August 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass names Blake Frohnapfel as the starting quarterback -

Monday, August 18, 2014

Decision looms for Mark Whipple as UMass football looks to name starting quarterback -

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Former UMass star Marcel Shipp overseeing a strong running back competition -

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Former UMass basketball star Chaz Williams signs professional contract in Turkey, still eyeing NBA career -

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Minutemen anxious to display aggressive defense -

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

UMass football turns the page, excited for 2014 season -

Monday, August 4, 2014

UMass student struck and killed by vehicle Thursday night -

Friday, August 1, 2014

UMass receives anonymous $10.3 million gift -

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UMass Football summer coverage 2014 -

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chiarelli: Sam Koch’s impact evident in those who knew him best -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after two-year battle with sinus cancer -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Southwest evacuated after gas leak -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMass Rowing finishes NCAA Championships, ends year ranked No. 21 in the nation -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two UMass basketball alums to compete for a lofty prize in The Basketball Tournament -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Commencement Photos 2014 -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two arrested in relation to series of vandalism -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Students push for relocation of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health -

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video: No. 14 UMass WLAX ends season in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No. 14 UMass women’s lacrosse season ends in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sixth inning rally propels UMass past Dayton 7-2 -

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Composure, determination to drive UMass past Orange

Maxwell Sparr/Collegian

Although the Massachusetts field hockey team faces only one opponent this weekend and is one opponent away from the start of Atlantic 10 play, Sunday’s battle against No. 5 Syracuse in Amherst will provide perhaps the greatest test of character for the Minutewomen this season.

“This weekend is going to be just completely different because Syracuse is a quality side that puts an enormous amount of pressure on you to be able to execute your skills,” UMass coach Justine Sowry said. “It’s going to be a very different sort of game, so we just have to remain composed and poised on the ball and play our tempo and not let them knock us off our flow, but try to do the opposite toward them.”

Composure against the Orange’s press will be vital.

In the last two matchups, Syracuse has jumped all over UMass, scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes of each game. On the contrary, the Minutewomen have had trouble this year starting their games strong and setting the tone.

“We know what to expect, it’s just that we have to react on the field to that,” Sowry said. “Where we’ve made mistakes in the past it’s because we’ve been flustered on the ball so we’ve given the ball up quite a lot. We know it’s going to be tough and we know it’s going to be another great opportunity. I think the motivation is definitely going to be there, it’s just that our actions will have to show that we are ready for it.”

And how does one work to improve one’s composure?

“Repetition,” Sowry said. “We have to get out there, whether it [is] extra work before practice or other individual work. Get out there and get some repetition on the ball and eventually that will breed confidence and then repetition under pressure when we’re fatigued, that we’ll be able to execute.”

The ‘will to win’ is something that Sowry stresses to her young players. She uses words like tenacity and desperation. Last week she saw an Albany team that was consistently diving to keep balls in play, diving to save goals and diving to intercept balls. She only saw that desperation in her team in the final 10 minutes of the game, as the Minutewomen frantically tried to erase their 1-0 deficit.

UMass hasn’t beaten Syracuse once this decade with an 0-9 record. But persistence might give the Minutewomen a chance on Sunday, perhaps taking the place of the recent lack of scoring.

UMass took 40 shots last weekend, however, the Minutewomen came away with only two goals to show for it.

“It will come, it will happen,” Sowry said. “It’s just a belief in the process and trying to stay focused and poised and composed on the ball and not get too frustrated that it’s not coming but just believe that that repetition and experience will get us a little more confident and it will happen.”

Pete Vasquez can be reached at pvasquez@student.umass.edu.

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