May 11, 2012
#10/15 UMass Faces #3 Maryland For NCAA First Round
Riding a 12-game win streak, the No. 10/15 UMass women's lacrosse team will head to College Park on Saturday afternoon to face the third-seeded and No. 3 ranked Maryland Terrapins in the NCAA Tournament First Round. This season marks the third time in the last four years that UMass has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Overall, this is the sixth trip all-time to the NCAA Tournament for UMass. The 2012 season marks the 30th anniversary of the first-ever NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament in 1982 with UMass defeating Trenton State 9-6 for the National Championship title - one of just three team sports to win NCAA Championship titles at UMass.
The Minutewomen enter the NCAA postseason with the second-ranked scoring offense in the country as UMass is on the cusp of setting NCAA top-five single-season marks in goals, assists, points and draw controls. UMass features one of the most balanced scoring attacks in the country with five players posting 40+ points and six with 30+ goals led by Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Katie Ferris who has 96 points entering Saturday's match-up. If Ferris is able to crack the 100-point barrier, she would become the first player in UMass and Atlantic 10 history to do so.
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.
In the Semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass easily dispatched fourth-seeded George Washington 17-3 pitching a second half shutout to advance to the title game. For the 3rd consecutive year, UMass played Richmond for the Atlantic 10 Tournament with the Minutewomen prevailing 14-9. Cori Murray earned Tournament MVP honors after scoring a career-high 5 goals while adding an assist in the Championship win.
UMass enters the NCAA Tournament with the No. 6 RPI in the country and a 12-game win streak in hand. The Minutewomen have the most wins of any team in the NCAA with 19.
UMass In The NCAA Tournament
UMass has been to the NCAA Tournament on five prior occassions with the most recent being in 2011. Prior to that, 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 two seasons, UMass appeared in the NCAA Play-In Game falling at No. 15 Stanford 15-12 in 2010 and defeating Canisius 16-8 in 2011. This season marked the third time in the Play-In Game with UMass defeating Canisius 13-12.
Last season, UMass lost at sixth-seed and 5th ranked Loyola 14-7 in the NCAA First Round. The Greyhounds used a four-goal second half run to extend a 6-3 halftime lead.
UMass In The Atlantic 10 Tournament
In 12 appearances in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass sports an 12-7 overall record. UMass made it to the Championship Game in 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 - winning the Tournament title in 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The 2012 meeting between UMass and Richmond marked the 7th time the two teams have met in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has played Richmond seven times; Temple four times; Virginia Tech, George Washington, Duquesne 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 each of the last three 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.
2012 was the third time UMass 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 entered the Tournament for the second straight season coming off an undefeated run through the Atlantic 10 schedule.
UMass is now 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 Trio 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 tied her own UMass single-season record for goals in a year (56) when she scored four goals against George Washington in the A-10 Semifinal win.
Ferris also needs 4 more points to become the first-ever play in program history and Atlantic 10 history to crack the 100-point plateau for a single-season.
With a goal and an assist in the win over Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game, Ferris set a new Atlantic 10 record for points in a season (95) surpassing the 94 points of La Salle's Jami Wilus in 2001 - sister of former UMass men's lacrosse player Mike Wilus.
Elizabeth Datino of Cal-Davis and Claire Petersen of Stony Brook are the only players in 2012 to hit 100-points with her 101 each.
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 broken all three of its major records. The Minutewomen shattered the previous points record of 388 set last season with a whopping 476 this year. UMass also broke the longest standing record in program history of the 129 assists set in 1978 with 156 this year.
With 320 goals, UMass also broke the single-season goals record which it previously had set last season (293). The 293 goals last season had bested the previous record by 83 goals - 210 scored during the 2009 season.
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' 17 goals scored in the A-10 Semifinal 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 Top Offensive Scoring Team In NCAA
UMass is the top point producing team in the country and second-ranked goal scoring team entering the NCAA Tournament. The Minutewomen's 476 points are 14 more than Jacksonville which is 2nd with 461. UMass ranks 2nd in the country in goals scored (320) and while ranking first in assists (156).
