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UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trio of Minutewomen looked to carry offense through postseason

Matt Modica/Collegian

The Minutewomen have made the dance again.

For its third consecutive season, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team has qualified for the Atlantic 10 tournament which begins Thursday when the No. 4 Minutewomen travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on No. 5 Saint Bonaventure at 5 p.m. at Bajuan Field.

The winner will advance to the face either No. 1 La Salle or No. 2 Richmond on Friday, Nov. 4.

UMass goes into the A-10 tournament after concluding a very successful regular season. The Minutewomen finished the year at 12-4-2, the most wins in the program since 1997, when they last won the conference title. UMass also posted a 6-2-1 conference record

Statistically, the Minutewomen rank as one of the best defensive squads in the A-10. UMass ranks second in goals allowed (six), saves (56) and shutouts (5), as well as third in goals-against average (0.65).

UMass has also made its presence felt on the national scale. In Division I, the Minutewomen rank 14th in save percentage (.875), 23rd in shutout percentage (.556) and 34th in goals-against average (.755).

A large part for UMass’ success comes from goalkeeper Emily Cota, who has started for UMass every game since Sept. 9 at Harvard. After suffering a 2-1 loss against the Crimson, Cota helped the Minutewomen roll out a streak of six straight wins, the first five of which were shutouts. The team went unbeaten from Sept. 11 against Boston University until Oct. 16 against La Salle, when they lost in a 3-2 overtime thriller.

Cota, a junior, has been a staple for the program for the last two years. She has started 27 games over the last two seasons, recording a combined 13 shutouts. Statistically, Cota is one of the best in the nation, ranking sixth in the country in save percentage (.907) and 14th in goals-against average (.559).

On the offensive side, the 2010 campaign was about getting the ball to and around then-senior Therese Smith. Following her graduation, however, coach Ed Matz has designed game plans to distribute the ball to players all over the field in order to get all of his players involved.

Two players have notably stepped up for UMass this season – seniors Deanna Colarossi and Julie Morrissey. Colarossi, who led the team in goals last season, returned this year and again contributed heavily on offense. She has notched four goals and three assists for 11 points, good for second on the team. Much of Colarossi’s offense has come in big games, which include an assist in a 1-0 victory over nationally ranked Boston University and the only goal in a 1-0 win over Brown.

Another threat offensively has come from senior transfer Julie Morrissey, whose up-tempo presence has added a different dimension that was once not there. Morrissey’s seven goals and 15 points have represented a major difference this season and she has been a player who the whole team can lean on.

Recently, another major contributor has stepped up to help carry the load, freshman Tori Sousa. Sousa, a native of Nashua, N.H., has netted three goals this season, good for third-highest on the team behind Morrissey and Colarossi. Against Charlotte, she sent home the game winner in a 1-0 victory on her way earning an A-10 Rookie of the Week honor that was announced Oct. 17.

The trio will have to continue to produce in the postseason, with their first game scheduled for Thursday against Saint Bonaventure.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at scournoy@student.umass.edu or followed on Twitter @MDC_Cournoyer.

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