UMass Tops Richmond to Win 3rd Straight A-10 Title

PHILADELPHIA - Jesse O'Donnell earned MVP honors after scoring five goals to lead UMass to a 16-12 win over Richmond in the Atlantic 10 championship game on Sunday afternoon at Temple's Geasey Field. The win gave the Minutewomen their third consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament title and a spot in the NCAA Play-In Game against Canisius of the MAAC. The game will be hosted by UMass at McGuirk Stadium next Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 pm.

UMass' senior attack Jackie Lyons broke the program's career point record with a pair of goals giving her 220 points for her career. Freshman attack Katie Ferris tied the Minutewomen's single season goal record with three giving her 52 for the season.

Riley Perry, Ali Houlis, O'Donnell, Ferris and Lyons were all named to the Atlantic 10 Tournament Team.

The Minutewomen improved to 16-2 overall which is the second most wins in school history. The Tournament Title was the fourth for UMass overall which is the 2nd most in the Atlantic 10 all-time. The win also makes UMass a perfect 10-0 this season on the road. Richmond falls to 10-9 overall. The game was a rematch of last season's Atlantic 10 Championship game which UMass won 12-10 in Pittsburgh.

Along with O'Donnell, Ferris and Lyons, UMass received scoring help from freshman Tanner Guarino (3 goals),Nina Sarcona (1 goal), Haley Smith (1 goal), and Danielle Pelletier (1 goal). Katie Florence earned the win in goal with 7 saves in the game.

Richmond was led by the duo of Gabi Wiegand and Danielle Schaevitz who each scored three goals. Victoria Roebuck made 13 saves in goal taking the loss.

UMass outshot the Spiders 38-to-22 for the game and were aided greatly by winning 20 of 28 draw controls. The Minutewomen also picked up 25 groundballs compared to 18 for Richmond. Defensively, UMass controlled play throughout the midfield causing Richmond to convert just 8 of 18 clearing chances.

O'Donnell stepped up immediately in the game scoring two goals in the first three minutes of play to give UMass a 2-0 lead as Lyons and Ferris both faced heavy pressure from the Richmond defense.

After Schaevitz scored her first of the game two minutes later, Guarino and O'Donnell scored back-to-back goals 10 seconds apart to give UMass a 4-1 lead with 18:32 left in the first half.

A pair of consecutive Wiegand goals cut the lead to one, but O'Donnell answered with her season-high fourth goal of the year to spark a six goal run spanning 7 minutes, 47 seconds as UMass took a 10-3 lead at the 6:59 mark.

Tara Coyle scored with 6:31 left and the two teams entered halftime with UMass leading 10-4.

Hayley Ross and Wiegand closed the gap to 10-6 as the Spiders started the second half looking to gain back momentum.

O'Donnell's fifth goal of the game again sparked a six goal run which Danielle Pelletier capped on a free position goal with 15:18 left in regulation.

After Mary Flowers scored for Richmond to stop the run with 12:38 left, neither team was able to score again for nearly seven minutes.

In the final six minutes of play, the Spiders turned up the defensive pressure and were able to score five straight goals to give the final 16-12 margin.

UMass set the championship record for goals and shots over the two-day tournament posting 32 and 74, respectively. The 32 goals eclipsed the previous record of 30 set by the Temple Owls in 2002, while Richmond held the previous record for shots with 71 also set back in 2002. The 16 goals also tied the tournament record for goals in a game performed twice before by UMass (2011 semifinals) and Temple (2002 semifinals).

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