April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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

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

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

Minutewomen aid last season issues in early part of 2011 campaign

Maria Uminski/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team has found success by plugging up areas of need.

Through its first seven regular season games, UMass has found, for now, potential solutions to long term issues.

One point of emphasis was to gain more control of the midfield. With more frequent connections on shorter passes, the opportunity to run up field and gain more offensive opportunities has led to success.

Despite having to adjust to a variety of offensive and defensive make-ups against formidable opponents like Elon, Bryant and Boston University, the Minutewomen have answered the bell, going 4-2-1 after their 1-0 victory at home Friday against Maine.

Another point of emphasis was to continue to build upon last year’s success at goalkeeper.

Junior Emily Cota, who started 13 games for the Minutewomen last season, is in competition with newcomer and Northeastern-transfer, Stephanie Gordon. After Gordon received the season-opening nod from UMass coach Ed Matz, the team went 2-1-1, before Matz made the decision to start Cota against Harvard on Sept. 9.

Since Cota suffered a dramatic 2-1 defeat to the Crimson, she has not given up a goal, posting back-to-back shutouts against BU on Sept. 11 and against Maine on Friday.

“Our team has confidence in both goalkeepers,” said Matz following Friday’s game.

Matz also said he will continue to ride the success of whoever is performing in net.

“As long as those two compete in practice every day, good things will happen for both of them,” said Matz.

Despite the significance of continuing to build on goalkeeping and gaining consistent control in the midfield, the underlying issue of this year’s squad has and will be the success of goal scoring.

Forward Therese Smith, the team’s second-leading goal scorer and consistent offensive presence last season, left big shoes to fill for returning players and newcomers after she graduated this past spring.

Despite those big shoes, a handful of players have recently come onto the scene to help fill the void.

Julie Morrissey, a senior transfer from Cincinatti, who scored 14 goals during her three years while playing for the Bearcats, collected three for UMass in just as many games played. Two of her goals came in a 2-1 victory at home against Elon on Sept. 2.

In the last two games, the Minutewomen narrowly escaped defeat with goals late in the game. The goals were not just dramatic against tough opponents, but also came from newcomers Moa Mattsson and Grace Coombs, both international players looking to adjust to the UMass style of play.

Mattson, a Swedish native who is currently on the Swedish U-19 National Team, is one of 10 freshmen players on the team this season.

Mattson scored her first collegiate goal in Friday’s contest against Maine. In the 87th minute and the game scoreless, Mattson turned around and pulled up on a shot from 20 yards out, a shot that sailed through the air and landed in the back of the net, giving the Minutewomen a 1-0 victory.

“We all worked really hard for this game, and we’re all really happy,” said Mattson. “I saw the goalkeeper standing to the left of the net, so I decided to try a shot, and I was lucky.”

Coombs helped lift UMass over No. 20 BU on Sept. 11. In the 22nd minute, Coombs scored from the top of the box from a lead pass from Deanna Colarossi to give the Minutewomen a 1-0 lead. UMass would go on to win 1-0 behind Coombs’ goal.

Although there isn’t a sole leader to bring the Minutewomen forth for the remainder of the non-conference schedule, Atlantic 10 play opens up in the near future which may create some urgency for a top striker.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at scournoy@student.umass.edu.

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