March 22, 2014

Rush Leads No. 7 UMass to Ninth Straight Victory

from press release

AMHERST, Mass. - Led by Sam Rush's four goals the No. 9 UMass women's lacrosse team defeated Southern California 14-6 on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. UMass goalie Rachel Vallarelli was strong in cage making eight saves helping the Minutewomen win their 31st consecutive home game - the third longest such streak in NCAA history.

That streak will be put on the line on Tuesday as No. 7 Northwestern visits McGuirk Stadium for a 7 PM opening draw. Admission is free for all.

Saturday's win for UMass improves the Minutewomen to 9-0 on the year, while USC falls to 3-4.

Rush's four goals give her 139 for her career which ranks 5th all-time at UMass. She now needs four more to move past Jackie Lyons (2008-11) for 4th all-time.

Seven other Minutewomen scored goals in the game paced by Courtney McGrath and Katie Ferris who each tallied two markers. Erika Eipp (two assists), Tanner Guarino, Amy Tiernan, and Eileen McDonald each had goals in the game. Guarino each also had three caused turnovers and four groundballs.

Paige Bonomi led the Women of Troy with two goals. Four other players scored goals for USC which tallied three goals in each half. Liz Shaeffer made four saves in the loss.

UMass outshot the Trojans 22-to-15 and forced USC into 22 turnovers while the Minutewomen committed just 13 miscues.

The Trojans held a 13-to-9 edge in draw controls.

The teams traded goals in the first seven minutes of play. Sam Rush and Katie Ferris scored back-to-back goals giving UMass a 4-2 lead with 19:58 to go in the first half.

USC picked up a goal afterwards, but the Minutewomen notched goals from Rush and Tiernan in the final six minutes taking a 6-3 lead into halftime.

Ten seconds into the start of the second half, Rush picked up her third goal of the day extending the lead to 7-3 for the Minutewomen.

Annie Ruland took a nice feed from Cynthia Del Core to pull back within four, but a three-goal burst by UMass put the Minutewomen up 10-4 with 10:35 remaining.

The Trojans picked up some momentum with back-to-back goals to pull back within four, 10-6, with 6:33 to go.

UMass closed the game with a four goal burst in the final 3:23 sparked by McGrath's second goal of the day.

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