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December 28, 2016

Minutewomen split home series

Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team ended its five-game losing streak with a strong 1-0 win over Saint Louis on Sunday.

The Minutewomen (4-7, 1-1 Atlantic 10) picked up their first A-10 win of the season against the Billikens (1-6-5, 0-2 A-10) off of strong performances from junior attacker Meghan Collins and freshman goalkeeper Emersyn Pullan.

 After a scoreless first half, Collins picked up the lone tally on the day in the game’s 74th minute off of a redirected corner kick from freshman Lauren Skesavage. The goal marks Collins’ third of the season.

“We really proved ourselves today,” Collins said. “That goal was great, especially since it would end our losing streak. Both our offense and our defense were really good today, and we proved it by coming out hard from the first whistle.”

Pullman proved to be just as instrumental in the Maroon and White’s home win. She made two saves in her second start of the season in the absence of injured starter Emily Cota.

The team accomplished UMass coach Ed Matz’s goal of earning three points on the weekend to advance themselves further in the A-10 standings.

“We played great all weekend,” Matz said. “We were strong against two tough conference opponents. We played great, were composed, distinguished our skills, and our players fought hard with confidence. We got our three points on the weekend and will look to do the same on the road next weekend.”

UMass out-shot SLU, 14-5, on the day, while also leading the game in fouls, 11-9. The two teams were even with three corner kicks apiece.

The win against SLU on Sunday also marks the first ever win for UMass against the Billikens in six total matches, while the squad from the Show Me State rides a two-game losing streak.

On Friday, the Minutewomen fell to conference rival Charlotte, 2-0, despite a strong effort in less than perfect weather.

The 49ers (8-3-0, 2-0 A-10) proved why they will likely once again be one of the elite teams in the conference with a strong performance on Rudd field. Charlotte opened up the scoring in the 24th minute of the first half with a goal by attacker Macky Wingo. Just 32 seconds later, Charlotte doubled its lead with a timely tally off the boot of attacker Oni Bernard.

Though the opposition seemed daunting , the Maroon and White came back strong in the second half.

Right off the starting whistle, the Minutewomen moved their offense into the scoring threat it has been all season. After several minutes in the 49ers’ defensive end, UMass would cut the lead in half with a tally by junior Deanna Colarossi. The goal, which came at 54 minutes, 17 seconds, is a team-leading fifth for Colarossi on the season.

The offensive surge would end there, however, as UMass just could not come up with the equalizing goal. Matz, though upset over the loss, saw it as a good game.

“We played well the whole game,” Matz said. “We came out from the beginning and responded well to the pressure. We were pretty even in the stats and didn’t give them much to work with. The thing is, we really only made two mistakes, and they were able to capitalize on them. They’re a strong group of players that fed off of costly turnovers. We played them dead even, but they proved why they’re one of the best teams in the A-10.”

Colarossi’s lone goal was the first scored by UMass against Charlotte in five years, dating back to the team’s 2-0 win on Oct. 28, 2005.

David Martin can be reached at dmmartin@student.umass.edu.

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