The Massachusetts women’s soccer team picked up a stunning overtime win on Sunday afternoon against Atlantic 10 rival Saint Joseph’s in its last home game of the season.
The Minutewomen (7-9-0) improved their conference record to 4-3-0 with their second straight win of the weekend. Senior Therese Smith proved to be the heroine of the game by scoring the golden goal with just over three minutes remaining in the first overtime half. Jess Howe picked up the assist on the play.
The goal marks Smith’s seventh of the year and second in as many games.
“This was a really big game for us,” Smith said. “We are glad we could win in overtime, especially on the last home game of the season. We can’t settle though, we have to keep winning and carry this trend into next weekend.”
The Hawks (5-10-1) played a strong defensive game that worked well at frustrating the Maroon and White’s scoring chances. The backbone of their defense, goalkeeper Christine Neal, made 6-of-7 saves against UMass, with her best coming off a diving stop with just over 20 minutes remaining in the first half.
St. Joe’s now falls to 2-4-1 in A-10 play, with its last three games against conference opponents ending without a win.
UMass coach Ed Matz could not be more pleased with his club’s performance on the day.
“We had great play all weekend,” Matz said. “The biggest factor to our success was, by far, the performances from the seniors. They all really stepped up this weekend, and with them leading the way, the rest of the team followed well.”
The Minutewomen outplayed the Hawks for the majority of the game, making sure to keep the ball in the offensive zone with strong drives and consistent scoring threats. UMass outshot Saint Joseph’s, 17-8, on the day and led in corner kicks, 6-3, while also leading in fouls 12-9.
UMass scored five goals in the first half to pick up its strongest win of the season against Temple on Friday afternoon.
The Minutewomen dominated on both the offensive and defensive fronts, rebounding well after suffering a close 1-0 loss against Rhode Island in last Sunday’s road game.
Junior forward Deanna Colarossi led the potent Minutewomen attack with her first hat trick of her collegiate career. Her first goal came just after the 15th minute of play off of teammate Jen Houtmann’s blocked shot, which Colarossi then put in the right side of the net past Owl goalkeeper Gillian Kacsuta.
Senior Therese Smith would put up the second tally of the game off a shot that bounced off the hand of Kacsuta. Freshman Brittany Moore earned the assist. The goal came just three minutes after Colarossi’s first tally.
Colarossi scored her second of the game in the 28th minute off of a pass by Alyssa Visconti. The shot never left the ground on its way into the back of the net.
Colarossi would go on to complete the hat trick in the 36th minute, when she took advantage of a failed clearing attempt by Kacsuta to put the ball into an open net. Colarossi’s hat trick is the first by a Minutewoman since Oct. 25, 2002, when Erin Lilly scored four goals in a 6-1 win over Temple.
Freshman Blair Ferry capped off the scoring with her second goal of the season off of teammate Lauren Skesavage’s deflected shot off the post. Ferry made the goal with just 56 seconds left in the first half.
Matz was impressed, to say the least, with his team’s performance.
“The offense was really clicking,” Matz said. “The best part is, even though the offense dominated the game, the defense was also spectacular. It was great to see an overall great game from both ends of the field.”
UMass put on a clinic against Temple (6-10-1, 1-5-1 A-10) and kept it from getting any real offense going. The Minutewomen outshot the Owls, 24-14, though they were behind in corner kicks, 5-2, and were ahead in fouls, 9-4.
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Cota came back strong for the Minutewomen, picking up her first win since being injured against Harvard earlier in the season. This marked the first of two shutout wins for Cota on the weekend.
David Martin can be reached at email@example.com.