Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Pair of sophomores stepping up for UMass

Collegian File Photo

While it may not be obvious to the majority of fans, it should really come as no surprise that Matt Keys and Josh Schwartz have played with such successful coherence for the Massachusetts men’s soccer team this season.

To the outside observer, there might not be a more mismatched pair of players on the team. Keys, at 6-foot-4 inches tall, is a physically-imposing presence, while the 5-foot-6-inch Schwartz,  is anything but. UMass assistant coach Devin O’Neill knows there’s more to this talented sophomore duo than meets the eye, however.

“I don’t know if (people) are aware, but they’re roommates,” O’Neill said, chuckling to himself. “They tag along together, and they’re like (famous comic strip pairing) Mutt and Jeff.”

While their physical appearances may be a study in contrast, the superb performances Keys and Schwartz have combined to put forth on the field this year have helped to keep a young, inexperienced Minutemen team afloat.

Schwartz, who nailed game winners against Vermont and Saint Joseph’s earlier this season, is first or second on the team in every significant offensive category, including goals (five), assists (two), points (12) and shots taken (25) through 14 games played.

Keys, whose defensive presence at center back limits his scoring opportunities, has still managed to follow up his roommate for second on the team with three goals (on nine shots) and six points.

No more apparent was the connection between the two players than during UMass’ most recent game, a 3-0 road win over George Washington on Sunday. Pressed to keep pace with a logjam of teams fighting for a seed in the upcoming Atlantic 10  tournament, Keys and Schwartz were responsible for all three of the Minutemen’s goals in the contest.

Schwartz helped kickstart victory by feeding his roommate down in front of the net – the second coming off a corner kick – for a pair of headers into the net.

“Matt’s goals were on restarts that Josh served to him,” O’Neill said. “Matt did a phenomenal job finishing them. They were very good balls in there that Josh served.”

Schwartz then completed the scoring flurry with a goal of his own, this time coming on a pass in traffic from Connor Devivo.

“He took (the pass from Devivo) really well off his chest,” O’Neill said. “It wasn’t easy and (he) just finished it really calmly.

“Wonderful, wonderful game for those two guys,” he said.

Though the 2012 season has been a rough, up-and-down affair, the expected production of the Keys and Schwartz odd-ball combination gives the coaching staff reason for future hope.

“They’re a funny pair,” O’Neill said. “They’re thick as thieves, they’re best friends and they’re playing both very well.

“We feel good that they’re going to have a few more years and are doing such a great job,” he said.

Frame recovering from leg injury

Goalkeeper Brian Frame has been a stalwart presence for UMass in 2012, recording five shutouts and playing in all but seven of the more than 1300 cumulative minutes played by the team this season. But a quadriceps injury suffered in the Minutemen’s 2-0 loss to Temple on Oct. 14 has slowed the senior goalkeeper of late.

Fortunately for the team’s tournament hopes, Frame is not expected to miss extended time with the ailment.

“It has not hampered his ability in shot stopping and dealing with crosses,” O’Neill said. “His mobility seems to be where it normally has been.”

O’Neill noted that the injury has forced Frame to make adjustments to his kicking game, however.

“Bob Kuzmeski, our athletic trainer, does a wonderful job,” O’Neill said. “So, we expect (Frame) to be hopefully back at full fitness real soon.”

If Frame’s quad injury does force him to the sidelines, fellow senior Kellen Rauch is slotted to take over in net.

Daniel Malone can be reached at dmalone@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Daniel_Malone.

 

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