February 15, 2014

Massachusetts Holds Off UConn Rally, 7-5

from Press Release

STORRS, Conn. - A four-goal first half lead provided enough cushion to survive a second half UConn rally as the No. 12 UMass women's lacrosse team defeated the Huskies 7-5 at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.

The Minutewomen (2-0) led 5-1 at halftime but it was the Huskies who controlled much of the second half pulling within a goal, 6-5, with just under 13 minutes to go. UMass junior Ellie Bullitt gave the Minutewomen breathing room with a free position goal at the 8:29 mark for a 7-5 lead and neither team was able to score again in the game.

UConn (0-1) was paced by Lauren Kahn who had a game-high four goals - all in the second half. She scored three straight goals in just over 11 minutes during the second half to cut a four-goal deficit to just one, 6-5, at the 12:44 mark.

The Huskies scored the first goal of the game just over a minute into play, but it was all UMass from that point forward with the Minutewomen scoring five straight for the 5-1 lead at the break.

Katie Ferris finished the game with four points as she assisted two goals in the first half run and scored two others. Tanner Guarino capped the first half run with a man-up free position goal with 3:12 to go.

Kahn gave UConn the first goal of the second half, but Sam Rush scored her second of the day two minutes later to keep UMass' lead at four, 6-2.

Momentum swung back to the Huskies after that with a combination of turnovers and draw controls lead to Kahn's three-goal run which brought UConn with one of the Minutewomen.

After Bullitt's goal gave UMass some breathing room, the two teams combined for just one shot in the final eight minutes of the game as turnovers and snow flurries dominated the balance of the second half.

UMass outshot UConn 17-14 for the game. The Huskies held slight advantages in draw controls (8-to-6) and ground balls (22-to-19). The game was sloppy at times with the teams combined for 48 turnovers (25 by UConn). Ferris and Rush both finished the game with two goals to lead UMass. Guarino, Katie Ott, and Bullitt each had one goal. In goal, Rachel Vallarelli made seven saves.

Ferris' two assists in the game give her 84 for her career moving her into 2nd place all-time. Her 173 career goals is the active leader among all NCAA Division I players.

UConn was led by the four goals from Kahn with Jordan Christopher scored the other. Goalie Shannon Nee made eight saves in cage.

The Minutewomen will return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 18 for its home opener at McGuirk Stadium against Holy Cross. The opening draw is set for 3:00 PM.

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