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Minutewomen drop two games this weekend to begin Atlantic 10 play

Stranger things have happened to the No. 10 Massachusetts field hockey team, but this past weekend added insult to injury both literally and figuratively.

After sweeping Atlantic 10 Conference play last season, UMass dropped games against Temple and Saint Joseph’s this past weekend by a combined score of 5-1, the exact opposite – down to the game score and length of time played –  of what happened last season

The Minutewomen (9-6, 0-2 A-10) lost in double-overtime to the Owls (5-10, 1-1 A-10) yesterday, 2-1 and are now winless in their last three games. UMass hadn’t lost to Temple since the Minutewomen dropped another 2-1 decision on the road on Oct. 12, 2007.

Junior defender Makaela Potts registered the only UMass goal in the game, as well as the last three games, on one of the Minutewomen’s six penalty corners in the second half. Sophomore defender Christine Cutry assisted on the score that gave UMass the 1-0 lead.

The Minutewomen outshot Temple 21-16, including a 10-4 shot advantage in the second half. Forward Jill Powers led UMass with seven shots, with three going on-goal.

Minutewomen goalkeeper Alesha Widdall registered seven saves, giving her seven games with at least five saves this season.

Bridget Settles led the Owl offense with one goal, one assist, including the game-winner in the 88th minute of the game. Temple goalkeeper Sarah Dalrymple finished the game with nine saves.

In the other half of the role-reversal weekend for UMass, SJU’s Anne Schreuders registered a hat trick in a game on Friday that saw the Minutewomen outshoot the Hawks 11-2 in the first half. Schreuder helped SJU avenge its loss to UMass last season in the conference championship game by the same score.

In last season’s contest, the Hawks surrendered a hat trick as well to junior captain Katie Kelly.

Potts and Powers shared a team-high four shots for the Minutewomen, half of SJU’s team shot total. UMass finished the game with a 15-8 shot advantage while both teams tallied seven penalty corners.

Schreuder needed little time to figure out the Minutewomen defense, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game.

UMass held off Schreuder and the rest of the Hawks for the rest of the half, denying SJU a shot for the next 30 minutes of play.

Only Shreuder and Theresa Testa had more than one shot for SJU, compared to the Minutewomen who had four players with multi-shot games – all of whom had opportunities inside the circle but failed to convert.

Widdall had four saves in net, while her counterpart Kelly Swanick notched eight for the Hawks. Only two of Swanick’s saves came in the second half.

UMass couldn’t force any mistakes on the part of SJU after halftime and failed to gain a penalty corner opportunity as a result.

The Minutewomen, whose strength was once their road play, are now 5-4 as the away team after starting the season with a 4-1 record away from home.

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

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