February 9, 2014

Ferris Breaks UMass Career Record in Win over Vanderbilt

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UMass Recap 

Katie Ferris set the UMass career goals record in the Minutewomen's 13-6 win over Vanderbilt. (UMass Athletics)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After going into halftime with just a one-goal lead, the No. 13 UMass women's lacrosse team scored four straight goals after the intermission and held Vanderbilt to just two in the second half to take a 13-6 win at the VU Lacrosse Complex in the season-opener.

Senior attack Katie Ferris broke the program's all-time goals record with four on the day giving her 171 for her career.

UMass (1-0) took a 5-4 lead into halftime thanks to a Melissa Carelli goal just before the clock expired. After the intermission, the Minutewomen put together a four-goal run in the first 11 minutes of play to take a commanding 9-4 lead. Ferris scored twice in the run to tie Pam Moryl (1982-85) for the program's lead in career goals.

Vanderbilt (1-1) managed to get a goal back to pull within four, 9-5, but the Minutewomen strung together four more goals to put the game out of reach. Ferris scored the record breaking goal with 5:45 left in the game. The goals record is her second career record as UMass as she is also the all-time leader in points with 253 since 2011.

Along with her four goals, Ferris added four assists. Carelli and Sam Rush each scored three goals, while Tanner Guarino had two. Katie Ott recorded a goal, whileErika Eipp had two assists to round out UMass' offensive leaders.

Defensively, Rachel Vallarelli made five saves in goal to earn the win. Four of the six goals allowed were on free position attempts, while another was on a man-up opportunity for the Commodores.

Vanderbilt was led by Mallory Schonk who scored four goals. Alexa Kunowsky and Ashlin Dolan each added a goal in the loss. Maddie Kratz made 12 saves in the loss.The Minutewomen held a 28-to-16 shot advantage and a 13-to-7 edge in draw controls. Groundballs also favored UMass 23-to-15.

UMass will return to action next Saturday, Feb. 15 at Connecticut (1 PM) in what will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament First Round meeting.

Vanderbilt Recap

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The go-ahead goal as the first half expired was untimely - but not the difference-maker to Vanderbilt lacrosse coach Cathy Swezey.

It was what the Commodores failed to do after the break - gain possession.

Massachusetts won twice as many draw controls and scored four goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half to pull away and hand Vanderbilt a 13-6 loss in the home opener at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex on Sunday.

"Draw controls always dictate a lot in our game," Swezey said. "We knew that going in and we knew they had somebody (Kelsey McGovern) who had 110 draw controls last year so we knew it was going to be a big part of the game. Unfortunately we just didn't perform. They tended to get the jump on us. They're a well-coached team and they played a great game."

The Commodores (1-1) suffered their first loss despite four goals from sophomore Mallory Schonk, who tied a career-high. Vanderbilt never led but tied the game 4-4 with 2:52 left in the half on Schonk's third consecutive goal, which erased a three-goal deficit.

It appeared the score would be knotted at halftime. But the Minutewomen went the length of the field in about 20 seconds and Melissa Carelli a shot past goalie Maddie Kratz, who made a career-high 12 saves, right as the clock ticked zero to take a 5-4 lead into halftime.

UMass (1-0) then won the opening draw control of the second half and Katie Ferris scored one of her four goals - she is now UMass' all-time leader in career goals - just 82 seconds into the period. Vanderbilt won the ensuing draw control but Abby Wheeler's free position attempt wide. The Minutewomen, who have won five straight Atlantic 10 championships, pounced with three goals in a span of less than three minutes for 9-4 lead with 19:11 left.

The Commodores, who lost the draw control battle 14-7, never recovered and dropped the first meeting between the programs.

"I actually don't look at that goal (before halftime) as being the momentum changer," Swezey said. "It was unfortunate. At the beginning of the second half it was just the succession of draw controls that we were not getting. We had one possession in that first 10 minutes and we didn't make good on it."

Schonk's career-high day came just two days after she dished out a personal-best five assists in a season-opening win against Kennesaw State on Friday. In two games, she has scored six goals and has 11 points, leading the team in both categories.

She scored on all four shots on Saturday as the Commodores mustered just 16 shots compared to UMass' 28.

"Mallory had a strong day - just like she did on opening day," Swezey said. "She was consistently getting her job done. We just needed a couple more weapons to really show we could the offensive threat we needed to be."

Midfielders Ashlin Dolan and Alexa Kunowsky bookended the scoring for Vanderbilt, with each tallying their first goals of the season. Sophomore Kelly Chandler won four draw controls and matched a career-high with caused turnovers. Senior Brandi Byner also tied a career-high with three caused three turnovers and collected three ground balls. Sophomore Emma Dagres set a career-high with three ground balls.

Vanderbilt has five days to regroup before hosting Liberty at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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