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Men’s soccer looks to extend winning streak against Colgate

MSocCThe Massachusetts men’s soccer team hopes to pick up on its momentum from a two-game winning streak as it plays Colgate at home today. The match marks the first time in almost a month that the Minutemen have played at Rudd Field.

Their last game in Amherst was the season opener on Sept. 1 when UMass (2-3-1) tied Boston University in a 1-1 tie. Following their first game, the Minutemen had their only loss of the season to Hartford, 2-0, but are undefeated in the last five games.

Their last win came in a 2-0 victory over Siena, with goals coming from midfielder Ben Arikian and forward Mark DeSantis. The game also gave goalkeeper Shane Curran-Hays his first shut-out of the season.

Looking forward at the game against the Raiders, they have a dynamic freshman in Mike Reidy who doesn’t take too many shots, but when he does is sure to get a good chance of getting a goal. Reidy has four goals on 18 shots (nine of them on goal) with a .222 shot percentage.

“We have to be aware of were he is at all times on the field, and he’s a very good player, UMass coach Sam Koch said.

“They have some good players, and he is the key offensive threat for them, and they’re a good team.”

But Reidy’s style is pretty uncharacteristic for the Raiders, which as a team is very aggressive.   

On the season, they have 123 shots compared to the Minutemen’s 55. As much as Colgate relies on Reidy, it has scoring from six different players to give it a somewhat balanced attack.

Midfielder Alex Weekes has three goals and two assists this season but is pointless in his last two games.

Weekes, Chris Ross and Jeff Leach all have multiple assists this season.

Koch hopes to counter that aggressiveness the same way he did against Siena with his team’s solid defense. Recently, UMass has lived up to the reputation it has established in recent years.

The past two games are the best example of that. The Minutemen have shut opponents out three times this season, which includes both of their wins against Northeastern and Siena.

 “We’re finishing our chances a bit better; we’re creating better chances; we’re moving the ball down the flanks better, but we’re still not were we want to be,” Koch said.

Their recent success comes at a wrong time for the Raiders (4-3), who have struggled recently despite starting the season 4-1.

Colgate’s last loss came to Lehigh in a 2-1 overtime affair and a week before dropped to New Hampshire by the same score. However, Koch knows better than to have his team take the Raiders lightly.

 “We’re concerned about playing today,” Koch said. “It doesn’t matter what we did yesterday, we have a good opponent today and were playing a little bit better. Bottom line, each week we’re trying to get better.”

Colgate already has three games where it scored more than one goal including twice when it scored three against Syracuse and Albany.

The Minutemen finish their non-conference schedule on Saturday with another home match against Fordham.

Adam Miller can be reached at ajmil0@student.umass.edu.

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