. Her 64 assists stand as the 5th most in career history at UMass, while her 152 points are 10th all-time.
Guarino Closing In On The Century Mark In addition to Ferris, Rush, Terracciano, and Murray, UMass also has one more player closing in on the 100-career point milestone. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Tanner Guarino has 99 points on 64 goals and 35 assists in 60 games.
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 is having a career year in 2013 with 100 to her credit. She now has 135 draw controls for her career, good for 2nd on the all-time leading draw controls list. The 100 this season ranks as the 2nd best single-season total in program history (Sarcona set the record last year with 109 and holds the career record at 193) and makes her just the second player in program history to hit the century mark.
Rush & Bullitt Are Two Of UMass' Sharp Shooting Minutewomen Over the course of her career, Sam Rush has been one of the Minutewomen's most efficient and accurate goal scorers. In 2012, she had 32 goals on 46 shots (.696). This year, Rush has been inserted into the starting line-up and has a team-best and career-high 61 goals on 91 shots (.670). For her career, she has 105 goals on 159 shots (.660). Ellie Bullitt is also making the most of her shot attempts this year with 11 goals on 16 shots (.688). She has been a solid option for UMass off the bench all season, providing a good all-around season with 19 points on 11 goals and 8 assists.
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 (53) and is No. 1 in win percentage (.883). With a 53-7 record entering the NCAA Tournament, 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 53 wins 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 One of the hallmarks of the UMass offense this year has been goal production from a multitude of players this season. In fact, 21 different players have accounted for at least one goal with nine having 10-or-more goals through 19 games. As impressive as that number is, the Minutewomen are also having more players involved in the passing game as 19 have at least one assist. As a team, UMass has 148 assists (287 goals) compared to 72 (151 goals) for its opponents.
Stingy Defense As prolific as the offense has been this year, it's been the defense that is once again the unsung hero. UMass has allowed opponents to score 10+ goals on just four occassions and is giving up just 7.95 per game. That makes the Minutewomen the No. 1 defense in the Atlantic 10 and the 7th-ranked unit in the nation. Rachel Vallarelli has a 10-2 record in goal allowing an 8.57 goals-against-average with a .372 save percentage, but Jamie Schiloski has had the hot hand over the last five games with a 7-0 record on the year, a 6.13 GAA and a .474 save percentage. Schiloski has started the last five games and is posting a 5.40 GAA, a .549 save percentage and has allowed just 23 goals.
First Half Success Much like last year, big first halves are trending the Minutewomen towards wins. UMass has outscored opponents 157-to-73 in the first half. The Minutewomen have lost just once (35-1) when leading at halftime over the last two years. In all but three games this year, UMass has gone 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.
UMass In The NCAA Rankings (May 6) Entering this weekend, UMass ranked No. 2 in total points with 435 - Maryland holds the top spot with 438 points. The Minutewomen also rank 5th in scoring offense with 15.11 goals per game, 7th in scoring defense (7.95 goals/game), 4th in caused turnovers (10.89), 7th in groundballs (18.63) and 9th in draw controls (14.32). Individually, Katie Ferris is 24th nationally in points (70) and 32nd in goals (47). Sam Rush ranks 3rd overall in goals (61) and 25th in points (69) and Cori Murray ranks 26th in assists (29). Kelsey McGovern ranks 3rd in draw controls (6.25), 39th in groundballs (2.38) and 19th in caused turnovers (1.75), while Rachel Vallarelli is 16th in goals-against-average (8.50).
Top 10 RPI For UMass In the latest RPI report for the NCAA, UMass is No. 8 in the RPI which is the best among Atlantic 10 schools. 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-10 RPI.
33 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 33 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.
McGuirk Magic UMass is in its seventh 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. 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 breaking the record of 25 set by Temple in 2001-03. 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).
2012 Was A Record Setting Year For Offense The 2012 campaign was record-setting for UMass's vaunted offensive attack. The Minutewomen broke all three of its major offensive records in points goals and assists. The Minutewomen shattered the previous points record of 388 set in 2011 with a whopping 491 in 2012. UMass also broke the longest standing record in program history of 129 assists set in 1978 with 159 last year. With 332 goals, UMass also broke the single-season goals record which it previously had set in 2011 (293). The 293 goals had bested the previous record by 83 goals - 210 scored during the 2009 season. Prior to the 2011 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' 17 goals scored in the A-10 Semifinal last year against George Washington is tied as a new league record (Richmond also scored 17 in its semifinal win over Duquesne). UMass holds the league record for goals in a championship weekend with 32 combined goals in the 2011 championship run.
UMass Posts 2nd Most Wins In NCAA For 2012 UMass' 19 wins last year was the second most in the NCAA just behind national champion Northwestern which posted 21. The Minutewomen were tied with Florida, Syracuse and Maryland.
UMass Top Offensive Scoring Team In NCAA In 2012 UMass was the top point producing team in the country and fifth-ranked goal scoring team last season. The Minutewomen also ranked 5th in the country in goals scored (332) and while ranking first in assists (156). UMass' 491 points tied the 2011 Maryland squad for the sixth-most in NCAA history. UMass' 332 goals in 2012 is the 14th-best single-season mark in NCAA history. UMass' 159 assists ranks as the 7th most in a single season in NCAA history. Outside of scoring, UMass also had a historic year in the draw control circle. The Minutewomen's 357 draw controls in 2012 ranked 3rd-most in NCAA history. The record is held by Northwestern (389, 2009).
2011 Was One of the Best Turn-Arounds In NCAA History UMass's 17-3 record in 2011 under then 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 was third-best.
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 50-game package of all UMass sports which are shown on the CBS digital channel.