By Adam Levine
The Framingham State Rams advanced to the MASCAC Championship game with a 15-8 victory over the Bridgewater State Bears May 4.
Framingham seeks to win back-to-back MASCAC Championships.
Framingham’s midfielder, Regan Fein, said, “Coming off of our championship title last year, we’ve had to play at a different standard. Our attitudes have now shifted from ‘ifs’ to ‘whens.’
“There is this target on our backs and everyone wants a shot at us. This year, we are not taking our feet off the gas,” she added.
The Rams ended the regular season in third place in the MASCAC after suffering an 18-10 loss to the Westfield State Owls April 29.
Three Rams earned spots on MASCAC weekly reports throughout the season: attacker Hannah Guerin’s two Player of the Week honors and four Weekly Honor Roll appearances, Fein’s two Weekly Honor Roll appearances, and midfielder Rachel Erickson’s Weekly Honor Roll appearance.
Head Coach Devyne Doran said, “I think it’s awesome when we get recognition like that, just because when we play some tough out-of-conference teams, it’s really nice to come back into conference play and kind of dominate some of the stats.
“It’s great for us to take those recognitions and help propel us through the rest of conference play,” she added.
Guerin’s honors were largely in part due to her offensive contributions for the Rams. She ranked first in points, first in goals, and fifth in assists among MASCAC competitors.
Guerin said, “I feel like it’s all the team chemistry that makes me able to do that.
“We all feed off each other. It’s not just one person doing everything, which I think is what makes us strong,” she added.
In regards to her individual awards throughout the season, Guerin said, “We’re all so supportive of each other, so obviously they're happy for me and we’re happy for each other whenever something like that happens, but none of us could do it without each other.”
Fein ended the season ranked first in assists and eighth in points among MASCAC competitors. “I feel that, personally, my role lies in helping put my teammates in positions for success. While I may not be the biggest scoring threat on the field, it’s my job to make certain other teams don’t want the ball in my stick.
“My coach says that ‘great players don’t play for greatness, they play to make their team great,’ and I aim to do that every game,” she added.
In regards to her individual awards throughout the season, Fein said, “It’s humbling to know that the hard work and hustle being put in is showing up in some capacity.”
Erickson ranks fifth in both points and goals among MASCAC competitors. She said, “We all work together, and then they give me the ball and then that creates opportunities for me to score.
“We all work together and we all can shine in different moments,” she added.
In head-to-head regular season MASCAC matchups, the Rams’ offense ranked second in points for (113) and second in goals per game (16.14). Their defense ranked second in combined shots saved percentage (49.2).
Doran said, “We're really lucky that both of our goalies are really awesome team players and they know that we're going to put in whoever's gonna give us the best shot at winning that game.
“Our goalies and our defense keep us in some games when we're not finding the back of the net enough, so it's really awesome to be able to have a defense that can give us some extra possessions if we're not winning draws, if we're not scoring on our shots - we rely on a lot on our D,” she added.
The third-seeded Framingham faced off with the sixth-seeded Fitchburg State Falcons in the MASCAC quarterfinals May 2.
After the opening 3 minutes of the game, Framingham held a 2-1 lead over the Falcons.
The Rams quickly took over the game by scoring nine unanswered goals, ending the first quarter with an 11-1 lead.
Framingham’s attacker, Leah Green, contributed five goals during the game, all of which came in the first quarter. She said, “I think it was just really helpful to us to get a fast start because we knew that this team had the potential to put up some points on us.”
The Rams continued to power through the Falcons, finishing the game with a 21-3 victory. Twelve Rams recorded either a goal, assist, or both throughout the game.
Doran said, “I think it’s awesome.
“It’s a great way to get a team win in the playoffs,” she added.
Framingham advanced to the tournament semifinals against second-seeded Bridgewater State May 4. The Rams avenged their 16-13 loss to Bridgewater April 22 with a commanding 15-8 victory.
Bridgewater scored two unanswered goals to start the game before Fein gave Framimgham their first goal of the game.
The Bears scored another goal before the Rams closed out the first quarter with a 4-0 scoring run.
Both teams scored two goals each during the second quarter, and the Rams held a 7-5 lead at halftime.
Framingham broke away in the third quarter, outscoring Bridgewater 6-1.
Both teams scored another two goals each during the fourth quarter, and the Rams secured their 15-8 victory.
Framingham’s midfielder, Molly Lanier, led their offense. She recorded five goals on eight shots and also assisted on two goals.
Lanier said, “I’m super excited about the performance of this game and I honestly owe every goal I had to my teammates.
“Without my team and all their individual skills, I would not have been able to find the back of the net as much as I did tonight,” she added.
Fein also had five goals during the Brdigewater semi-finals matchup. She said, “I am more than happy with the results from tonight. I think there was a level of intensity and necessity for both myself and Molly Lanier that was channeled in the right direction tonight.”
Fein said her and her team’s mentality for this game was “all gas, no breaks.”
She said, “Last time, we went out onto their field unprepared. We were not going to make the same mistake.
“There was definitely some bitterness after our last matchup, but if anything, it just added to fuel us toward the game we had today,” Fein added.
Framingham travels to the Westfield State Owls for the MASCAC Championship game May 6.
Fein said, “Saturday is no easy task. We know who they are and we know what they do, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t some hefty competition.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren't some nerves there. They are a good team. We just need to go prove that we are better,” she added.