May 4, 2014

UMass Wins Sixth Straight A-10 Championship 

from Press Release

RICHMOND, Va. - A five-goal run bridging halftime proved the difference maker as the No. 13 and top-seeded UMass women's lacrosse team defeated Richmond 10-6 on Saturday afternoon to win its sixth-consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship title. The Minutewomen (18-1) receive the league's automatic berth for the NCAA Tournament marking the fourth straight year UMass has gone to the Big Dance.

Katie Ferris was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after registering nine points on the weekend including two goals and four assists in the championship game. She is now the 15th ranked player for points (330) in the history of the NCAA.

Joining Ferris on the All-Tournament Team were Sam Rush, Kelsey Sheridan, Tanner Guarino, Melissa Carelli andRachel Vallarelli.

Overall, the championship win for UMass was its seventh overall (2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014). The Minutewomen have now won 40 consecutive games against Atlantic 10 opponents in regular-season and tournament play.

Sunday's championship win was all Richmond (11-7) in the opening minutes.

Richmond jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 3:03 of play. The Spiders took advantage of winning the opening draw to set-up their first goal and forced a UMass turnover following the second draw of the game.

Vallarelli made a big save on a free position attempt after Richmond had possession for a third time early in the game. UMass successfully cleared the ball setting up Eipp's goal to put the Minutewomen on the board at the 24:32 mark.

The teams traded goals over the next seven minutes as Richmond continued to maintain a two-goal advantage.The Minutewomen strung together a three-goal run to close the first half with Guarino, Kelsey McGovern and Carelli each scoring over the last 13:30 to give UMass a 5-4 lead at halftime. The defense tightened up in the final half of the first stanza causing five Richmond turnovers while controlling three draws.

UMass kept the momentum rolling in the second half with goals from Rush and Ferris in the first 14 minutes of play. The Minutewomen used long possessions to run clock while its pressure defense in transition continued to frustrate the Spiders.

Emily Doyle pulled Richmond back within two, 7-5, with 12:40 left in regulation.

Rush and Carelli quickly tagged another pair of goals for UMass off feeds from Ferris extending the lead to 9-5 with 6:41 to go.

After another Richmond goal, Carelli iced the game with 2:02 remaining as fellow senior Courtney McGrath zipped a pass through the eight meter circle to set her up on the doorstep.

Carelli finished the game with three goals, while Rush had two goals and an assist. The three points for Rush made her the fifth all-time player at UMass to eclipse the 200-point barrier for a career. Rush also tied her single-season mark at UMass with 65 goals this season - a record she set previously in 2013.

Erika Eipp, Guarino and McGovern all finished the game with one goal. Vallarelli made three saves in cage for the win.

Richmond was led by Emily Doyle and Brooke Wilson who each had two goals. Charlette Stevenson and Anna Jeszeck each scored a goal as well, while Jeszeck added two assists. Emily Boyce made nine saves in the loss.

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