April 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

VIDEO: UMass United Ralley in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minutemen face must-win weekend

With just three games remaining until the Atlantic 10 tournament, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team finds itself on the outside looking in.

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Maria Uminski/Collegian

The Minutemen (4-10-2, 2-2-2 A-10) currently sit in ninth place in the A-10, one point behind sixth-place Temple. The top six teams in the conference advance to the A-10 tournament.

Coming away with positive results at home versus George Washington and Richmond this weekend will go a long way for UMass in reaching the tournament.

“We’re playing at home, we’re playing against two teams that I think we understand what they’ve got, we’ve just got to hold them off and put the ball in the back of the net,” said UMass coach Sam Koch.

Putting the ball in the back of the net has been easier said than done as of late. UMass has failed to score a goal over the last three games, games in which they went 0-1-2.

“We haven’t scored too many goals lately and that’s the thing that’s going to hold us back,” said Koch.

The Minutemen will look to break their scoring slump on Friday when George Washington (5-6-2, 3-2-0 A-10) comes to Rudd Field.

The Colonials are currently tied for sixth in the conference, an impressive place to be considering their disastrous 2010 season.

Last season GW finished 3-15 overall and went 1-8 in conference play.

“They got a couple guys up top that can score goals,” said Koch. “They’re very dangerous attacking-wise, We just need to stop them.”

Yoni Berhanu and Seth Rudolph are those guys Koch alluded to. Berhanu and Rudolph each have six goals, three assists and 15 points on the season. Those numbers put the duo tied for third place in points among all A-10 players.

If the Colonials have a weakness, it’s their home-road splits. They’ve gone 4-0 at home, 0-5 on the road and 1-1-2 on neutral sites. This advantage could be particularly beneficial to the Minutemen considering their struggles on the road (1-7-2) as well.

However, the home-road splits won’t be of consequence if UMass can’t get in the scoring column. Over the past three games, the Minutemen have created numerous opportunities, with nothing to show for them.

“Against Duquesne, we had a lot of great chances, their [goal]keeper made some great saves,” said Koch.

Duquesne outscored UMass in that game 4-0, but the play on the field was closer than the score indicated. The Dukes outshot the Minutemen by a narrow 17-14 margin and UMass won four corner kicks, compared to Duquesne’s three.

The Minutemen failed to register a win in their last three games, but have kept pace with their opponents statistically, outshooting them 58-57 in that span.

“It’s just one of those things, we’re getting opportunities, we’re just not finishing them the way we need too,” said Koch.

The Minutemen are led on offense by emerging sophomore star Brett Canepa, who ranks first on the team in points with seven.

If Canepa cannot contribute offensively for UMass, the onus will likely fall on Bryant Craft or Josh Schwartz, who are two capable scorers based on their performances this season and last.

Shane Curran-Hays will likely be in net for the Minutemen. Curran-Hays has four shutouts in the past five games and ranks fourth in goals-against average (1.07), third in save percentage (.805) and tied for second in shutouts (five) among A-10 goalies.

With two winnable games on the horizon this weekend, the opportunity to climb the A-10 standings is now.

“[They’re] both good teams. Both teams can certainly beat us, we’ve got our work cut out for us,” said Koch.

The A-10 tournament will take place in Saint Louis this season and if UMass expects to make the trip, the Minutemen must break the slump that’s infiltrating the offensive unit.

“We have got to score goals, I think if we do that, we’ll be going to St. Louis,” said Koch.

Jackson Alexander can be reached at jtalexan@student.umass.edu or you can follow him on twitter @MDC_Alexander.

 

Leave A Comment