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May 7, 2016

Renee Suter emerging as clutch scorer for UMass field hockey

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

It all started for sophomore midfielder Renee Suter on Oct. 6 in a non-conference game against in-state rival Boston University.

With the No. 10 Massachusetts field hockey team trailing 1-0 in the second half, Suter stepped up and smashed two penalty corner goals to give her team the 2-1 lead, and eventually the win.

Suter, who has started 12 out of 16 games this season, now has five goals in four games and hopes to extend this offensive display well into Atlantic-10 play.

“It’s really exciting to be given the opportunity to shoot on penalty corners, but collectively as a team we’ve been doing really well on penalty corners this year so that is always a goal of ours,” Suter said.

For Suter and the rest of the Minutewomen (12-4, 3-0 A-10), they know how important it is to continue to perform well offensively if they want to find conference success and go far in the NCAA Tournament.

“We know that we need to do well in the A-10’s to keep our season going, so we need to take this opportunity to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t, and learn from our mistakes so we are at our very best heading into NCAA’s,” Suter said.

UMass coach Carla Tagliente is happy with the emergence of Suter, and believes she’s a versatile weapon to mix into the offensive game plan.

“She’s definitely added another dimension for us in terms of giving us another look, and we’ve said it all year that we have a lot of depth at every position, especially with hitters and drivers,” Tagliente said. “Renee is blessed with one of the best corner shots I have ever seen, and we’ve got a number of people who can hit the ball quite well, so we are grateful to have the opportunity to rotate them, and she is just taking advantage of her opportunities.”

The timeliness of Suter’s goals has also stood out to Tagliente. Along with her two goals against BU, Suter also came up with a pair of key goals and an assist the following game at Saint Louis on Oct. 12 and capitalized again on one of her four shot attempts Friday against La Salle.

All three of those games resulted in UMass wins.

“We talk a lot about what we want our conversion percentage on attack corners to be, and I think we are just a hair above 20 percent, Tagliente said, “so if we can get our set pieces at about that percentage then we are doing pretty well.”

In terms of moving forward, Suter said there is always something to improve on, whether it be individually or as a team, and that the team tactics are always changing from game-to-game.

“We love to score goals, so just improving on our execution and scoring more goals is definitely something we would like to see in the future,” Suter said. “We always change little tactical things per team, so just being attentive to details between the different teams we play is very important.”

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

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