Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer earns double overtime draw against Central Connecticut -

Friday, September 4, 2015

Offensive struggles continue for UMass men’s soccer team in loss to Columbia -

Friday, September 4, 2015

UMass field hockey pulls off thrilling overtime victory against Northeastern -

Thursday, September 3, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Kicking competition between Blake Lucas, Mike Caggiano nearing decision -

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Adam Liccardi found guilty in UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jackson Porter adapting well following switch to wide receiver -

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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

Minutewomen focused on improving

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Carla Tagliente isn’t feeling like a field hockey coach.

She feels like a jockey instructor.

“It’s like letting the horses out of the gate right now,” she said. “Everyone is just sprinting and excited to get out there.”

The Massachusetts field hockey team is looking to improve on its 7-11 season last year that ended with a 4-0 loss to Temple in the Atlantic 10 semifinals.

It won’t be too hard to make it back there, Tagliente said.

“We have returning players that trained really hard all year that have gotten a lot better so I think in every line we are deeper,” Tagliente said.

Tagliente added that all the pieces are in place for an improved season, but she and her team still need to prove it on the field.

“The potential is there to be better on the field, but it is just going to be how we bring it together and how the leaders step up and lead this team,” Tagliente said.

One area the Minutewomen can improve is their play against out-of-conference teams. UMass dominated A-10 play with a 7-0 record, but went a mediocre 8-8 in its out-of-conference games.

Tagliente said the Minutewomen found so much success against conference opponents because they learned from their struggles against non-conference teams earlier in the season.

“That was a big growing time for us as a team,” Tagliente said, “but that set us off later in the season when we hit A-10 play.”

That growing period will help them this year, Tagliente said.

“As competitors, they were not satisfied with how they finished last year and the performance of the team last year,” Tagliente said. “And I think that they have taken responsibility for that and put it on their shoulders.

“Last year, I think we had a young team and we worked a lot on team dynamics and leadership and I think our leadership and how people step up to the plate will be key as well for us,” she said.

Field Hockey Preview from Daily Collegian on Vimeo Video by Cameron McDonough.

Depth doesn’t appear to be an issue for the Minutewomen either. The team graduated four players, with the rest of its starters returning to the field.

“I think [the depth] will enable us to have some sort of rotation with our lines that will not demand 70 minutes from any one player,” Tagliente said. “That will create a level of consistency in our play that we haven’t had in the past.”

Scoring has been an issue for UMass in recent seasons. Last season, Tagliente’s squad averaged 1.56 goals per game.

She doesn’t expect a weak offense again.

“I think we have some players that have improved a lot and we have some players who are going to come into the program and add a level of excitement and style of play that this program has not seen in awhile,” Tagliente said.

Contrarily, the defense has been a mainstay of success for the Minutewomen. The back line gave up more than two goals only three times last season.

Last year’s goalkeeper Alesha Widdall, who is now a member of the United States national field hockey team, was key piece of the defense. Widdall will be hard to replace, especially with freshman Sam Carlino listed as the only goaltender on the roster.

“The one position we aren’t as experienced in is the goaltender position,” Tagliente said. “When you lose a player like Alesha Widdall, those are big shoes to fill.”

And with wins over No. 18 New Hampshire and No. 15 Ohio State to start the season, Tagliente is got a good look at how her squad matches up with the best of the best.

Matt Levine can be reached at matthewl@student.umass.edu.

 

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