Scrolling Headlines:

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

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Minutemen continually finding themselves in close matches

Maxwell Sparr

(Maxwell Sparr / Collegian)

If there’s anything that the Massachusetts men’s soccer team has learned during Atlantic 10 play, it’s that one goal can make the difference between a win and a loss.

Four of the first five games of the A-10 schedule for UMass were decided by 1-0 scores. In two of those games, that goal went the Minutemen’s way. That one goal also leaves little margin for error as, more often than not, they have missed out on having goals go their way, even with the best defense (0.54 goals-against average) in the A-10.

UMass (5-5-3, 2-3-0 A-10) is currently on the outside looking in of the A-10 Tournament picture as it is currently tied for ninth place with George Washington. The next four games are going to be critical to the Minutemen if they hope to earn a spot in this year’s tournament.

However, one game separates them from postseason contention and all four games are against teams with a .500 record at best.

In order for that to happen, UMass won’t only have to continue its solid defense, but be the first ones to strike. The Minutemen are undefeated when they are the first ones to score.

When the opposing team scores first, it has pretty much taken UMass out of the game. The only time the Minutemen avoided a loss after not scoring first was on Sept. 13 against Vermont when UMass forward Mark DeSantis netted his first tally of the season to give his team the tie.         

Roswess gaining confidence

As a starting forward, Chris Roswess had the expectations of being a leading goal-scorer for the Minutemen.

His ability to become an offensive threat shined in both exhibition games against Adelphi and the Winstars when he tallied two goals in each of those games. However, he lacked the opportunities during the non-conference schedule to show his talent as he had one shot on goal during the non-conference schedule.

The start of the A-10 schedule has been a different story.

Even without a goal, Roswess has become an offensive threat just by his aggressiveness. In three of his last four games, Roswess finished the game with a shot on goal. He has played  more confidently with the ball as he is starting to take more shots later in the season.

Roswess took eight shots between the Dayton and Temple games, which is as many shots as he took in UMass’ first seven games combined.

Although the sophomore has yet to score his first goal as a Minuteman this season, he is starting to get more touches. If Roswess can become the scorer that UMass coach Sam Koch wants him to be, he could put his team back in contention for the A-10 Tournament.

MsocCVaccaro earns nod at forward

Ever since the start of the A-10 schedule, Koch has mixed and matched his lineups to find someone to make up for DeSantis’ loss as he recovers from his illness.

The UMass coach didn’t have to go deep to his bench to find someone to play Saturday’s game against Rhode Island. Junior Chris Vaccaro earned his first start at forward after he started at midfield for six games.

Vaccaro is no stranger to starting. He had seven starts his freshman year and finished the season with a goal and two assists. After coming off the bench for six games, Vaccaro got back into the lineup at midfield against Saint Joseph’s before getting moved to forward against the Rams.

The junior had his first and only opportunity at the goal during the 80th minute as he took a shot saved by URI goalkeeper Chris Pennock.

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

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