AMHERST, Mass. – Tied 7-7 entering the final 22 minutes of regulation, the Minutewomen scored four of the final five goals of the game as the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad dropped an 11-8 heartbreaker to UMass at Garber Field on Sunday afternoon. The loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Hawks (7-5, 3-1 A-10) while the Minutewomen (9-3, 4-0 A-10) win their fourth straight Atlantic 10 game.
In a strong defensive showing, Saint Joseph's held UMass to its second-lowest goal scoring total of the season and kept the Minutewomen under 20 goals scored for the first time in their last four games. The rain-soaked contest saw a total of 51 turnovers (SJU 26, UMass 25).
Senior attacker Francesca Donato led the way on SJU's offensive end with four points (2g, 2a) to factor into half of the Hawks' scoring for the day. Senior midfielder Hayley Sabol, who finished with zero turnovers, and junior midfielder Penny Green scored twice each while junior midfielder Bridget Cerciello chipped in a goal and an assist.
On the defensive end, Cerciello, senior defender Ally Beck, and freshman midfielder Sophia Kolkka went for three ground balls and two caused turnovers apiece while Cerciello added a team-high five draw controls.
Saint Joseph's (Green, 29:35) and UMass scored within the opening 61 seconds before the Hawks hit back-to-back goals from Sabol (25:44) and Cerciello (24:46) to take an early two-goal edge.
UMass scored to inch back to within one, but the Hawks again scored back-to-back as Donato fired off helpers to Sabol (22:56) and Kolkka (22:13) for a three-goal advantage, 5-2, after the opening 7:47.
However, UMass closed out the first half with three straight (16:24, 12:18, 7:16) to send the game into the halftime break knotted at 5-5.
The Minutewomen (28:51, 26:39) and Donato (28:12, 25:56) alternated scoring to open the second half, but UMass went up on Kiley Anderson's 43rd score of the season and extended its lead by two, 9-7, on a player-up goal (19:43) after an SJU yellow card.
Green scored unassisted to bring the Hawks back to within one, 9-8, with 18:22 to play, but UMass would score twice more (11:35, 5:38) and ward off SJU's offensive pressure in the final moments.
Sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Buttner (4-3, 3-1 A-10) made seven saves in the full 60:00.
Saint Joseph's returns home for a pair of A-10 contests next weekend, beginning with George Washington on Friday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m. The Hawks will also host Davidson on Sunday, April 7 for Alumni and Family Day at noon.