Hannah Murphy, UMass women’s lacrosse draw in victory over VCU

  • UMass senior Hannah Murphy looks for room during a game against VCU, Thursday in Amherst. JAMIE CUSHMAN

  • UMass senior Hannah Murphy looks for room during a game against VCU, Thursday in Amherst. JAMIE CUSHMAN

  • UMass celebrates a goal against VCU during its 19-8 win, Thursday in Amherst. JAMIE CUSHMAN

For the Gazette
Published: 3/30/2017 10:10:56 PM

AMHERST — The UMass women’s lacrosse team dominated VCU, 19-8 on Thursday, to win its 46th straight Atlantic 10 game.

The Minutewomen (6-3, 1-0 A-10) controlled play from the opening draw, scoring five times within the first six minutes and scoring the first nine goals of the contest.

The strong performance was highlighted by senior Hannah Murphy’s dominance in draw control. Murphy set a UMass record by winning 18 draws. It also tied for sixth all-time in NCAA single-game history.

Murphy credited her focus and her teammates ability to box out for the record-setting performance.

“I think I was just trying to stay focused on every draw and just kind of taking my time, making sure my technique was good,” Murphy said.

Minutewoman coach Angela McMahon said Murphy was motivated after fouling out against Marist with 30 seconds left in the first half.

“I think tonight she really just wanted to redeem herself from fouling out of the last game,” McMahon said. “Obviously she wanted to win and support the team, but I think part of her felt like she owed the team to play the best game that she could, and she did that. She takes that sort of stuff really personally.”

UMass continued to control play after halftime as it scored the first five goals of the half before VCU added two late goals to bring the score to 19-8.

Redshirt junior Hannah Burnett tied senior Callie Santos with a game-high four goals and tied freshman Kaitlyn Cerasi with a game-high three assists.

The performance stretched her team-leading goal total to 22 and more than doubled her assists to five.

“I think the biggest thing about her right now is that she’s connecting with all of her teammates,” McMahon said. “It doesn’t matter who it is, she’s working with them off ball, she’s cutting when they have the ball, she’s just seeing space.

“For her to then reciprocate that to her teammates, I think says a lot about her in terms of just she’s a great team player and she’s really not only owning her role, but she’s also expanding her role, which is great because we need that.”

Burnett’s ability to lead the offense impressed Murphy.

“She’s been setting up for us on attack. She catches everything in the middle there and she has great vision with the ball,” Murphy said. “I think she’s having more of a voice on attack, which is good. Really proud of her, she’s coming along.”

The 19 goals marked a season high for the Minutewomen.

“After each game we talk about how we want to generate more shots, which will also generate more goals and that’s been a big focus this year each game. I think it’s coming together game by game,” Murphy said.

Freshman goalie Lauren Hiller played the first half for the Minutewomen, earning the win while tallying four saves and allowing six goals.

Junior Aileen Kelly played in the cage for the second half, making three saves and allowing two goals.

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