Scrolling Headlines:

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

May 14, 2016

UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

May 11, 2016

UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

May 9, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse beats St. Joe’s, advance to Atlantic 10 championship game -

May 7, 2016

Lack of offense plagues UMass baseball in game two of doubleheader with Fordham -

May 1, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Davidson 12-5 on Senior Day -

May 1, 2016

Two arrested after report of aggravated robbery in Washington Hall last night -

May 1, 2016

Former UMass wide receiver Tajae Sharpe selected in fifth round of 2016 NFL Draft -

April 30, 2016

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.

 

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