Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

Field hockey alum talks new defensive approach

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team’s coach Carla Tagliente has been praised for bringing a new, offensive-minded approach to the UMass field hockey program, but what hasn’t been as publicized is the Minutewomen’s new defensive approach.

Jaime Bourazeris, a 2011 UMass graduate and four-year starter for UMass field hockey, is assisting the team this season. The New Hyde Park, N.Y. native started all 23 games of her senior year, ending her career with 50 points and Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team honors.

Roz Ellis, an assistant coach, has been crucial in mentoring the defense this season. Ellis came over from Wake Forest to help Tagliente in her first head coaching job. Ellis attended Iowa, where she led the Hawkeyes to the 2008 Final Four while gaining NCAA All-Tournament Team honors as a defensive player.

“Roz has a great mind for the game and will be tremendous asset for our defense,” said Tagliente of Ellis.

Bourazeris is working in conjunction with Ellis to implement a three-back defense as opposed to the four-back defense the team was accustomed to under former coach Justine Sowry.

“I think it gives us a little bit more ability to attack and get more numbers up on the field. There are a lot of changes that go into it and I think the girls are adjusting well,” said Bourazeris. “Like anything, it takes time, every game they’re getting better with it.”

With the new defensive approach comes a new mindset, which incorporates an offensive attitude. It gives the defense a chance to push the ball up the field, thus creating more shots and scoring opportunities.

“The biggest key as it is with any defensive structure is to communicate and stay organized,” said Bourazeris.

Although the defense has seen a platoon of starters since the season began, the last couple of games have seen a starting line consisting of freshmen and Seaford, England native Lauren Allymohamed, sophomore Hannah Prince, and redshirt junior Callie Sweigart.

“Even though Callie is a redshirt junior, she has been around the practices and the games, she tactically knows the game and the game plan really well,” said Bourazeris.

“I am just serving the team as an extra set of eyes and ears, helping out wherever I can,” said Bourazeris. “Despite the losses, the outcome with shooting in the past couple of games has been a lot better than earlier in the season and last year for that matter.”

Of course it’s hard to talk about the defense for the Minutewomen without mentioning the 2011 A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year and All-American goalkeeper, senior Alesha Widdall, who saved 97 shots last season en route to eight shutouts. The young defensive line feels comfortable with Widdall minding the net.

Matt Strong can be reached at mstrong@student.umass.edu.

 

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