Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day three: Ex-quarterbacks A.J. Doyle, Andrew Verboys continue transitions to new positions -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Matt Keys continues to shine for UMass men’s soccer

Following yet another shutout loss on Sept. 25 to Syracuse, the Massachusetts men’s soccer coach Sam Koch decided to make a change.

Robert Rigo/ Collegian

Before the Minutemen’s next game against Siena on Sept. 28, Koch moved junior Matt Keys to forward despite spending the first nine games as a starting defenseman.

“We needed to do something,” Koch said.  “You have to keep trying different things to keep [the team] focused, to keep them fighting.”

Upon hearing the news, Keys said that he was caught off guard by the decision, but was willing to make the change if Koch thought that it would benefit the team.

“I thought [Koch] was crazy to be honest,” Keys said. “I’ve never played up top before.”

The move to the offensive side of the ball immediately paid dividends. The Minutemen picked up their first victory of the season against the Saints in a game which the offense finally broke through with five goals, one of which Keys assisted on.

Since the position change, UMass has played significantly better on both sides of the earning a 3-3 record following the loss at Syracuse. Keys has consistently been a part of the Minutemen’s success, as seen most recently in his performance on Sunday against George Washington, in UMass’s 2-1 win.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the 85th minute, the Minutemen controlled the ball near the Colonials’ net.  As the ball popped out to an open Keys from around 20 yards out, he set up for a strike that beat diving George Washington goalkeeper Luke Farrell for what proved to be the game winning score.

“Time was winding down and I saw the ball go into the box, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get a head on it first,” Keys said. “So I kind of stayed back outside the 18 and I told Josh [Schwartz], ‘If they head it out, leave it.’”

As planned, the ball was headed back out in Keys’ direction.

“It was in the air and I just shot it,” he said. “I just put it on frame, [to] maybe get a rebound.  Lucky enough, it went in.”

The score marked Key’s third goal and eighth point of the season through fifteen games.  All three goals that he has scored have come since moving up top.

“Ever since we put him up top, he’s just given us a whole new dimension,” Koch said. “I think he’s very hard for other teams to handle. They put a lot of people on him, they have to hold him, they have to really bump him to get him off his game, and I think he bounces off of it pretty well.”

Keys’ contributions have not gone overlooked by his teammates. Freshman goalkeeper Nick Ruiz said that although Keys is missed as a defender in the back, his 6-foot, 4-inch presence is a major advantage on the offensive side when trying to win headers.

“We don’t have enough height up top,” Ruiz said, “so he helps be a target, especially when we’re winning balls up there.”

With three games remaining on the regular season schedule, UMass’ hopes at reaching the Atlantic 10 playoffs are still alive thanks in large part to Keys now being a piece in a revived offensive attack.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at achiusano@umass.edu and can be followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

Leave A Comment