April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minutemen still searching for first win

When the Massachusetts men’s soccer team steps onto Rudd Field on Wednesday to take on Fairfield, it will do so in the midst of one of the longest losing streaks in head coach Sam Koch’s tenure.

Nicole Evangelista/Daily Collegian

Dropping its fifth straight game on Sunday to Dartmouth, UMass (0-5-1) matched the 2011 and 1998 Minutemen teams with the longest single-season losing streak since 1990.

The losing streak has certainly been frustrating for the Minutemen, but the team remains positive and focused on the bigger picture.

“I feel very good about their attitude and their resolve to get better each week,” Koch said. “And it’s with the idea that when we play against VCU at the start of the conference, that’s when our season really starts and that’s what the guys are gearing towards.”

And with the competitive Stags (1-1-1) team coming to Amherst, Koch believes that his team can take away many lessons from the loss to Dartmouth.

“I felt like the game could have gone either way,” Koch said. “As I felt the first 25 minutes, we had Dartmouth pinned in pretty well and we had chances, but we just didn’t finish them.”

Even if Koch and the team can find the silver linings in its latest loss, UMass still needs to change things if it wants to earn that elusive first win.

The Minutemen went over different tactics in practice on Tuesday and much of what they focused on was making sure they are protecting the ball better on the attack.

“The trouble with us having to defend all the time is because we give the ball away,” Koch said. “So we’re not as clean in our attacking play as we need to be to be able to continue on our attacks and get our opportunities.”

Unlike many other New England schools, the Minutemen and the Stags don’t have a longstanding history or rivalry. Wednesday’s game will only be their 12th meeting and the first since 2010, a game that saw both teams play to a goalless draw.

On top of that, this will be Fairfield’s fourth game of the season, making it a challenge for UMass to prepare for it.

“The tough thing is that they’ve only played three games,” Koch said. “So nobody knows a lot about them because they haven’t played a lot.”

And with their offensive woes still continuing—only scoring two goals in their first five games—the Minutemen don’t seem to be getting a break against the Stags.

Although Fairfield freshman goalkeeper Joe Martin was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week last week after posting a 1-0 shutout over Yale to get his team its first win of the season, Koch still believes that, like in his team’s previous games, much of the onus lies heavily on his players to determine the outcome of the game.

“The focus going into tomorrow’s game isn’t Fairfield, it’s us,” Koch said. “It’s doing the things that I just talked about, making sure that we support each other better. Our support angles are better. The options that the player with the ball has are numerous versus limited. All of that will be taken care of by how well we play, focusing on us and focusing on the principles that we need to do well to be successful.”

Kickoff for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Rudd Field.

 

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Strohecker.

 

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