Scrolling Headlines:

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

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

A-10 parity evident in standings

When Atlantic 10 play began for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team last week, the team had won four in a row and was ready to test a conference that UMass coach Ed Matz said had a lot of parity.

The Minutewomen (8-2-2, 2-0-1 A-10) came out of last weekend having extended their unbeaten streak to seven games, defeating and tying Charlotte and Saint Louis, respectively.

UMass is now back at home where its spent much of their time this season. Sitting in third place in the A-10, the squad sad it is ready to face Fordham and La Salle.

However, Matz made clear that what’s in the standings doesn’t always reflect what’s seen on the field.

“It’s extremely difficult to win on your opponent’s field,” said Matz.

The tie against SLU last weekend extended the Billikens’ (4-5-3, 2-0-1 A-10) home unbeaten streak to seven games. However, SLU is winless away from home.

Likewise, the Minutewomen have had similar success at home, not having lost at Rudd Field since Sept. 4 in a 4-1 defeat against Bryant.

“[St. Louis] played some very good teams non-conference,” said Matz. “Charlotte has been one of the best teams in the A-10 for the last four or five years.”

Last year, Charlotte (4-7-3, 1-2-0 A-10) finished with a regular season conference record of 8-1-0, eventually losing to Dayton in the conference tournament championship game.

Looking at the conference as a whole, the parody Matz spoke of is certainly there. Over half of the 14 teams have a winning record as of Oct. 12. The conference includes teams that have as many as 12 wins and teams with as little as two, and almost everything in between.

“You have to play well every single game. I feel that the A-10 as a whole has had a very successful year in women’s soccer,” said Matz.

Three of the A-10’s schools, including UMass, fall within the top 70 teams in the nation.

Among the teams in the A-10, Dayton and La Salle currently rank 21st and 31st in the NCAA Division I RPI rankings, while UMass sits at 68th.

While there is certainly a long way to go in the A-10 schedule, Matz is already aware of how tight things can actually get in-conference. Last year a game between Fordham and UMass decided who went to the A-10 playoffs. The Minutewomen secured the victory and advanced, but Matz said he would imagine the loss still hangs in the heads of the Rams’ players.

“I’m sure that’s in the back of the Fordham player’s minds,” said Matz.

The conference’s parody would look even greater if not for La Salle, which has defeated its A-10 opponents by a score of 15-1 in the first four conference games. The single close game came against Dayton, when the Explorers upset the Flyers 2-1.

As of right now, it’s still apparent that teams aren’t just rolling over for the top-tier teams.

The Flyers, while they currently have a higher national ranking than the Explorers, have played some close in-conference games so far, defeating the likes of Xavier (5-6-1, 0-3-0 A-10) and Fordham each by the score of 2-1.

Ties and games with a difference of only one goal have been plentiful so far this season, two of which came within the last two games UMass played.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at eamansfi@student.umass.edu.

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