No. 9 Massachusetts Stampedes the Buffaloes

AMHERST, Mass. Katie Ferris tied a career-high with eight points earned on three goals and five assists as No. 9 UMass recorded a 17-4 victory over Colorado at McGuirk Stadium on Friday afternoon. Ferris was one of three Minutewomen to total a hat trick as Melissa Carelli produced a single-game career-high four points on three goals and an assist while Tanner Guarino tallied three times.

Erika Eipp and Sam Rush each had two goals and one helper while Ellie Bullitt scored twice and Meaghan Bowen recorded her first collegiate goal. Eileen McDonald added one goal, her third of the season.

Rachel Vallarelli started and earned the win in net as she made five saves against three goals allowed during 49 minutes, 20 seconds of game action. Leigh Henjes relieved Vallarelli with 10:40 to play and stopped two Colorado shots with one goal against.

Cali Castagnola produced a pair of tallies for Colorado while Amelia Brown and Sarah Lautman had one goal apiece.

The Minutewomen improved to 7-0 with the victory while Colorado fell to 4-3 on the season.

Sam Rush earned her 20th tally of the season only 17 seconds into play to put UMass ahead, 1-0. Eipp then notched her first of the day after Kelsey McGovern won the ensuing draw control, one of four McGovern secured on the game. Both passes came from Ferris behind the Colorado cage as Massachusetts raced out to a 2-0 lead only 49 seconds into the contest.

Lautman cut the margin in half with 27:45 left in the first; however, the Minutewomen produced the next seven goals to open up a 9-1 lead with 16:33 to play in the opening half. Guarino started the run after Rush found her open near the Colorado crease at the 26:14 mark and capped it nearly 10 minutes later with an unassisted strike.

Brown etched her name into the scoring column 65 seconds later to make it 9-2, but three consecutive tallies for the Minutewomen two from Ferris to end the half pushed the home squad's advantage to 12-2 at the break.

Guarino capped her hat trick following halftime while Bullitt tallied back-to-back unassisted goals as the Maroon and White extended the lead to 15-2. Castagnola scored twice for Colorado during the final 10:40 of the contest, including a goal with only seven seconds left to play.

Castagnola's marks were broken up by two Minutewomen goals as McDonald netted one with 7:41 left before Bowen struck with four minutes to play.

Massachusetts recorded a sizable lead in shots, 31-13, and earned more draw controls, 12-10 and groundballs, 14-11. The Minutewomen also drew a higher number of fouls, 17-9 and forced Colorado in 20 turnovers against only nine committed. UMass went 3 for 5 on their free-position shots while the Buffaloes converted one free position goal over four shots.

The Minutewomen continue their season at Vermont with a 3:00 p.m. game on Tuesday, March 18.

* * * *

AMHERST, Mass. Against its stiffest competition yet, the University of Colorado lacrosse team fell 17-4 to No. 9 Massachusetts on Friday.

"We knew going into the game that it was going to be a good challenge for us," CU head coach Ann Elliott said. "UMass is a great team. They're very athletic at every position. They're well coached. We knew we were going to have to play together to compete. UMass came out strong, and we came out a little hesitant.

I thought as the game went on, we were able to continue to improve as things went on. I think when you play a good team like that, it comes down to 'Can you do the little things?' You turn over the ball as many times as we did and you're going to pay for it on the back end."

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