April 17, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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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