Before the weekend started, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team had scored a season total of 15 goals in 14 games, with senior forward Brittany Moore and junior midfielder Alyssa D’Arcy tied as leading scorers with three goals apiece.
Things have changed.
In a 3-1 win and a 3-2 loss over the weekend, Moore emerged as the leading scorer, scoring all five of the team’s goals. Moore’s season total of eight goals accounts for 40 percent of the team’s total scoring.
The numbers alone should speak volumes of what Moore means to the struggling Minutewomen’s (6-8-2, 2-3-1 A-10) offense. However, UMass Ed Matz knows Moore’s impact reaches beyond regular statistics.
“Her speed makes it so difficult to mark her,” Matz said. “She has a great shot, she has the ability to cross, there’s the fact that she tracks back and plays good defense, and she’s good in the air. She has a lot of the tangibles that make her a good player.”
Matz believes that Moore actually needs to be more involved in the offense in order for the team to make a run at the Atlantic-10 Tournament.
“I met with Brit this week just to go over some film and I implored her,” Matz said after Friday’s win, a game in which Moore notched her first career hat-trick. “I said, ‘You know Brit, you need to take three-to-five shots a game for us to have a run in these last games and have a chance to get into the A-10 (Tournament).’
“She has a tremendous shot, but sometimes she doesn’t shoot. I told her (she) needs to be more selfish and needs to shoot.”
Despite the talks she had with Matz on getting shots off, Moore said after her hat trick that she almost didn’t shoot, especially on her first goal which gave UMass the first lead of the game.
“On the first (goal), I actually had a horrible angle off to the side, but Ed keeps yelling at me for not shooting,” Moore said. “I just shot it, even though I didn’t want to, and it ended up going in on the other corner.”
As good as Moore has been on offense, she just scored her first collegiate goal this season, which came in a 1-1 tie against New Hampshire on Sept. 9.
This isn’t a result of scoring troubles in her first three seasons, however; This is just the first year she has been in the forward position in her soccer career.
“Brittany, first of all, has had a tremendous attitude this year,” Matz said. “Brit came in to us as a defender and has been a defender her whole career and we moved her up at striker this year kind of out of necessity.”
In this first year of playing on the offensive side of the ball, Moore started out well, scoring a few goals in the beginning of the season, but never had any eye-opening performances. This recent outbreak will definitely help the team for the rest of the season, and Matz describes it to be simply a “senior moment.”
“I told the seniors, ‘you guys have four games left in your career, if you want to make it five we have to start winning some games’,” Matz said. “Brit really took that to heart. I think she has gotten away from the things that were making her so successful early on, but these last two or three games she’s been awesome.”
Tom Mulherin can be reached at email@example.com.