Scrolling Headlines:

UMass professor wins big on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 23, 2017

SGA president selects new vice president -

January 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball blows 15 point fourth quarter lead, loses in double overtime to George Washington -

January 23, 2017

UMass club hockey falls to NYU 3-2 in first game back from vacation -

January 23, 2017

Cyr: Expectations for UMass men’s basketball remain consistent throughout 2016-17 season -

January 23, 2017

The death penalty is not the answer -

January 23, 2017

Donald Trump is gutting journalism with his Twitter -

January 23, 2017

Winter break’s most overlooked releases -

January 23, 2017

Hardly anything in ‘Rogue One’ scores a direct hit -

January 23, 2017

Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

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

Field hockey to take on Syracuse and Ohio State in weekend road trip

The 7th-ranked Massachusetts field hockey team will have a chance for payback on Friday, as they visit No. 6 Syracuse, the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last season.

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Despite the recent history between the two teams (which also includes UMass defeating the Orange, who were ranked No. 1 at the time, earlier last year), coach Carla Tagliente said that the team is focused on the present.

“I don’t think our heads are back at that point,” she said. “When you have a great opponent in front of you, you’re just looking to play your game, rise to the occasion and really demonstrate what we have.”

So far this season, Syracuse (4-0) has been just as strong on defense as the Minutewomen (5-0), with both teams allowing just one goal per game. Both teams are also among the top offensive teams in the NCAA, with the Orange having the sixth highest scoring offense (4.75 goals per game) and UMass having the 10th (3.6).

After defeating then-No. 19 Boston College on Sunday, the Minutewomen will be taking on their second straight top-20 opponent. Tagliente said that taking on BC helped the team prepare for the upcoming game against Syracuse.

“Boston College tested us in a lot of different ways,” she said. “BC definitely has helped us prepare a lot, and they press a little similarly to Syracuse as well.”

UMass will follow up the game against the Orange with a game against Ohio State (2-2) on Saturday. Tagliente said that the two teams have very different styles of play.

“Syracuse plays a better collective game, their structure outletting is really strong,” she said. “Ohio State, they have really skilled players, but they lean on a few players more than Syracuse does and rely on players to eliminate through the midfield one-on-one, whereas Syracuse, they have a great passing game and a great structure.”

The Buckeyes haven’t been as strong offensively or defensively as the Minutewomen so far this season, scoring the same amount of goals as their opponents (2.5 per game). Ohio State has played UMass three times in its team history, but has yet to beat the Minutewomen, although they came close in their last game on Aug. 25, 2012, losing in overtime by a score of 2-1.

Tagliente said the games will be an opportunity for the team to improve, particularly in penalty corner play.

“Both teams will have strong corner attacks, so it’s a key opportunity for us to seize those moments on our defensive corners and our attack corners,” she said.

The first game against the Orange is set to start at 3 p.m. on Friday at Syracuse.

 

Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at jmayfiel@umass.edu and can be followed on Twitter @jgms88.

 

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