November 23, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass ‘big four’ neutralized by Notre Dame in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass basketball can’t corral Grant, Irish in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey drops 5-3 decision to No. 12 Boston College Friday night -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey prepares for nationally ranked Hockey East foes BC, Vermont -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food scientist proposes way to improve health via breast milk -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons shine in ‘Whiplash’ -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Masculinity: A feminist’s perspective -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball uses size and speed en route to its first win against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Melissa McBride is the best actor on television -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

‘Gienie’ in a bottle: Patriots, Browns, and Seahawks highlight week 12 picks -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball secures first victory of the season against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Revisiting ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy as the final installment looms -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Establishing the rules of classroom attendance -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass hockey’s Troy Power reflects as his 100th career game approaches -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sophomore swimmer Meriza Werenski excelling in increased role -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SGA senator plans survey on bigotry -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minutemen fall to Akron 30-6 on Tuesday night MACtion -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Awaken your awareness to sleeping -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

T-Swift v. Spotify: The battle over dying album sales -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scoring woes continue for Minutemen

Maxwell Sparr, Collegian Staff

In a double overtime, golden goal, winner-takes-all scenario, finishing a scoring chance means everything on the pitch.           

Even though the Massachusetts men’s soccer team has scored more goals so far this year than it did in 2009, its lack of ability to finish off good-scoring chances leaves something to be desired.           

“It’s obviously one of the parts of our game we need to work on,” UMass coach Sam Koch said. “If I knew the answer to [why we aren’t finishing], then we would be finishing.”           

So far in 2010, the Minutemen (1-3-3) have scored eight goals off of 79 shots. However, 33 of these shots were on goal, leaving 25 missed opportunities.           

“Our first objective is to create chances and we are creating chances,” Koch said. “Now we have to finish the chances we’re creating. We got half of it down and now we need the other half.”           

Even more disheartening for UMass is that it has yet to score a goal in the four double overtime matches it has played in where a goal means a victory.           

In the most recent match against New Hampshire last Saturday, UMass lost in the closing minutes of the second period of extra time. Many of these chances in the second period of overtime had the fans at Rudd Field on the edge of their seats, including defender Dominic Skrajewski’s header that nearly gave the Minutemen the victory towards the end of the first extra time period.           

Skrajewski’s header was one of eight shots taken in the two overtime periods by the Minutemen, which was half of the shots taken during the entirety of the match for UMass.           

“First half, second half, overtime. [The] bottom line is we’re not scoring goals so it doesn’t matter,” Koch said. “It doesn’t matter when we’re scoring goals as long as were scoring more than the other team.”           

Following the match against the Wildcats (4-0-2), even goalkeeper Chris Piekos commented about the lack of finishing, claiming that the team needed to work on shooting drills at practice.

According to Koch, that’s exactly what the Minutemen worked on in shooting exercises during practice.           

“We probably spent about 50 percent of our time on [shooting drills],” Koch said.           

While Koch admits there is a problem in terms of UMass finishing its chances, he stated that there is a solution to aid the Maroon and White.           

“There are two parts to the problem,” Koch said. “We’re doing better and better at creating opportunities. The second part is finishing and using the technique of putting the ball back into the net. It’s going to happen and we’re going to do it. The problem is the more pressure there is to finish the more pressure the players put on themselves. The players have to relax but also have that sense of urgency to finish on good chances.”           

The Minutemen will get a chance to prove if the shooting drills have paid off when they take on Dartmouth Wednesday afternoon. The Big Green (4-2-0) has allowed seven goals all season, with one score coming in overtime.           

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

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