No. 9 UMass Downs Southern California for 9th Straight Win

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 7:00 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 andKatie 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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AMHERST, Mass. USC (3-4) was dealt a 14-6 loss at the hands of undefeated ninth-ranked Massachusetts (9-0) at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday, March 22. The Women of Troy lost their second straight game despite getting goals from five different scorers.

Sophomore attacker Paige Bonomi came off the bench to lead the Trojans with two goals and added a draw control. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johansen had a goal and led all players with five draw controls. Sophomore attacker Caroline de Lyra picked up a goal, an assist, and a ground ball.

Freshman midfielder Michaela Michael had a goal and an assist and earned a pair of draw controls while freshman midfielder Annie Ruland earned a goal to go with two ground balls. On defense, sophomore Courtney Tarleton caused two turnovers and picked up a pair of ground balls. Senior midfielder Elizabeth Eddy also had a pair of ground balls while sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer had three. Freshman Gabby McMahon had two caused turnovers and two ground balls to go with an assist.

For the Minutewomen, Sam Rush led the way with four goals and put the ball on goal seven times. Three other UMass players scored two goals apiece including Melissa Carelli who added three draw controls, Courtney McGrath who had two ground balls, and Katie Ferris who also had two ground balls. Defender Kelsey Sheridan had three ground balls to go with a pair of caused turnovers while goalie Rachel Vallarelli earned a ground ball to go with her eight saves.

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