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

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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