Lacrosse drops fourth straight to UMass

Christian Diakeler | Staff Photographer | Senior Tristen Chang scored twice, setting career highs in goals, shots and shots on goal in Duquesne’s 20-7 loss versus UMass on Saturday afternoon on Rooney Field.

Brentaro Yamane | Multimedia Editor

At this time last year, Delaney Rodriguez-Shaw was the star scorer for the Duquesne Women’s Lacrosse Team. In her two seasons with the Dukes, she was nothing but productive, scoring 94 goals and recording 26 assists during her time on the Bluff.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, and Rodriguez-Shaw saw herself once again on Arthur J. Rooney Field, but this time wearing a University of Massachusetts lacrosse jersey.

In Rodriguez-Shaw’s return to Pittsburgh, she made an impact scoring two goals in the first half of a 20-7 win over the Dukes, which helped extend the Minutewomen winning-streak to six games. Despite seeing some of her former teammates on the field, that did not bother her at all in helping the Minutewomen continue to thrive.

“My main goal was just really focus on the game, not about my opponents. They have been my friends for a couple of years,” Rodriguez-Shaw said. “But between the lines, it’s a game, and there’s only one final outcome. So I was really just focusing on making sure that in the full 60 minutes that I was focused.”

The Minutewomen scored the first four goals of the game. However, Tristen Chang scored the first goal of the game for the Dukes with 4:32 left in the first quarter. Chang recorded two goals on the afternoon.

“Our game plan was more of just focusing on the details that we can and what we can control. So, it was really selfless play, playing as a full team, and really priding ourselves as being a strong family and strong relationships on both ends of the field,” Minutewomen head coach Jana Drummond said. “So finding that playing selfless, really finding that one more on that path option down on the offensive end, which I thought they did a really great job of today.

The Dukes only trailed 5-1 at the end of the first quarter, but the Minutewomen exploded in the second quarter outscoring the Dukes 8-1 and giving them an 11-goal lead at halftime. With the loss, the Dukes dropped their fourth consecutive game.

“UMass is a good team. We knew we were up against a lion. And I love the energy and intensity these girls showed,” Dukes Head Coach Corinne Desrosiers said. “We can pull some of the fixable things like some decisions that we made.”

The Minutewomen showed that Desrosiers praise was warranted. The biggest reason they had so many scoring opportunities is defender Jordan Dean winning the draw controls. Entering Saturday’s game, Dean led the NCAA Division I level in draw controls at 12.9 and she recorded 14 on the day.

“But if we’re looking at the breakdown, I mean, we split ground balls. They got us on draws, but they have an elite draw controller [Dean]. And we did look to mess her up a lot. Jordan didn’t win a ton of them to herself. They kind of came out of the circle and we made it a fight,” Desrosiers said.

The Minutewomen were led by Charlotte Wilmoth, who scored seven goals and recorded a team-high 10 points, which were both season highs for her. Twelve different players recorded a point for UMass.

“[Wilmoth] was versatile, she can be anywhere on the field and feeding but she can also be anywhere inside the 8 [meter-arc] off-ball, slip-cutting and just really being dynamic in that sense,” Drummond said. “So I’m just proud of her mentality of focusing on play-by-play and not getting too far ahead. I bet if you asked her how many points she had, she probably would have no idea what her stats were because she is just team oriented.”

The Dukes leading scorers Mackenzie Leszczynski and Corinne Webb both scored late in the fourth quarter, when the game was already set in stone. Leszczynski extended her consecutive goal streak to 12.

The Minutewomen and the Richmond Spiders are the only two teams in the Atlantic-10 that are undefeated in conference play. The conference tournament will be held May 2-5 at Rooney Field and the Minutewomen can see themselves back on campus in less than a month.

“During this winning-streak, we have been doing a very good job of keeping our heads up in the sense especially throughout transitional defense and just looking always for one more stop,” Rodriguez-Shaw said. “And also just keeping the high intensity throughout the sideline throughout the field on a big play, I think all that comes together just to help us be a team that we can score 20 goals on other teams, and just having all the little things coming together.