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

Minutemen square off with Fordham Saturday at Rudd Field

mSocAMassachsuetts men’s soccer coach Sam Koch is arguably one of the most successful coaches in program history.

On Tuesday, Koch got his 200th win at the helm of the Minutemen, and riding a three game winning streak, UMass will face a familiar opponent in unfamiliar circumstances.

The Minutemen (3-1-3) face Fordham Saturday at 1 p.m., a usual Atlantic 10 opponent, but because of scheduling, the game doesn’t count as a conference match-up for UMass.

“They’re very organized,” Koch said. “They will get players behind the ball, they will defend very well as a group, their goalkeeping is good, and their back four is pretty good.”

The Minutemen have been impressive as of late, outscoring opponents 6-0 in its past four games, while holding opponents to the A-10 best goals against average (0.60).

UMass defeated Colgate 3-0, Tuesday afternoon, as the offense scored all three tallies in the first half alone, and the defense allowed just eight total shots and three corner kicks. Goalkeeper Chris Piekos was not really challenged in the match, but holds the nation’s best save percentage with .955. He and redshirt sophomore Shane Curran-Hays have been impressive, alternating games, as Curran-Hays will likely face the Rams on Saturday.

Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday, Koch was not impressed by how his team came out in the second half against the Raiders on Tuesday.

“We were upset we didn’t do some things better in the second half, and so we talk about each week, trying to get better, and I felt in the second half, we didn’t get better,” Koch said. “So, we look at the game Saturday as another opportunity to move the ball better then we did today, to work a little bit better off the ball better than we did today, and continue to defend better.”

The Rams (2-5-1) have won just two games this season, against Marist and Manhattan, and recently tied Columbia Tuesday, 1-1.

Fordham leads the A-10 in offsides calls, registering a 2.71 average per game, and are third to last in the conference overall standings.

“They’re a team that just makes it difficult for you to play, and they’re not going to make glaring mistakes or give you goals,” Koch said. “You have to beat them, and the longer they stay in the game, the more they believe they can beat you, and if you make a mistake and give them an opportunity, they’re pretty good at pouncing on you.”

Much like the Minutemen, the Rams have had freshmen make an impact, as forward Veer Lakhan-Joseph has two goals on four shots so far this season. Along with Lakhan-Joseph, Tim Richardson and Marcus Axelsson have helped offensively, but the Rams have been outscored 13-4 in 2009.

“They’re a good team to play because it’s a good test,” Koch said. “They’re tough to play because they aren’t going to give you anything, so we need to come out and play a little bit better to beat them.”

Last season, in the midst of a six game unbeaten streak, UMass defeated the Rams on the road, 2-1, as redshirt sophomore Sam DeNormandie scored the game winning goal and his first career goal as a member of the Minutemen. DeNormandie has played in five games so far this season, scoring one goal while helping a defense that is in the A-10. After its two game homestand, UMass will head to Ohio to open its conference schedule against Xavier on Oct. 9 before taking on Dayton Oct. 11.

David Brinch can be reached at dbrinch@student.umass.edu.

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