January 26, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

Paranormal Research Society seeks to uncover the truth about the supernatural -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass tops Merrimack 4-1 to cap off successful weekend series -

Monday, January 26, 2015

‘Broad City’s’ second season off to a wickedly funny start -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Students respond to Obama’s State of the Union address -

Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Bonaventure earns tight victory, VCU clinches 11th straight win in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball action -

Monday, January 26, 2015

An open letter to the people who were kind when I was struggling -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass club hockey salvages weekend with tie against NYU on Saturday -

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Winter TCA’s announce bevy of show returns and new releases -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brilliant online film archives for cinema lovers -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass men’s and women’s track and field teams see mixed results in Joe Donahue Indoor Games -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Steve Mastalerz, defense delivers for UMass hockey -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass online graduate programs climb U.S. News & World Report rankings -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Front to Back: Week of Jan. 25, 2015 -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BLOG: UMass football receives seven verbal commitments -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

UMass plans to fail again with Super Bowl guest policy -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special teams play fuels late UMass rally, forces tie -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BLOG: UMass hires Mark Michaels as special teams coordinator, outside linebackers coach -

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Tibetan political prisoner overcomes odds in Tibet and the US -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UMass basketball falls flat in loss to St. Joe’s -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

‘Selma’ resonates with the here and now -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Click here to visit UMass Dining
Click here to visit UMass Dining

Minutemen suffer first loss of season to Harvard

- Click here for our season preview on the Minutemen.

Even though the Massachusetts men’s soccer team fell to Harvard, 3-2, it can at least hold its head up high knowing it went down fighting.

“We talk a lot about how we decide who wins or who loses,” UMass coach Sam Koch said. “I think for about 75 percent of the game we played well and had our shape. Yeah, they put pressure on us, but we were under control. We’re okay with that because we’re a counter-attack team. There are times when we break down. We let them beat us. If we had stayed more composed, had kept the shape of the team, we would have been better off. I give them credit; they took it to us.”

The Minutemen (0-1-1) battled the Crimson (2-0-0) in a game of mixed possession and heavy fouling, as both teams combined for 48 fouls and four yellow cards.

“I wouldn’t want to be a referee,” Koch said of the referee’s decisions throughout the game. “I think there were some shaky calls but you know he’s doing the best he can, credit to him. If we made as many mistakes as he did, we would have won the game.”

The first 10 minutes of the match featured a back-and-forth battle for possession with no victor. UMass pushed up the field on two separate occasions, but failed to convert due to poor passes towards the inside. Harvard’s lone chance at goal came off of a corner kick which resulted in a missed shot opportunity.

Nearly 20 minutes into the game, UMass had a free-kick outside the box which turned into a goal-scoring opportunity. After a cluttered mess inside the box, including a takedown from a Harvard defender, Bryant Craft earned a penalty kick. He banged it into the right corner and the ball ricocheted off of goalkeeper Austin Harms’ hands for the first goal of the contest.

The early goal must have heightened Koch’s confidence, as he pulled two high-profile players in the returning Chris Roswess, who missed the first match of the season due to a red card earned last year, and the goal-scoring Craft. Both Roswess and Craft would make returns later in the match.

Drama unfolded in the 37th minute after the ball was cleared toward the backline. Hellah Sidibe, who made his home debut for the Minutemen, brought the ball up the field. He dribbled past two defenders, including Jaren LaGreca, who he elbowed in the nose along the way. Sidibe was tackled from the side by Jamie Rees and tripped down to the ground.

The game stopped to deal with the injured LaGreca and the foul situation with Sidibe. Sidibe received a yellow for his hard foul on LaGreca and Rees also garnered a yellow for his tripping of Sidibe.

Despite the controversy surrounding his plays, Sidibe earned high praise from his coach regarding the Malian striker’s debut.

“He’s picking some of the turf up and bringing it back to the room,” Koch said. “He’s going to be a good player; he still has things to learn. He’s got to know the players around him, but each week he’s getting better and better. We’re seeing a lot from him, so we feel he has a good future here.”

During the pause, fans, coaches and players complained continuously about the initially-missed call for LaGreca’s injury.

“One side is always going to say you’re wrong, and one side is always going to say you’re right, but maybe not all the time,” Koch said.

UMass continued to lead the first half, despite the mutual possession held by both teams. Going into the halftime break, Harvard tied the game up right at the conclusion of the half as the ball found its way to the back of the net off of Scott Prozeller’s header. The clock ran out and the teams entered into the break even.

It didn’t take long for Harvard to score again as four seconds into the second half, Brian Rogers scored off a defensive lapse by the Minutemen. Rogers gained possession of the ball inches near the net, fooled the goalkeeper and banged it off the far post for the score.

Less than 15 minutes into the second half, more odious theatrics unfolded on Rudd Field. UMass earned possession near the opposing goal, with Ben Arikian’s initial shot getting blocked by the Crimson defense. Stuart Amick trapped the rebound and took a shot that banged off the top bar and down towards the goal-line, bouncing high off the grass just off the line. Roswess attempted to score on the rebound, but ended up colliding into Harms in a dangerous play. Roswess received a yellow card for his efforts.

After more battle for possession, the 20th minute unveiled the next goal between the two sides when the Crimson earned another free-kick outside the box. The ball was crossed in and headed down by Ross Friedman for the goal, giving the Crimson a commanding 3-1 lead.

Despite the two-goal deficit, UMass pushed the ball forward several times in the closing minutes of the game. While the team fell short on several occasions, Arikian was instrumental in the second score for the Maroon and White. After carrying the ball down the field, he slid the ball to the far side where Amick nailed the ball towards the back of the net.

The final goal came too late, however, as the Minutemen were unable to score another before the end of the period.

UMass will have its chance to keep the fight going when it faces off against Fairfield on Saturday.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

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