Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

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

No. 10 Minutewomen fail to score on No. 7 UConn for second year in a row

There are times when a strong team seems completely outclassed. At least conference play is on the horizon.

The Massachusetts field hockey team failed to score against Connecticut for the second time in as many seasons. The No. 10 Minutewomen (9-4) couldn’t generate any penalty corners against the No. 7 Huskies (13-1), who preyed on UMass’ weakness of giving up corners. UConn forced 15 penalty corners in the first shutout of the Minutewomen this season, something they struggled with against ranked opponents in particular.

UMass averages 12 corners per-game against ranked opponents this season, and less than 10 overall.

“We were definitely outplayed by a better opponent on the night in [the Huskies],” UMass coach Justine Sowry said. “We were really lacking in hustle in terms of losing the ball and getting it back. We seemed pretty evenly matched in the first half and they definitely outran us in the second half.”

The Huskies outshot the Minutewomen, 30-2, including seven shots from leading scorer Loren Sherer, whom UMass undoubtedly scouted heavily leading up to the game. However, the Minutewomen defense contained Sherer for most of the game until she did what she does best – make other players better.

UMass also tried to limit the productivity of Melissa Gonzalez, who has two goals and four assists this season playing center midfield for UConn. Gonzalez and Sherer responded to UMass’ due-diligence by teaming up for Sherer’s 20th goal of the season on a Gonzalez feed from the left side of the circle.

The Minutewomen allowed UConn assists-leaders (12-each) Sherer, Kim Kryzk and Allison Angulo to help on goals. UMass is 0-4 this season when allowing multiple assists.

Minutewoman goalie Alesha Widdall had nine saves in the game, one-shy of tying her season-high.

The UMass defense held strong in the first half, weathering the 13 UConn shots and five penalty corners. The Minutewomen kept the ball out of the circle for the first seven minutes of the game but then the first wave of Husky shots came. Widdall weathered the attack for most of the first half until seven UConn shots off four penalty corners came her way and the Huskies kept the pressure going into the second half.

UMass allowed two corners in the first two minutes of the second half which proved to be costly, as UConn’s first goal came in the 37th minute off the second of the two.

Ten minutes and four penalty corners later, the Huskies scored again on Loren’s assist, and pressure from the Huskies never softened.

The loss to UConn puts the Minutewomen’s record against ranked opponents this season at an even 3-3. Many pinned UMass as a weak underdog against then-No. 7 Iowa, but the Minutewomen pulled off a 4-3 upset in overtime, and if all of Sowry’s players remained healthy this season, the outlook could have been different.

However, conference play is in sight, and last season, the Minutewomen swept all teams on its Atlantic 10 Conference slate.

“We’re excited for the [start of] conference play,” said Sowry. “We’ve had a very tough out-of-conference schedule, and it was always going to be pretty tough along the way but it has absolutely prepared us for the Atlantic 10 schedule. Even though we’re coming off a tough loss, we’ve learned a lot along the way and we’re excited to see what we can bring to the table.”

Mike Gillmeister can be reached at mgillmei@student.umass.edu.

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