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Minutewomen fall twice to ranked opponents over weekend

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team squared off against No. 20 Northeastern and defending national champs, No. 3 Maryland, in the opening home weekend at Garber Field.

UMass was unable to balance out its win-loss column this weekend after suffering a 4-1 loss to the Terrapins. Maryland came out strong as it scored two goals in nine minutes with a little over a minute separating each.

Forward Jill Witmer contributed to both goals in the first half as she scored the first goal with an assist from midfielder Megan Frazer and assisted on the second to midfielder Katie Gerzabek.

Kate Heineman, who lived 20 minutes away from the home of the Terrapins when she was growing up, managed to score her first goal of the season 16:24 into the first half.

“It’s perfect,” said Heineman. “It’s always a relief when you score.”

Despite the first half score and a possible momentum push going into the second half, the Minutewomen failed to respond to the two goals scored by the Terrapins (7-1) forward and defender Maxine Fluharty and defender Ali McEvoy.

“We got off to a slow start, our first half was great but our second half was not too good,” said Carla Tagliente, UMass head coach. “We did not play a complete game.”

UMass fall to Northeastern

UMass goalie Alesha Widdall collected six saves in a losing effort to the Huskies (5-3) on Friday night, which included five rejections from Northeastern’s All-American forward Crystal Poland.

The first half appeared to be a game of missed opportunities for both teams. Poland fired five shots on goal, but failed to find the back of the net.

For UMass, Heineman and Lindsay Bowman both narrowly missed on opportunities taken in the middle of the first half.

“We need to make the most of our opportunities,” said Tagliente of her teams’ missed chances. “But we’re still growing as a team.”

But with 11 minutes,18 seconds left in the first half, forward Renee Suter capitalized off a misdirected Heineman assist to give UMass a 1-0 lead.

While UMass held a 1-0 lead in the first half, the Huskies’ scoreless first half was due to exceptional team defense and the sterling play of Widdall. She tallied three saves in the first half, all of which were against Poland, who has scored 13 goals in the previous six games.

The second half switched the tempo of the game as the Huskies tied the game at the 11-minute mark with a goal by midfielder Pam Aldridge. The rest of the game was filled with game-changing opportunities as the game went into overtime.

After a tug-of-war game, NU eventually came out on top with a 2-1 win with a game-winning goal by forward Carolyn Malloy.

With the two losses suffered this weekend, this moves the Minutewomen to 2-5 on the season as they hope to bounce back in their next game against Boston University on Friday night.

DeShawn Townsend can be reached at dtownsen@student.umass.edu.

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