Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s soccer falls 2-0 vs. Colgate -

August 28, 2016

UMass men’s soccer falls to No. 6 Syracuse in season opener -

August 27, 2016

UMass football boasts young, balanced rushing attack going into 2016 season -

August 9, 2016

UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

August 9, 2016

UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Minutewomen close out regular season against Atlantic 10 foes

Geoff King/Collegian

With two games remaining on the regular season schedule, the Massachusetts field hockey team is preparing to transition into Atlantic 10 tournament play, but first it has to get past West Chester and La Salle this weekend.

The Minutewomen (11-6, 5-0 A-10) are unbeaten in conference play and will look to stay perfect in the A-10 for the second time in three seasons. The last time UMass accomplished this was in 2008, when the team went on to win the A-10 tournament, but lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Syracuse.

The Maroon and White hold a seven-game winning streak, currently the fourth-longest winning streak in the country, and have not lost a game in over a month. The last loss the team suffered was on Sept. 26th against Albany, which remains the only blemish on its home schedule as well.

“I think we generally tend to prepare our girls for what’s coming the next weekend pretty well,” UMass assistant coach Kelly Dostal said. “They’ve been doing a really nice job implementing what we’ve been working on [in practice]. We’ve been passing the ball a lot more and we’ve done better on [penalty] corners. Right now the whole coaching staff is very pleased with the team and I think we’re in a pretty good spot moving forward.”

Being the top team in a conference often allows a team some breathing room and the ability to play a little easier. This can be seen in professional sports all the time, but staying true to their philosophy from the first day of practice, the Minutewomen are preparing for one game at a time.

“You look past these two teams and suddenly you end up losing a game to a team that’s 1-4 in the conference and suddenly your top seed is in jeopardy,” Dostal said. “We’re still preparing for these games just like we’ve prepared all season. We’re looking strictly at Friday’s game now and we’ll prepare for Sunday’s after that.”

West Chester (5-11, 1-4 A-10) is in the midst of a five-game losing streak and coming off a 3-0 shutout loss to the second-place team in the A-10, Lock Haven. The Golden Rams have been shut out in three consecutive games and are winless in three overtime games this season.

La Salle (6-11, 1-4 A-10), meanwhile, has lost three straight contests including a 1-0 shutout to third-place Richmond.

The Golden Rams and the Explorers are both long-shots to make the A-10 tournament at the end of the season, as only four teams qualify. So, with both teams on losing streaks, the Maroon and White are prepared to face the best each squad has to offer.

 “We try to keep the focus on us as much as possible and on what we need to do to get better,” Dostal said. “It’s a good problem to be the top team in the conference. Teams do bring their best against us, which is exciting. It gives us an additional challenge and reminds us we have to play our best when we come out against these teams [no matter what their record].”

The Minutewomen will face West Chester at 3 p.m. on Friday and will close out their regular season on Sunday at noon at La Salle.

Michael Wood can be reached at mcwood@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment