Scrolling Headlines:

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June 17, 2017

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

Minutewomen look for third-straight conference title

In its last meeting, Richmond had the Massachusetts field hockey team’s number.

The Spiders (11-8, 5-1 A-10), with the 1-0 win, handed the No. 19 Minutewomen their fourth straight loss and third shutout in that span.

The contest marked the end of the worst stretch of the season for UMass, in which it dropped from No. 10 in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll to No. 20 in a three week period.

Now, Richmond will get a crack at a Minutewomen squad that isn’t struggling, but thriving and looking like the 2007 team that won the A-10 Tournament for the second straight year.

UMass, who hosts the A-10 tournament this year, will face the Spiders on Friday at Garber Field at 12:30 p.m.

To reach the conference tournament this season, UMass had to win out in its last two A-10 games against La Salle and West Chester. Not only did the Minutewomen step up and claim both victories, but they outscored their opponents by a total of 12-3. The two wins brought their overall season record to 12-8 and conference record to 3-3.

The offense, which was lacking only a few weeks ago, came back to life, and saw multi-scoring games by Cher King, Katie Kelly and Kim Young.

UMass coach Justine Sowry feels the offensive momentum will be extremely beneficial heading into the tournament.

“I believe it’s going to help a whole lot. I think we were in dire need of scoring goals, and just getting the confidence going again,” she said. “I think the last weekend, we gained that confidence, and we’re certainly gaining the momentum needed to put together a great tournament.”

Unlike the other the three teams in the tournament, the Minutewomen have already had the experience of being in must-win situations, something that Sowry feels will help. The Spiders, on the other hand, dropped their last game of the season to A-10 foe Temple.

Despite being the favorite to win the conference this year, UMass will be the No. 4 seed and the Spiders will be the No. 1 seed.

Sowry believes the seeding to be insignificant, but does not mind seeing her team as the underdogs.

“We probably play better when we are under pressure. When we are the hunted team, we perhaps don’t perform as well,” she said. “Being the hunters, it’s probably a better position for us.”

In the last matchup with the Spiders, the Minutewomen allowed six penalty corners while only earning two. UMass was also unable to attack the Richmond zone, amassing only one shot on goal for the contest.

For different results this time around, Sowry knows that she will have to change things up.

“How we press against them and our intercepting skills are going to be crucial for the final outcome of the game. We will try to come up with a few more balls for counter-attacks. We probably will change our lineup a little bit to give them a different look.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Minutewomen will have a challenge in trying to contain the Spiders’ best two players, Katelin Peterson and Sarah Blythe-Wood.

Blythe-Wood and Peterson are one and two in most of Richmond’s offensive categories, including goals and points.

“[Peterson] has size and good reach which can give you trouble. [Blythe-Wood] is very talented and very skillful, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for her,” Sowry said.

With all of the struggles UMass has faced this season, the Minutewomen somehow found a way to get back in the A-10 Tournament. Being on the brink of having their season come to an end, Sowry feels as if her team is playing with house money.

“We have nothing to lose at this point,” she said.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

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