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UMass snaps streak of five straight halves without scoring in a 2-0 win over Saint Joseph’s on Sunday

When a team has one goal in five weeks, it doesn’t take much to earn a victory. The Massachusetts men’s soccer team didn’t take any chances when it struck twice in its 2-0 win over Saint Joseph’s on Sunday.

The Minutemen (5-4-3, 2-2-0 Atlantic 10) penetrated the Hawks’ (0-11-0, 0-3-0 A-10) defense with plenty of ease throughout the game, but the offense didn’t develop until the second half. UMass held a 14-6 advantage in shots over SJU with 11 coming in the second half.

Nearly eight minutes into the second period, the Minutemen had their first goal of the game. Midfielder Bryant Craft played the ball to forward Chris Roswess, who fired a cross over to junior Stuart Amick as he tucked the ball at the bottom of the net for his first goal of the season.

“We played much better in the second half so I’m very pleased with how we came out and played the whole 45 minutes,” UMass coach Sam Koch said after Sunday’s game.

Koch stressed getting to the end line throughout the game and, in the second half, it paid off. The Minutemen had five of their six corner kicks in the second half with one of the corners contributing to UMass’ second goal of the game.

The second goal came from sophomore Andrew Henshaw, who also scored in last week’s win over Xavier. Henshaw passed to back Mark Dangleis on a corner who found midfielder Ben Arikian.

The junior did what he does best in creating plays and connected with Henshaw for the goal.

The Minutemen had several looks at the goal in the first half, but none found their way past SJU goalkeeper Andrew D’Ottavi.

The two goals in the second half snapped UMass’ streak of five straight halves without scoring.

The offense for the Hawks came almost exclusively from forward Colin Baker, who had six shots for his team (two of them on goal), in the first half. However, none made their way past goalkeeper Shane Curran-Hays (three saves).

The redshirt sophomore started Sunday’s game after junior Chris Piekos gave up a goal in his last two starts, including Friday’s game against Temple.

Curran-Hays’ shut-out marked his second in five games, which lowered his goals against average to 0.77.

On Friday, Koch and Co. lost another frustrating game in double overtime after Max Kinderwater found Tyler Witmer, who tapped in a goal in the lower left part of the net 4:20 into the second overtime period.

After an unsatisfactory effort by Koch’s standards, the Minutemen were more aggressive in the later part of the second half and the first overtime period with six corner kicks.

Despite the increased pressure by UMass, Temple maintained a 14-12 shot advantage over the course of the contest. The Minutemen still had several close attempts late in the game, but none of the shots found their way into the goal.

The only shot that came close from UMass in the overtime period came from Arikian, who connected on a header close to the goal, but the ball went just over the crossbar.

With under two minutes left, Craft had another opportunity inside the 18-yard box in the middle of the field saved by Temple goalkeeper Bret Mollon (five saves).

In the first half, the Maroon and White struggled to find chances in what escalated into an emotionally charged period.

After a number of physical plays from both teams, the referee stopped play in the middle of the first half and cautioned coaches from both benches on their decorum after they took issue over the lack of foul calls.

UMass has a week off before it hosts Rhode Island next Saturday.

Adam Miller can be reached at amiller@dailycollegian.com.

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