December 21, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Minutemen search for answers following blowout loss to Providence -

Saturday, December 20, 2014

UMass dominated in 85-65 loss to Providence -

Saturday, December 20, 2014

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Corner kicks nearly cost Minutemen undefeated weekend

Even though the Massachusetts men’s soccer team remains undefeated after the first weekend of Atlantic 10 play, it came very close to losing off clusters of corner kicks from both Xavier and Dayton.

“Corner kicks are sort of a funny thing,” UMass coach Sam Koch said following the match against Dayton. “Yeah it means that you’re getting the ball down our end, [but] the balls going off one of our players instead of your players.”

In both matches against the Musketeers (4-3-3, 1-1-0 A-10) and the Flyers (0-0-2, 4-4-3 A-10), UMass forfeited a higher amount of corner kicks than most of its non-conference games. The only other times it gave off a higher amount of corner kicks was against Dartmouth (12) and Fairfield (eight). Both games ended in double-overtime draws.

Giving up fewer corner kicks has served UMass (2-3-6, 1-0-1 A-10) well in the past such as its victory over Central Florida, the Maroon and White sacrificed one corner kick.

Thus far in the 2010 campaign, the Minutemen have given up 59 corner kicks, with 15 of them coming in the first two A-10 matches alone. While it has given goalkeeper Chris Piekos extra saves to add to his score sheets, the corner kicks are opening doorways for the opposition to score.

To put it in perspective, by the end of the 2009 regular season, the Minutemen sacrificed 67 corner kicks to its opponents, compared to the 59 they allowed through the first weekend of A-10 play. UMass is allowing an average of just over five corner kicks a game this season, and will likely break last year’s statistic.

Furthermore, UMass has let up 11-of-15 corners in the second half of its two games, and three in the overtime periods. In the final 45 minutes against both the Flyers and the Musketeers, the Minutemen sacrificed a continual series of corner kicks that lasted for upwards of six and seven minutes, respectively.

“I don’t want to give up that many, and I rather not have them down that end, but [in] the second half they got down there,” Koch said. “And those are some of things we’ve got to work on.”

Defensive leader Dominic Skrawjewski tried to keep his fellow defensive players weary as the corner kicks kept coming in the second half against XU.

“I was just trying to tell them to call down,” Skrajewski said. “We got stretched a lot in the second half, we got out-shot, out-worked, we probably had one of our worst halves we’ve ever played.”

On the flip side, the Minutemen have yet to give up a goal from the corner kick, just as they did last season.

UMass also has had 50 of its own corner kicks without converting any of them. Following the opening weekend, the Minutemen ranked fourth in the A-10 in corner kicks taken behind St. Bonaventure, Charlotte and Rhode Island.

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

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