Deanna Colarossi’s header off a corner kick in the fourth minute of extra time lifted the Massachusetts women’s soccer team over Brown, 1-0, Thursday at Rudd Field.
“We came out a bit slow, but then we started working together as a team, and that’s what paid off,” said Colarossi, a senior forward.
“It always feels good to beat a team that we lost to last year, especially when it happened away from home,” added Colarossi on last year’s 3-2 loss in Providence, R.I.
The win gave UMass (5-2-1) its third-straight 1-0 victory.
In extra time, freshman forward Tori Sousa fed Colarossi off a left-side corner kick and the co-captain finished with a header.
“I normally don’t take corners,” said Sousa, who contributed to the only corner kick resulting in a goal this season for the Minutewomen. “We’ve been coming in early every day, practicing it. It was really good to finally get one in.”
UMass is riding its three-game winning streak on multiple players putting the ball in the net late in games. Colarossi, who led the Minutewomen in goals last season with nine, is the latest player to contribute to the team’s recent offensive success.
“Deanna led us in goals last year, and she’s very talented around the box,” said UMass coach Ed Matz. “It’s good for her to get this goal now, to get her confidence going with Atlantic 10 coming up.”
Despite the Bears maintaining control of the ball for most of the first half, the Minutewomen nearly took a first half lead when Julie Morrissey’s header in the box sailed just over the top crossbar in the 18th minute.
Freshman midfielder Moa Mattsson also had an opportunity in the first half, a shot 15 yards out on target that was stopped by Brown’s Amber Bledsoe.
UMass goalkeeper Emily Cota continued her impressive play for the Minutewomen, shutting-out her third-straight opponent. Cota, who saved four shots, was tested early on with deep shots on target.
“Emily did a good job of holding onto the crosses,” said Matz. “The ball was slick [with the rain] and that was our biggest fear.”
Morrissey’s second opportunity to give UMass a first half lead came in the 37th minute when she put a cross on net deep from the left side. But Bledsoe again made the save in front to keep the game scoreless.
The Bears had their chances early on, rifling deep shots that went off posts at every angle. Chloe Cross, who earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors earlier this week, nearly put Brown on top late in the first half. Cross received a pass outside to the left of the box, putting a direct strike on net that Cota got her hands on to save.
The Minutewomen’s ability to control the midfield and push the Bears’ players off to the side came mostly in the second half, as UMass dictated the control and direction of the ball.
“We always try to play in the middle,” said Matz. “[With the 4-3-2-1 formation], it was frustrating in the first half, because they would play six players back. We were able to play in the middle in the second half a lot more. We’re able to accomplish a lot of our goals that way.”
The most noteworthy offensive chance in regulation for UMass came in the 73rd minute when Cecilia Jensen’s shot was taken off the body of MC Barrett, who came in relief of Bledsoe in the second half. Sousa, who came into the box hard, was unable to capitalize as Barrett recovered in time to retrieve the loose ball.
Scott Cournoyer can be reached at email@example.com.