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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

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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

No. 19 UMass kicks off A-10 Tournament vs Temple

Cade Belisle/Collegian

The 19th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team will get a little déjà vu when it takes on Temple in the Atlantic 10 semifinals Friday at Garber Field.

The two teams also met in last year’s semifinal in Philadelphia when the third-seeded Owls ended the second-seeded Minutewomen’s season with a 4-0 triumph.

However, UMass (12-8, 6-1 A-10) won the most recent meeting between the two teams on Oct. 26 at Garber Field by a 4-1 final.

The Minutewomen recorded the first goal of the game after senior scoring-leader, midfielder Kim Young, notched a goal after a scoreless half in the 39th minute of play.

Freshman midfielders Courtney Spleen and A-10 Rookie of the Week Noralie Weusthuis were the other Minutewomen to score goals in the win.

While the ultimate goal is to win the entire tournament, which includes Saturday’s championship game at 2 p.m. also at Garber Field, UMass coach Carla Tagliente has her team focused solely on taking care of business against the Owls.

“We’re pretty confident in playing them,” Tagliente said. “We’re taking it a game at a time. I think we’ve proven ourselves, we’re an outstanding team, but we need to focus on Temple first and then we’ll focus on who we play next.”

UMass is currently riding a seven-game winning-streak after a 4-0 win over Lock Haven in the regular season finale on Sunday, something that has Tagliente feeling good about her team’s chances in the tournament.

“I think we’re a very good offensive team,” Tagliente said. “Our goals per game is so much higher than last year and we’ve proven we can score goals, but we’ve just been outstanding on defense as well and kept it clean the past few games. The defense has been outstanding and they really start everything up front, but to be able to score goals and finish our opportunities, that’s something you can’t really quantify.”

The Owls come to Amherst with a win in their pocket, having beaten Saint Joseph’s 4-1 on Sunday. Temple’s attack has been powered by sophomore forward Amber Youtz with 52 points on the year, including 21 goals. Following Youtz is  Nicole Kroener with 25 points, while Lauren Hunt and Katie Briglia have totaled 23 points each.

The Minutewomen’s strongest tools in the match will be Young’s offensive touch, along with the prowess of senior forward Nicole Cordero and senior defender Thando Zono, who have recorded 25 and 18 points, respectively.

Cordero and Zono’s play have earned them a spot in the 2012 Division I Senior Game, held on Nov. 17 at Old Dominion, after being selected to participate by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

Following suit is Weusthuis, who posted 14 points this season, including three goals in the span of two games when UMass outscored its opposition 8-1.

Weusthuis, who is the only freshman in the top five in scoring for the Minutewomen, credited the seniors for their leadership and influence on her play along with the success of the team.

“They’re really good leaders on the field and they make the team (unified),” Weusthuis said. “Everyone is included, even the new freshman.”

With emotions and expectations running high before the semifinals, senior defender Elizabeth Karns believes the practice the team has put in all season will pay off in the end.

“We’ve been working in practice on getting in goal scoring positions, getting every ball on cage and feeding balls in so people can have a tip or just get (creative) with the ball,” Karns said. “(Temple is) always a very good team, they play well against us and they always give us a run, so we’re looking at it one game at a time, but we’re definitely ready.”

Peter Cappiello can be reached at pcappiel@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Cappiello.

 

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