Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

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.

 

Leave A Comment