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February 18, 2017

UMass women’s soccer completes comeback win in overtime

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team may be making a habit of overtime wins.

Jeff Bernstein/ Collegian File Photo

The Minutewomen picked up their third win in extra time in their last two contests with a 2-1 comeback victory over Northeastern at Rudd Field on Sunday.

The 1-1 match was broken just five minutes into overtime as forward Megan Burke took an overhead pass from Madison Smith and found the back of the net on a chip shot over the goalkeeper.

“Personally, I was just trying to get my body in front of [the ball],” Burke said on the play. “I was hoping to just get a touch, or anything. I got the touch and I guess the shot was perfect.”

UMass (3-5-1) trailed the Huskies (0-6-3) throughout most of the game after Shayna Blackwood gave Northeastern the lead on a goal in the first half. Despite getting off eight shots in the first half, the Minutewomen failed to execute on their opportunities, and went into halftime behind 1-0.

Once the second half came, the UMass offense brought a newly-found spark that was missing throughout the first half. This spark kept the ball on the Huskies’ side of the field, leading to a goal by Brittany Moore off of a booming set kick from co-captain Lauren Skesavage, tying the game in the 66th minute.

UMass coach Ed Matz tried to rally his team with a halftime speech and he was pleased with the way the players responded.

“I told them they were playing well,” Matz said. “I said it’s going to come, and Brit [Moore], who has been tremendous for us, just got to that ball.”

Skesavage, who also thought the team did well, had a few words of admiration for her team after the game.

“[The defense] really stepped up,” Skesavage said when characterizing the team. “[Sunday] I think that we showed that we all have a lot of heart, and we are going to try to keep up the intensity for the rest of our games.”

UMass falls to Brown

After finishing up a four-game road trip that ended with a win at Lamar, UMass lost its momentum in a 2-1 loss on Thursday.

The Minutewomen were plagued by poor defense in the loss to the Bears (3-2-0), particularly when defending corner kicks. Both Brown goals were scored off of the set pieces, including the eventual game-clinching goal in which UMass recorded an own goal when the ball deflected off of one of its defenders.

“Defensively, we just don’t have enough determination and enough perseverance to get the ball off,” Matz said on corner kicks. “We are good from 18-to-18 but we lack a commitment to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to get the ball out.”

Despite the weaknesses the defense has on corner kicks, a more consistent issue that the team has is within the offense, as the squad has had troubles with taking advantage off of the low-scoring performances other teams have when facing the UMass defense.

As for the Brown game, the Minutewomen did find the back of the net on an Alyssa D’Arcy goal just before the half to tie the game. However, that was the only goal that UMass had, failing to tie the game at two before the final whistle.

“We needed to win the ball more,” Julia Weithofer said. “We need to find our players offensively. We were getting [the ball] forward, but we just couldn’t finish in the final third.”

 

Tom Mulherin can be reached at tmulheri@umass.edu

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