Scrolling Headlines:

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UMass men’s basketball successfully drops La Salle 84-71 in confidence-building win -

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UMass men’s lacrosse’s late rally falls short against Harvard -

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UMass women’s lacrosse struggles to find offense in loss to No. 5 Syracuse -

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With Perez, Democrats remain in limbo -

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UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

UMass plays Dartmouth Saturday, needs offensive production

After concluding an unsuccessful homestand, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team hits the road again for a battle with New England-foe, Dartmouth.

UMass (1-7-0) will look to snap its four-game losing streak when it plays the Big Green (1-3-2) in Hanover N.H., at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The four-game slide is not the first slump the Minutemen have found themselves in this season, but this one is particularly unsettling for the team considering that Atlantic 10 play begins very shortly.

UMass coach Sam Koch couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason for UMass’ struggles.

“It’s a combination of a lot of different things,” he said.. “Some guys [are] not sure of what their roles are. Some guys [are] playing out of their roles, trying to do more than they need to.”

The glaring problem that the Minutemen face right now is offensive execution.

UMass has two goals in eight games this season, and the offense clearly needs someone to step up, according to Koch, who also said that forward Bryant Craft needs to step up. Craft led the team last year with seven goals.

“He’s in a little bit of a slump,” Koch said about Craft, who has one goal in eight games.

During the losing streak, Craft has attempted 10 shots with a pair on goal.

“He hasn’t created as many opportunities as I think he can and we haven’t been able to help him create those opportunities,” said Koch.

Perhaps one of those teammates will be Brett Canepa, who will return to action against Dartmouth after sitting out versus Hartford for the red card he was issued the previous game.

Offensive production is not the only area on the field that must improve. Leadership and accountability are subtle aspects of the game that the Minutemen currently lack.

“That’s extremely hard to tell a teammate that he’s not doing his job. That’s easy for me to do, but it’s hard for a fellow player to do,” said Koch.

Shane Curran-Hays will likely be the goaltender for the Minutemen come Saturday. Despite his 1-5 record, Curran-Hays has played well in net, registering a 1.12 goals-against-average and .794 save percentage.

Dartmouth enters the match coming off of two losses. Like UMass, the Big Green have packed their non-conference schedule with games against impressive opponents such as Tulsa, Southern Methodist, South Florida, South Carolina and Boston College.

Big Green senior forward Lucky Mkosana has already accumulated three goals and one assist this season, and he’s enjoyed success in all four years of his career at Dartmouth.

In his career, Mkosana has produced gaudy numbers, scoring 64 points and 27 goals.

“He’s a force. He’s someone you have to be aware of. He’s a goal-scorer,” said Koch.

Noah Cohen starts in goal for Dartmouth and bring a 1.55 goals-against average and a .714 save percentage to Saturday’s match.

Last season the teams faced off for the first time since 2007 and played to a 1-1 draw.

“We need a result. We need to play well. We need to feel that the stuff is working,” said Koch.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at jtalexan@student.umass.edu.

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