April 25, 2010

Massachusetts Repeats As Atlantic 10 Champion

from press release

Jackie Lyons scored five goals and added two assists in third-seeded Massachusetts' 12-10 win over top-seeded Richmond in the Atlantic 10 championship game Sunday.

© Thom Kendall Photography

PITTSBURGH -- Jackie Lyons scored five goals and added two assists to lead the UMass women's lacrosse team to its second straight Atlantic 10 championship, 12-10 over Richmond. After going into a 50-minute lightning delay midway through the first half down by three, the Minutewomen stormed back for the win with 10 of the game's final 15 goals.

Third-seeded UMass (10-8 overall) advances to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. The Minutewomen will play in an NCAA Play-In game at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Champion. That game date and opponent will be determined at a later date. The MPSF leader is currently Denver (12-4, 5-0 MPSF) and the league will hold its conference tournament next weekend.

Prior to that game, UMass finishes its regular season against ACC Champion Maryland next Saturday in College Park.

Top-seed Richmond is now 10-9.

The Minutewomen broke open a 9-9 tie with three goals in a row under a seven-minute span to clinch the victory. Danya Defliese scored the go-ahead goal with 13:56 left in the second half off a feed from Lyons. Merritt Cosgrove (2 goals) gave the Minutewomen their largest lead of the game to that points at 11-9 with 8:52 left in the second for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Nina Sarcona scored off a beautiful feed from Lyons right on the doorstep with 7:18 left in the second and a 12-9 edge.

Richmond's Gabi Wiegand tallied with 2:25 left to bring the Spiders within two at 12-10, but UMass was able to hold off Richmond in the final minutes. The Minutewomen got a bit of good luck as a Mary Flowers shot went off the goalpost in the final minutes and UMass scooped up the groundball and used up the clock to claim the title.
Katie Florence made eight saves to secure the win as UMass knocked off Richmond for the second time this season, the Spiders only two losses to A-10 teams this season.

UMass used the lightning delay to its benefit as the Minutewomen trailed 5-2 when the break came midway through the first half. Following the delay, UMass outscored the Spiders 10-5. The Minutewomen scored three goals in a span of 37 seconds to tie the contest as 5-5 on a Jesse O'Donnell (2 goals) tally with 10:33 left in the first half.

The teams alternated goals over the next 25 minutes with tie scores at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9 before UMass was able to bust it open and take the crown.

Richmond had two players net hat tricks: Wiegand and Anne Ryan. Top scorer Flowers had two goals and an assist. Erica Marrocco made seven saves.

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