Scrolling Headlines:

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

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

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

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 field hockey benefitting from tough non-conference schedule

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team has made a habit of overcoming ranked opponents in recent years.

UMass knocked off six teams ranked in the Top 25 last season on its way to the NCAA Tournament and have already beaten two ranked opponents just five games into 2013.

The seventh-ranked Minutewomen (5-0) will have a shot at win No. 3 over ranked teams when they take on No. 6 Syracuse – a team they played twice last season, winning one at home and losing the other in the Tournament – on Friday at 3 p.m.

Why so many nationally-ranked opponents?

According to UMass coach Carla Tagliente, it’s a perfect measuring stick for her team early in the season.

“It’s good because it gives us the chance to play against some of the best teams in the country and allows us to measure where we are at and what we’ll need to improve on,” she said.

And with Atlantic 10 play quickly approaching, it’s also a significant confidence booster for a team with its sights set on a repeat as conference champions.

“It’s very helpful because it shows me where some of our strong points are, as well as some of the areas we need to work on,” Tagliente said. “To have the success that we have had early on in the season is very important because it gives us confidence when moving forward.”

UMass started the season ranked No. 14 in the nation, but gathered big wins over Michigan and in-state rival Boston College, who were ranked No. 9 and No. 19, respectively, to propel the Minutewomen into the Top 10 for the first time this season.

While games versus ranked opponents certainly appear to be important contests, Tagliente treats them as any ordinary game..

“It’s just another game for us to go out and win. The rankings give us a reference about how strong our team is compared to others,” Tagliente said. “It doesn’t matter if we are playing the (No. 1) team or the (No. 79) team, it’s an opportunity for us to work on what we need to work on and get better.”

As for this Friday’s battle with Syracuse, Tagliente sees a major test for her team.

“I don’t think we view them as a rival, but it’s a really exciting opportunity to play against a top team and improve on our performances from the last two times we faced them,” Tagliente said.

Jason Kates can be reached at jkates@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “UMass field hockey benefitting from tough non-conference schedule”
Leave A Comment