The troubles continued for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team on Thursday against Brown in Providence, R.I. with a 3-2 loss. Despite Therese Smith’s two-goal performance, UMass was shutout in the second half and a late goal sealed the deal for Brown.
The Minutewomen are currently 3-5-0 and Brown now sits at 4-2-1. The Bears went up in the 18th minute with an unassisted goal by Mika Siegelman. A UMass foul set up Siegelman for a free kick which she launched into the upper-right hand corner of the net from 35 yards out past goaltender Emily Cota. The Minutewomen knotted the score at one apiece with a Smith goal when she received the ball at the top of the six-yard mark from Ashley Hamel and booted it into the far corner just off the finger tips of goalie Amber Bledsoe.
Brown would regain the lead in the 26th minute off the foot of Gina Walker. Maddie Wiener sent a strong corner kick into the box where Walker one-timed it home to the left side of the net. Smith would strike again before the intermission with another goal to tie the game. Deanna Colorossi sent a corner which was received by Hamel and assisted to Smith for the second time.
“Both of them just work really hard and I was happy with the offense,” UMass coach Ed Matz said.
The second half would go back and forth between the two clubs before Marybeth Lesbirel would fire the game-winning goal in the 87th minute from 30 yards out into the upper-right corner.
“She made a heck of a shot,” Matz said. “We worked really hard and you hate to lose that way but that was a perfect shot.”
UMass had much success against Bledsoe but a goaltender change at half was the difference in the game as MC Barrett came in and turned away three shots.
“I played against Brown when I was at Northeastern and that’s just their coach’s style, switching up goaltenders,” Matz said.
The Minutewomen were outshot in both periods and overall 16-13. Brown had six corners compared to UMass’ zero and the Maroon and White had eight fouls to Brown’s one.
Next on the schedule for the Minutewomen is Ivey League foe Harvard. UMass holds the edge at 14-7-1 in the all-time series. The two teams have not met since Oct. 2, 2001 when UMass lost its second consecutive game to the Crimson.
Harvard sits at 2-3-1 on the season and will matchup with Pennsylvania on Friday before coming to Rudd Field on Sunday. The Crimson’s wins have come against New Hampshire and Rhode Island as they are led by Katherine Sheeleigh, with six points on two goals and two assists.
Other threats for Harvard include Melanie Baskind and Patricia Yau, each with four points. Baskind has two tallies this season while Yau has one goal and two assists.
Alexandra Millet will be between the pipes as she’s started four of Harvard’s six games, holding opponents to a 1.76 goals against average. She also sports a .708 save percentage while the Crimson’s other goaltender, Jessica Wright, has started two games and enters the weekend with a 1.79 goals against average and a .750 save percentage.
“I definitely think we are a good team at home and we are just very anxious to play on our home field,” Matz said.
UMass will host the game at 1 p.m. at Rudd Field on Sunday.
Michael Counos can be reached at email@example.com.