Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

Role players key to Minutewomen’s success

With the one-two punch of Therese Smith and Sydney Stoll carrying the offense all season, several players have stepped up to help propel the Massachusetts women’s soccer team into the playoffs.

Over the regular season’s final five games, in which the Minutewomen tallied a 3-2-0 record, senior Cristina Adams with underclassmen Lauren Yelinek, Meredith Fox and Lindsey DiOrio have come through in the clutch. The quartet combined for 10 of the team’s last 18 points, with Yelinek making the biggest splash.

Yelinek, a transfer from Texas Tech, tallied four points since going scoreless in her first 13 games. Her biggest contribution came over the weekend when she scored the only goal in the Minutewomen’s 1-0 victory over Richmond. With the game knotted at zero in the 36th minute, the sophomore chipped a deflected serve-in.

The midfielder also contributed assists in wins over George Washington and Rhode Island. Against the Rams, she assisted Adams to give the Minutewomen a 2-1 advantage, while she assisted Stoll on the game-winner against the Colonials.

In the match-up against Rhode Island, Adams also stepped up in a big way and played the best game of her career. The Braintree, Mass. native scored twice and gave UMass (6-10-2, 5-6-0 Atlantic 10) the lead. She scored the first goal of the game on a pass from junior Ashley Hamel during the 26th minute and struck again nearly 54 minutes later en route to a 3-2 victory.

The freshman/sophomore duo of Fox and DiOrio has also quietly contributed to the team’s recent success. They both assisted Yelinek on her game-winning goal against Richmond on Sunday. DiOrio served the ball in following a foul on Richmond, with Fox bringing the ball down and allowing Yelinek to score.

Fox tallied the first points of her collegiate career on a game-winning goal against Saint Joseph’s on Sept. 25 to open conference play. DiOrio’s assist gave her the first point of her UMass career.

If the Minutewomen are to be successful against Fordham tomorrow night and continue their trip through the conference tournament, quiet players will have to continue to step up. The team has to increase its aggressiveness to create more shots.

Over the course of the 18-game regular season, the Minutewomen were outshot, 336-185. Stoll led the team with 49 attempts (24 on goal), Smith was second with 36 (18 on goal) and Hamel was third with 19 (four on goal). UMass also allowed twice as many goals (30) as they scored themselves.

The team’s intensity picked up on the defensive end as of late, most notably in the box. The Minutewomen have been more aggressive and played tighter coverage and have gone after more loose balls. If the offense can mimic this same increase in intensity, UMass will be a handful for any opponent.

The Minutewomen will be in action tomorrow night against Fordham to try and keep their A-10 title hopes alive. The game is set for 5:30 p.m. at Transamerica Field in Charlotte.

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

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