October 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trio of freshmen leading UMass hockey’s offense early in the season -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A guide to comic collecting in the Pioneer Valley -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Letter: What’s behind the curtains on Birthright trips? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FBI director’s fear-mongering view of data encryption is off the mark -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass Permaculture Initiative to add three new programs -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick visits Amherst, awards $1.5 million grant for downtown development -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UHS offers more accessible vaccination clinics as flu season nears -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gamard: Is gluten really bad or just a fad? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three new students appointed as SGA special assistants -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Allymohamed scores game winner after suffering facial injury against Boston University -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loaded weekend against Marist, Keene State challenges UMass club hockey -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UMass football seeing improvement on both the offensive and defensive lines -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Remembering Derek Jeter: an appraisal -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yellowcard switches things up on “Lift a Sail” -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Campus Sustainability Day to take place Wednesday -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UMass men’s soccer preps for weekend tournament

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team will play in Vermont’s Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Windjammer Classic this weekend hoping to build upon a pair of strong defensive showings  in its opening weekend.

UMass (0-1-1) allowed only a single goal in two showings against Evansville and Bradley, coming to a scoreless draw against Evansville and losing to Bradley, 1-0, in consecutive overtime battles.

Now, the Minutemen look to make greater strides against both New Hampshire (1-1) and Vermont (1-0-1) in what UMass coach Sam Koch described as a “huge weekend.”

Koch acknowledged the challenge both teams posed for his young squad while particularly highlighting UNH, which defeated Evansville in the same tournament a week ago.

“New Hampshire I think is one of the better New Hampshire teams I’ve seen in a long time,” Koch said. “They work off the ball very well, they have a good understanding with each other and they have three, I think, very good players.”

Koch hinted that UNH may provide his team with a good sense of where it progressed early in the season.

“I think it’s going to be a great game, a great test for us,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us no doubt. New Hampshire is the game we have to worry about right now.”

If UMass is going to beat the Wildcats, it’ll have to slow down their potent attack. Fortunately for the Minutemen, goalkeeper Nick Ruiz was on top of his game in the opening week, allowing just one goal in two contests.
Josh Schwartz, the Minutemen’s leading point scorer from a year ago, was impressed by Ruiz’s importance.

“He played great, really well,” Schwartz said. “(Ruiz) has been great, big time saves.”

Koch expanded on Schwartz’s sentiments.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start. Obviously we were snake bit a little bit. We gotta get him to be able to talk to the snakes better so we can get some goals for him and he won’t get bitten,” Koch added in a humorous moment referencing the team’s lack of early goal scoring.

While Koch made light of the current situation, there’s a sense the offense needs to capitalize on more opportunities going forward.

“Bottom line is you gotta put your chances away to win games and we haven’t done it,” Koch said. “Is it a concern? It’s a concern. Is it a major concern? Not right now. The whole emphasis right now is making sure we defend well and I think we showed this weekend we can do that.”

Schwartz brushed off any ideas that the offense was an issue despite UMass being outshot 41-19 through two games.

“Not so much, we’re getting used to each other,” he said. “We were defending a lot, we were really tired after the first game. In all honesty, the first game we should’ve won I think, we had some chances in the second half and the overtime but I think we’re gonna keep progressing. I’m not too concerned right now.”

The Minutemen will take on New Hampshire on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at mchiarel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.

 

 

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