Minutewomen drop three straight against ranked opponents
The Massachusetts field hockey team suffered its third loss in a row against ranked opponents to No. 17 Boston University (5-3) this weekend at Garber Field.
UMass failed to recover from an early Terrier lead off–an unassisted goal by junior forward Tabi Hatch. With forward Leslie Zules assist, Hatch scored off a corner pass from the left side. The Minutewomen (2-6) had a couple opportunities on the goal but defender Callie Sweigart and forward Nicole Cordero could not connect with the back of the net.
“We were confident but we lost structure throughout the game” said UMass coach Tagliente.
Despite holding the Terriers to a 1-0 lead in the first half, the Minutewomen appeared to be less competitive in the second half. At the 31 minute mark, midfielder Giovanna Monaco scored the second goal of the game with no assistance. With a loose ball in front of the net, Monaco capitalized by connecting on her first attempt on the goal.
Separated by over nine minutes of play, Hatch followed up Monaco’s goal with her second of the night. Coming off a short pass in front of the net by midfielder Kat Spring, Hatch connected again for her second on the game and her fourth for the season.
“We stopped playing after BU scored the first goal,” said Tagliente.
Goalkeeper Jess Maroney, who shut out the Minutewomen by collecting six saves, anchored the Terriers suffocating defense. UMass was held to 12 shots for the game and five in the second half.
UMass goalkeeper Alesha Widdall collected eight saves on the night but found it difficult to keep with the second and third chance opportunities that the Terriers were getting.
“Alesha [Widdall] did a good job making first chance saves,” said Tagliente “but we need to start creating more opportunities for ourselves.”
It was a disappointing loss for the Minutewomen as they were unable collect a win in their last three games against ranked opponents and it was the first of which they were shutout.
“This was the first game where I didn’t see improvement” said Tagliente. “But it does prepare us for what’s to come.”
The Minutewoman face No. 4 Connecticut and No. 5 Syracuse in their next two games, which would make a five-game stretch against ranked opponents. UMass looks to use this stretch to its advantage by using it as a learning experience to prepare for Atlantic 10 play.
“Before we prepare for these upcoming games, we need to do some soul-searching” said Tagliente. “It’s the first game where I did not see improvement with our players.”
UMass hopes to overcome its struggles these last few games as it heads to Storrs, Conn. to take on the resilient Huskies this Wednesday night.
De’Shawn Townsend can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.