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May 4, 2017

UMass gains 4 points over weekend

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team embarked on its first Atlantic 10 road trip of the season and came away with a victory and a draw.

On Sunday afternoon, the Minutemen (4-9-1, 2-1-1 A-10) played to a 0-0 draw with La Salle at McCarthy Stadium in Philadelphia.

There was no dearth of scoring opportunities for either team despite the final score as the teams combined for 40 shots overall.

UMass unloaded 21 shots, with 11 challenging LSU goalkeeper John McCarthy, while the Explorers (4-6-3, 2-0-2 A-10) took 19 shots, and forced Maroon and White goaltender Shane Curran-Hays to make four saves.

After 90 minutes, neither team had found the back of the net, despite numerous chances including a David Key shot that bounced off the crossbar in the 12th minute.

La Salle’s Andre Weyershaeuser also had a shot go off the woodwork in the 92nd minute.

Neither team scored in the two 10-minute overtime periods either, meaning the end result would be a tie, with each team being rewarded one point in the standings.

Sunday’s game was UMass’ fourth overtime contest of the season, bringing its overtime record to 1-2-1 in games that required an extra period.

Junior Hellah Sidibe (seven shots) and senior Chris Roswess (three shots) highlighted an offensive attack that saw 11 different players attempt at least one shot. In addition, the 21 shots at La Salle was a season high.

On the other side, Jason Plumhoff led the Explorers with five shots, while Weyershaeuser and Ryan Sepe contributed three shots apiece.

Senior Bryant Craft, last year’s top scorer for the Minutemen, made his return to the lineup Sunday afternoon after missing the last four games with an injury.

Despite the return, Craft was unable to make his presence felt on offense as he was held without a shot in the game.

UMass had played well without Craft as it went 3-1 during his absence including an impressive wins against formerly No. 19 Bradley, and A-10’s second-place team, Fordham.

With the draw, the Minutemen now sit in a three-way tie for third place with five regular season games left on the schedule. Considering that those remaining games are against lesser opponents, UMass might have a legitimate shot at making the A-10 Tournament.

The Minutemen will continue their road trip as they return to the state of Pennsylvania for a 7 p.m. battle with Duquesne next Friday.

Leading Rams rocked

Sunday’s tie came on the heels of a 1-0 victory for the Minutemen on Friday at the Rams (7-5-1, 3-1-0 A-10).

The win was UMass’ third in four games and their second-straight against an A-10 opponent.

Emerging sophomore star Brett Canepa scored the game’s only goal in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick.

Canepa duplicated his previous game’s performance against Saint Louis when he also scored on a penalty kick to give his team a 1-0 win. The goal was his third of the season, and he leads the team in points (seven) and goals (three).

UMass emerged with a victory despite being dominated in shots taken by the Rams.

Fordham outshot the Minutemen, 15-5, but the Rams only put two of those shots on goal.

Play slowed significantly towards the end of the second half as neither team attempted a shot during the last 24 minutes.

Matt Courtenay tallied a game-high five shots and Nathaniel Bekoe and Jon Niyonsaba both had three shots for Fordham.

Curran-Hays was again a brick wall in net for UMass, stopping two shots, while his counterpart, Ryan Meara made three saves.

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

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