December 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

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

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass plays first A-10 road game against struggling URI

Collegian Staff, Maxwell Sparr

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team starts its second Atlantic 10 weekend when it travels to Rhode Island for a match between the New England rivals.

“They’re a team that can beat you, there’s no question,” UMass coach Sam Koch said. “They’re a little bit snake-bitten right now. Their backs are against the wall, [and] they need a result. They are in big trouble if they don’t get a win on Saturday, so they’re going to be ready to play. They’re not looking past this game, that’s for sure.”

The Rams (2-7-2, 0-1-1 A-10) sit nowhere near the top of the table thus far in the season with a single point to their names. Similar to the Minutemen, URI kicked off its opening conference weekend with matches against Dayton and Xavier. While UMass pulled off a victory over the Muskateers, the Rams suffered a 2-0 defeat.

“[U]RI is not weak,” Koch said. “They’re outplaying opponents. They just haven’t been able to get the ball in the back of the net. They’re a very formidable opponent. This is a big game, there’s no question about it. It helps us to keep going forward with a good result.”

URI is no stranger to shutouts, having lost six matches without scoring a goal, five of which occurred during a six-game span. The first shutout came from Old Dominion (2-0), followed by a 4-0 dominance by William & Mary. After defeating Siena, 2-1, a team which the Minutemen earned a 2-2 draw against, URI suffered three straight shutouts to No. 10 Boston College, Boston University and No. 23 South Florida.

In its final game of the preseason, the Rams earned a 1-1 draw with Fairfield, an opponent the Minutemen drew with, 0-0, in their third game of the season.

The strength of URI this season in terms of offense is Jamie Eckmayer, who has a pair of goals off of eight shots. Nearly just as productive is Greg Balicki, who has one goal on 22 shots, 11 of which have been on target.

“They attack with a number of people whether its Balicki, who is a very good left-footed player,” Koch said. “They have a lot of different offensive weapons. Individually they’re very skillful. Are they playing really well as a whole unit? That’s their question. I want to make sure they’re asking those questions after we play them. They’re capable of beating anybody but we have to make sure that we’re ready to play.”

This will be the first road game of the A-10 schedule for the Minutemen and the first of a three-game away span for the Maroon and White, who have played eight-straight games at Rudd Field.

Midfielder Ben Arikian will look to extend his offense-producing ways in the game against the Rams, having scored his first goal of the 2010 season against the Flyers. Arikian remains four assists from being third all-time for UMass and is two goals shy of matching his 2009 total.

The Minutemen will look to expose the Rams’ lack of ability to stop goals from reaching the back of the net. Through last weekend, URI allowed a total of 21 goals, with 13 of those scores coming in the first half alone. Comparatively, UMass has given up 14 goals on the year, with five goals coming in the first half and eight in the second half.

“We have to take care of ourselves, that’s the main thing,” Koch said.

Always a talking point, goalkeeper Chris Piekos and URI’s goalkeeper Peyton Warwick stand nearly level in terms of their score sheets so far in the 2010 campaign. While Warwick has saved more balls than Piekos (55-52), the UMass Athlete of the Week outclasses Warwick in goals allowed (10-21).

The Minutemen kicked off A-10 play by splitting with a 2-0 victory over Xavier and a 1-1 draw with Dayton. The draw with the Flyers must be a confidence booster for UMass, after Dayton finished at the top of the A-10 last season.

“If we don’t get a good result [against URI], it’s not the end of the world, but it would set us back a notch,” Koch said. “We don’t want that, we want to keep moving forward and I think we’re on the verge of playing really well and we want to take the next step this weekend.”

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

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