Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Chris Piekos should be the goalkeeper for the UMass men's soccer team

Massachusetts men’s soccer coach Sam Koch still doesn’t know who his starting goalkeeper will be for the rest of the season. But after the win over Northeastern, junior Chris Piekos showed that he clearly deserves that honor and the competition should close immediately.

His numbers are far better than the other candidate, Shane Curran-Hays, in every aspect, and he is showing consistency with two shut-outs in three games.

If the first five games are any indicator for the offense, goals aren’t going to come regularly this season. UMass is having its worst offensive start (three goals) since 1998 when it went 4-12-2.

That makes Piekos’ 0.29 goals-against average (first in the Atlantic 10) that much more important to the Minutemen’s hopes of making the tournament.

While numbers don’t tell the whole story, it’s hard to argue against what Piekos has done on the field. He is currently in a six-way tie for shut-outs, but almost everyone else he’s tied with has played twice as many games as Piekos.

He also leads the league in save percentage (.947), with an average of six saves per game (second in the A-10).

That’s not to say Curran-Hays doesn’t have a case for winning the job.

He is more comfortable controlling the defense and is more aggressive, especially on crosses.

He also had several offers to start for a Division I soccer team, but instead, chose to play for Koch’s team with the hopes of beating out alumni Zack Simmons for the goalkeeping job.

Simmons won and Curran-Hays sat on the bench for two years without a complaint. This season should’ve been his year, but a summer knee injury opened the job up to Piekos, so Koch is definitely right to say that Curran-Hays deserves his casino online shot, especially now that he’s healthy.

But at some point there comes a time when getting it right becomes more important than being fair. Unlike last year, the Minutemen aren’t playing a schedule that will largely help their hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, so the non-conference schedule isn’t that significant.

However, there are only three more games until the start of the A-10 schedule. Unless Koch has already made up his mind, Curran-Hays will get what could be his last shot at starting against Siena on Sept. 26.

If he manages to impress Koch enough to win the starting job in that game, then at least he will have three straight starts to help him adjust to being the starter before UMass opens up the conference schedule against Xavier and Dayton.

If Koch does go with Piekos, he’ll have 10 days of being out of the lineup before he sees action again. The Minutemen will only have two games with their keeper before being thrust into the hectic A-10 scheduling.

Closing the competition before the Siena game would essentially give him four straight starts dating back to the win over Northeastern, which would give Piekos time to adjust controlling the defense, which Koch believes Curran-Hays is better at anyway.

That competition should’ve been over by opening day, but the canceled exhibition game against Connecticut hurt the Minutemen by preventing Curran-Hays from starting until Sept. 5 against Hartford.

With the results inconclusive, Koch gave both of his candidates another shot in Vermont against the Catamounts and New Hampshire. Both games ended in a tie, but Curran-Hays gave up his third goal of the season against Vermont in his second game while Piekos had a shut-out.

It might be cliché to use the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but when it comes down to who gives the Minutemen the best shot of clinching the A-10 title, it’s generally better to go with the one who has kept opponents out of the net.

Adam Miller can be reached at

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