April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minutewomen celebrate seniors in final home weekend of season

Geoff King/Collegian

It’s come down to the last home weekend for the Massachusetts field hockey team with what has been a very promising season thus far.

Temple and Saint Joseph’s will visit Garber Field on Friday and Sunday as they take on the top-seeded team in the Atlantic 10 standings.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position within the Atlantic 10,” UMass coach Justine Sowry said. “From the games last weekend, I don’t think we necessarily played our best hockey. But we were able to come out with wins. We succeed in how we possess the ball. We’ve got a long way to go but we’ve also set ourselves up quite nicely.”

After two close conference wins last weekend over Lock Haven and Richmond, UMass (9-6, 3-0 A-10) remains the only undefeated team the A-10.

Although Temple (7-9, 2-1 A-10) and Saint Joseph’s (5-10, 2-1 A-10) have sub-500 records, both teams are one win behind the Minutewomen and can potentially equalize the playing field in the conference.

“It’s only halfway through [the A-10s],” Sowry said. “We can’t relax, we have to keep our foot on the accelerator, keep working hard at practice and not take any opponent lightly. Hockey is a strange game [where] you can dominate a game and not win it. We have to make sure that we work hard enough that we will get more opportunities than our opponent.”

Even with a struggling team like the Owls, UMass is well aware of the history it’s had with Temple. The last two years, the matchup between the two teams have needed at least two overtimes to declare a winner.

Last season, the Minutewomen lost 2-1 in double overtime. The year before that, UMass had to win a stroke-off, 3-1, after the score remained tied at one by the end of two overtimes.

“Every time we come up against Temple, they’re a hard-nosed Philadelphia team,” Sowry said. “They work hard and just bring a whole other level when they play against us. I don’t think their record necessarily represents how tough they are. We’re expecting a really tough battle. Temple has always given us trouble. Always.”

Besides the battles that UMass has encountered with Temple, this weekend offers a variety of motivational factors. First, both the Owls and Hawks rudely welcomed the Minutewomen into conference play last season as UMass dropped both games in its opening A-10 weekend, being outscored 5-1.

Secondly, it’s the last time the Minutewomen will get to play in front of their home crowd this year and the team will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday to honor those who will be graduating in May.

Sunday’s Senior Day, however, will have an extra special feel to it. It will mark the culmination of Sowry’s first recruiting class. Seniors Katie Kelly, Makaela Potts and Jamie Bourazeris all came into the program alongside Sowry, who is in her fourth year at UMass.

“It’s kind of bittersweet that it’s coming to an end but they’ve been such a pivotal threesome for this program and getting the program back on track,” Sowry said. “I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional game but at the end of the day, hopefully we can play some good hockey as well.”

Temple comes into Friday having won three of its last four games after eight straight non-conference games. St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, has won two out of three after dropping five consecutive contests.

Now that UMass has positioned itself atop the conference standings, each A-10 team will be looking to knock it off its post. The Minutewomen are prepared for that and hope to make their last home stand of the year a memorable one.

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

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