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Sports Talk

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Photo by
Thom Kendall '93

Catch me if you can

Redshirt senior Heather MacLean opened the spring outdoor season running the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the first time in her career at the UMass Minuteman Invitational on April 7. She won the race and set the second-fastest time in program history, just 1.4 seconds off the school record.

Two months later, she closed the books on the 2018 season at the NCAA outdoor meet in Eugene, Oregon, with an eighth-place finish in the 800-meter run national semifinals, the first Minutewoman to qualify for the meet since 2008. MacLean concluded her UMass career as the holder of seven individual school records and a share of four relay records, three New England records, and two A-10 records. She was a three-time All-American in track and cross country, an eight-time New England champion, and a 10-time Atlantic 10 champion on the track. She also won two individual A-10 cross country titles and was a two-time Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Cross Country Performer.
 

Heather MacLean Reflects On Four-Year Career At UMass

 


 

Men’s Lacrosse, CAA Champions

After losing four of their first five games of the season, UMass men’s lacrosse rode an 11-game winning streak all the way to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Led by 24th-year head coach Greg Cannella ’88, who won his 200th game as a head coach on March 31, the Minutemen went undefeated in league play and won the league’s tournament with a 10–6 victory over Hofstra in the semifinals and a 12–8 win versus Towson in the title game.

Junior Isaac Paparo, CAA Player of the Year, and sophomore Jeff Trainor, the conference’s top-scoring midfielder, won All-America honors. Senior Buddy Carr joined his father, Kelley ’88, in the team’s 100-Point Club, as Buddy led the offense with 64 points, more than he scored as a freshman, sophomore, and junior combined (56).

CAA Rookie of the Year Chris Connolly also nabbed 50 points, the first freshman to do so in a single season since Jeff Spooner ’77, the program’s all-time leading scorer, had 73 during the 1974 season.

 


 

Softball Streaks

With 35 wins and a 21–0 unbeaten streak in Atlantic 10 play, UMass softball posted its best record in six years. Closing the season with 11 straight wins, the team captured its first regular season title since 2012 and entered the conference tournament as the top seed before falling to Fordham in the finals. The 21 conference wins tied an A-10 record, also set by the Minutewomen in 2001 and 2002.

Head Coach Kristi Stefanoni ’06 picked up her 100th career win during her fifth season and was named the A-10 Coach of the Year. Senior Jena Cozza was named Player of the Year, while freshman Kiara Oliver picked up Pitcher of the Year honors after both players led the conference in multiple statistical categories. The Minutewomen had five first-team All-Conference performers in addition to a second-team honoree and two All-Rookie Team members. —Robert Lindquist