April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

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

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

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

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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