Scrolling Headlines:

An open letter to the students of UMass -

March 24, 2017

Pat Kelsey informs UMass AD Ryan Bamford of change of heart just 35 minutes before scheduled press conference -

March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

March 23, 2017

Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

March 23, 2017

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

Tyler Bogart and D.J. Smith lead UMass men’s lacrosse during three game win streak -

March 22, 2017

Napoli still has faith in slumping Cota

After appearing to be nearly unstoppable in her first eight appearances, Massachusetts freshman goalkeeper Emily Cota is currently in the first rough patch of her blossoming career.

The Green Lane, Penn., native has struggled as the Minutewomen’s soccer team (3-8-2, 2-4-0 Atlantic 10) press on to the second half of their conference schedule. Prior to conference play, she allowed three goals in seven games. However, after shutting out St. Joseph’s (6-5-3, 3-2-1) and Duquesne (3-9-0, 0-5-0) in 135 minutes of action, her struggles have greatly increased over the past two weeks in games against top offensive competition.

In a tough weekend at Saint Louis (6-6-2, 3-2-1) and Charlotte (11-2-1, 5-0-1), Cota allowed four goals in back-to-back games, with UMass being shut out in each.        She then followed up those efforts over the weekend by allowing three goals in consecutive games against La Salle (8-5-2, 2-3-1) and Fordham (4-10-1, 3-3-0). Over that four-game span her save percentage plunged from an Atlantic 10-leading .909 to .773.

Following the loss to Charlotte, UMass coach Angela Napoli still had faith in Cota.

“I don’t think the last couple of games were decided by the goalies,” said Napoli.  “La Salle is a tough team. She played fine and saved everything she could have. The goals more or less came from the run of the play and there were some let downs on the field and some good finishes by the opposing players.”

Despite her recent struggles, Cota leads the A-10 with 58 saves, with La Salle junior Melissa Sanger and Xavier senior Kelly Farrell tied for second with 57. She is also 10th in save percentage, seventh in saves per game (4.83) and has one shutout.

Waiting in the wings is Lauren Luckey, who has already proven to be more than capable at holding things down on the defensive end.

After starting the first eight games in net for the Minutewomen, the senior has not seen any action since being taken out at halftime versus St. Joseph’s. In those eight games, she allowed six goals in 405 minutes and compiled a record of 1-2-0. At one point, her .838 save percentage placed her in the top 10 in the conference, but she no longer has enough minutes to qualify.

She opened the season on a shaky note after allowing two goals to both Holy Cross and Boston University. She responded by allowing a total of two goals over her next six appearances, including a combined shutout with Cota against New Hampshire in a double-overtime tie on Sept. 13.

In her first season as a starter, Luckey played every minute of the 2008 season and finished top 10 in the conference in several categories including goals-against (sixth), save percentage (second), and saves per game (seventh). She also recorded five shutouts.

“It’s not exactly who is in goal, but we need to make tweaks with other players,” Napoli said. “This week in practice, we will look at the goalies again and reassess the situation.”

Cota, Luckey and the Minutewomen are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they host Rhode Island (4-8-1, 2-4-0) in the final leg of a three-game home stand.

Mike Mastone can be reached at mmastone@student.umass.edu.

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