UMass' 476 points is currently the 9th best total for a single-season in NCAA history. UMass needs 16 more to move into the top-5 (Maryland, 492, 2009).
UMass' 320 goals in 2012 is the 15th-best single-season mark in NCAA history.
UMass' 156 assists ranks as the 8th most in a single season. Five more assists would move UMass into the top 5 all-time. The record is 168 set by Northwestern in 2007.
Outside of scoring, UMass is also having a historic year in the draw control circle. The Minutewomen's 343 draw controls in 2012 ranks 4th-most in NCAA history. The record is held by Northwestern (389, 2009).
Elite Scoring Company
UMass is on the verge of becoming just the second team in the NCAA this year to have 6 players post 40 points or more for the season. Only Maryland currently has six players over the 40 point mark. Along with Ferris' 96 points, Lauren Terracciano has a career-high 66 followed by Jesse O'Donnell's 61, Cori Murray's 44 and Nina Sarcona's 41. Sam Rush has 38 points which is a career-best total. Navy has five players with 40+ points, while Florida has four.
UMass also has six 30+ goal scorers which is tied with Maryland as the most in the NCAA.
UMass Leads NCAA In Wins
UMass' 19 wins this year is the most in the NCAA. Maryland, Navy has 18 wins, while Northwestern, Florida and Maryland each have 17 wins.
Top 10 RPI For UMass
UMass enters the week with a No. 6 RPI according to the most recent NCAA report making it the highest ranked A-10 team.
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 10th ranked scoring defense allowing just 8.7 goals per game. Only six teams have reached double-figures against the Minutewomen this season. UMass also ranks 24th in caused turnovers (8.37/game) and 2nd in draw controls (17.2/game).
UMass Building Upon A-10 Success
UMass is 29-6 in the Atlantic 10 over the last fours seasons (including 2012) which includes four A-10 Tournament Titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), 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 20 consecutive games against A-10 teams.
In addition to the past four straight A-10 Titles, UMass also won the A-10 title in 2000.
All-time, UMass is 64-29 (.633) in the Atlantic 10 and 12-7 (.533) in the A-10 Tournament. UMass has the 2nd most regular-season wins behind Temple (70).
UMass is in its sixth year playing at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and is 31-16 all-time at the facility. In 2012, UMass was 11-0 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.
Go With The `Flo'
Katie Florence enters her fourth season as UMass' starting goalie with a career record of 55-22, a goals-against-average of 9.88 and a .446 save percentage. She ranks 2nd all-time at UMass with 558 saves (Jen Nardi ranks 1st all-time with 600), while her 55 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 8.51 GAA which ranks 9th nationally. She has played a total of 804 minutes which is 293 fewer than her previous three year average.
Florence also holds the distinction of being the only goalie in Atlantic 10 history to win 7 career games in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. She notched her 7th win this year in the A-10 Championship Game over Richmond.
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. 3 in the NCAA for points, 10th in overall goals, and 15th 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 top two UMass single-season records for goals with 58 in 2012 and 56 in 2011.
Sarcona Quick On The Draw
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 5.4 wins individually, but her ability to place the ball where he teammates can win possession has been key. The Northport, N.Y. native has 187 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 Sunday with 103 for the year which is also a single-season record for the Atlantic 10.
Sarcona's 103 draw controls in 2012 is currently the 8th most for a single-season in NCAA history. Dana Dobbie of Maryland holds the record with 126 in 2008.
Terracciano Having A Breakout Season
Lauren Terracciano is in the midst of her best season offensively as she is the Minutewomen's second leading scorer in 2011. Her 35 goals and 31 assists are both season bests for her career. She also has one of the most accurate shots on the team scoring her 35 goals on just 61 shots - a .574 shooting percentage.
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 179-to-82 in the first half compared to an 136-91 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 was a bit closer with UMass leading 130-to-100.
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 was third-best.
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.
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.
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