Faster pace paying off for Minutewomen

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

A large part of the Massachusetts women’s soccer team’s success this season has been its new-look offensive attack. Playing fast-paced and much more aggressive under new coach Ed Matz, the Minutewomen are 2-2-0 overall, with six goals scored through four games in the young season. Meghan Collins leads the team with four points and two goals, while midfielders Kelsey Anderson, Kayla Austin, Ashley Hamel and Deanna Colarossi have each scored as well.

The six goals for the Minutewomen are a huge improvement from last season. In 2009 goals were scarce, as it took the Maroon and White until Oct. 4 last year to get to the six-goal mark.

Another factor in the squad’s offensive production has been that the Minutewomen are taking more shots on goal this season. With 69 shot attempts compared to their opponents’ 49 shot attempts, they are getting more opportunities on which to capitalize. Out of those 69 attempts, 33 have been shots on goal, with the team averaging 17.2 shots per game.

UMass also comes enters the heart of the season with a very versatile roster, which mixes returning experience along with new young talent. The Minutewomen return eight players who saw regular action in 2009. They also recorded 42 points in 2009, 35 of which returners were responsible for.

Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Cota will be in net full-time this season, having played in 17 games as a freshman last year. Cota already has a shutout under her belt in 2010 and has five goals allowed in four games.

Ten newcomers are on the roster this year, and have already begun to make an impact. Austin, Annie Ward and Brittany Moore all made their first collegiate starts, with Austin registering a goal against Vermont.

Other freshmen Jen Houtmann, Blair Ferry and Lauren Skesavage all made their debuts off the bench. UMass also features a talented transfer. Colarossi, a junior from Oakland University in Michigan, was an All-Summit League Second Team selection in 2009 after leading the Golden Grizzlies in scoring with 15 points on seven goals and one assist, including three game-winners.

Michael Counos can be reached at mcounos@student.umass.edu.

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