The 1981 Massachusetts side started the season with a pair of shutouts before a 3-3 tie with William & Mary slowed them down. Undaunted, UMass ran of three more shutouts and then erupted with a 17-3 scoring spree over their next three games to move to 8-0-1. From there, they embarked on a shutout streak that lasted over 618 minutes and still ranks in the top-10 all-time in Division I history. A 1-1 tie with UConn broke the winning and shutout streaks but UMass entered the first NCAA Division I field hockey championship with an 18-game unbeaten streak (16-0-2) and the top seed in the tournament. Behind National Player of the Year Judy Strong and All-American Sue Caples and Patty Shea, the Minutewomen beat fellow unbeaten Long Beach State in the semifinal before falling to Connecticut.
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