Molly MacDonnell may have had luck on her side, but it was enough to lift the 14th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team to a 4-2 win over No. 19 Boston College.
The forward dribbled along the left side of the attack circle and pushed a shot across the front of the net. The ball deflected off an Eagles defender and went into the back of the net for MacDonnell’s first goal of the season.
The goal put the Minutewomen back on top, 3-2, in the second half after BC rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the game at two apiece.
Brooke Sabia added an insurance goal – her second of the game and seventh of the season – on a penalty corner just seven minutes later, with Mel Sutherland and Izzie Delario providing the assists to seal the contest late in the second half and preserve UMass’ hot start to the season.
After allowing zero combined shots on goal to their last two opponents, the Minutewomen (5-0) allowed the Eagles to take 13 shots on Sunday alone. But goalkeeper Sam Carlino finished the game with nine saves and the defense added two more defensive saves.
UMass coach Carla Tagliente said Carlino played well and the goals she gave up were more a result of the number of penalty corners the team allowed BC to take (12).
“It’s definitely hard,” Tagliente said. “For two games, she didn’t see a shot, and to step into a game where you’re going to take 24 shots, it’s difficult.”
UMass was seemingly in control early when Sabia and Hannah Prince each scored to give the Minutewomen a 2-0 advantage at intermission, but the Eagles (4-1) started to mount a second half comeback.
Emma Plasteras scored BC’s first goal less than three minutes into the first period. After she provided the insert on a penalty corner play, she put the ball in the net after it was redirected her way by teammate Virgynia Muma.
The tying goal was scored on another penalty corner play. After the initial shot was blocked by a UMass defender, Emily McCoy got the loose ball and shot it in to knot the score at two apiece.
UMass shuts down Harvard
For the second game in a row, the Minutewomen shut out their opponents, defeating Harvard by a score of 3-0 on Friday.
Lauren Allymohamed opened up the scoring for UMass 25 minutes in, deflecting a penalty corner shot into the net to put the Minutewomen on the board, with Charlotte Verelst getting the assist.
Sabia put in another goal six minutes later, flicking it past Crimson goalkeeper Jenn Hatfield on the penalty corner shot, with Alexa Sikalis and Mariajose Rodriguez giving the assists, giving UMass a 2-0 lead into the half, while Harvard had yet to take a shot.
Delario added the final tally with a minute left to play, dribbling across the front of the cage and slapping it into the far left side of the net.
Despite the final outcome along with the fact that the Minutewomen outshot the Crimson 20-4 and didn’t allow a single shot on goal, Tagliente said she was disappointed with how the team let Harvard control the pace of the game.
“In games like these, we need to play our style of hockey, rise above who our opponent is,” she said.
“I think Harvard did a very good job at playing the tempo that they wanted to play. Tactically they’re very good, technically they’re not as good yet, I think they’re going to come along really well and be a strong team in the future. I thought that they controlled tempo really well.”
The Minutewomen will travel to Syracuse, N.Y., next weekend for the Syracuse Invitational, where they will take on Syracuse and Ohio State. The first game is set to start on Friday at 3 p.m.
Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be followed on Twitter @jgms88.