The No.12 Massachusetts field hockey team concluded its regular season with a come from behind victory against St. Francis 4-3 in overtime.
With the win, the Minutewomen (16-4, 7-0 Atlantic 10) finish undefeated record in A-10 play for the 12th time in school history and now set their sights on a second consecutive A-10 title on Friday at Garber Field for the conference semifinals.
“Going undefeated in conference play is something this team set out to do since day one, and they should be very proud of themselves,” UMass coach Carla Tagliente said. “Getting back at home on our surface for the tournament is a huge advantage, so it’s important that we recover physically and continue to push forward.”
Izzie Delario led the way with a pair of goals, including the game-winner at the 79:35 mark during the extra period.
Trailing 3-1 with a little under 25 minutes to go in the second half, Brooke Sabia and Lindsay Bowman each scored to tie the game at 3-3 and send into overtime. That’s when Delario took over and lifted the Minutewomen to the win.
Tagliente praised her freshman midfielder for an excellent offensive display, especially with the conference tournament beginning this Friday
“Her performance today was really great,” Tagliente said. “Her control of the ball was really great, and her first goal was an outstanding shot. The goal in overtime was really clutch, so it’s a great confidence booster for her going into the A-10 tournament.”
Tagliente said that the playing surface the Red Flash (8-8, 3-4) play on is different from what her team usually plays on, so it was a tough adjustment to make.
“We don’t play on the type of surface that St. Francis has, so it definitely acted as an equalizer and made it difficult for us,” Tagliente said. “We just focused on our counterattacks and getting more opportunities in the offensive third, and were thankfully able to get back into the game.”
Like Tagliente, Delario mentioned the playing surface as something that had to be adjusted to, but believes her team made all the right adjustments to get back into the game.
“The playing surface isn’t something we’ve played on all season, so making structural adjustments and going back to playing simple hockey and making every opportunity we had count,” Delario said.
UMass defeats Lock Haven
The Minutewomen used four different goal scorers to defeat Lock Haven 4-2 on Friday afternoon in a tough conference battle in Pennsylvania.
Sabia opened the scoring for UMass nine minutes, 52 seconds into the game after recording her 18th goal of the season on an unassisted play. Other goal scorers for the Minutewomen were seniors Alexa Sikalis, Hannah Prince and Molly MacDonnell. Sikais also recorded her team-leading 17th assist on the Prince goal.
Two goals from the Lady Eagles (13-6, 3-3) to start the second half cut the deficit to 3-2, but MacDonnell’s goal with 1:16 left in the game sealed the victory for UMass.
The Minutewomen continued to get opportunities in the offensive third, recording 15 shots and 11 penalty corners. Goalkeeper Sam Carlino was credited with her 15th win of the season, making six saves in the game.
Jason Kates can be reached at email@example.com.