Notebook: Busy Columbus Day weekend for UMass athletics
While some students went back home to catch up with family and friends over Columbus Day weekend, it was business as usual for many Massachusetts athletic teams. Whether it was games getting moved because of the effects of a hurricane or another team beginning a new era, it was a busy week for many Minutemen and Minutewomen.
No royalty for football against Monarchs
With Hurricane Matthew making its way up the southeast coast of the United States over the weekend, UMass (1-5) and Old Dominion agreed to move their matchup to Friday night, a day earlier than initially scheduled.
However, the lost day of preparation did the Minutemen no favors as they fell to the Monarchs 36-16.
Marquis Young stood out for UMass after running for a season-high 163 yards on 21 carries, including a 12-yard score in the second quarter for the Minutemen’s first touchdown of the afternoon.
Their passing attack, on the other hand, struggled to find any consistency as the trio of Ross Comis, Andrew Ford and, making his collegiate debut, Randall West, all combined 16-for-32 (50 percent) against the Old Dominion defense. Comis earned the starting nod from UMass coach Mark Whipple, but it was Ford who took the majority of snaps under center. Ford finished 11-for-21 with 189 passing yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
Defensively, Steve Casali led the Minutemen with 11 tackles. Defensive tackle Joe Previte added three tackles for losses as well.
Linebackers Shane Huber and Teddy Lowery, safety Khary Bailey-Smith, fullback John Robinson-Woodgett and left tackle Elijah Wilkinson all did not play.
UMass makes its final trip across the Mass Pike to Gillette Stadium this season when it hosts Louisiana Tech Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Minutemen open Carvel era with weekend split
UMass opened the Greg Carvel era with a 3-0 shutout victory over Colorado College Friday night at the Mullins Center, however a slow start plagued the Minutemen in the back-end of the home series against the Tigers Saturday night.
Freshman goaltender Ryan Wischow earned the starting job in the crease for UMass (1-1-0), totaling 31 saves Friday. But on Saturday, Wischow couldn’t make it out of the first period after CC scored three goals in the games first seven minutes, 15 seconds en route to its 7-4 victory.
“As a new coach this may not be the worst thing in the world,” said Carvel after Saturday’s loss. “It’s my job to teach these guys how to play the right way, and that goes beyond what you do on the ice. It means how you prepare for games and how you approach it mentally, and obviously there’s a lot to learn from tonight.”
Jonny Lazarus, Anthony Petrella and William Lagesson were responsible for the Minutemen’s goals Friday night, while Steven Iacobellis, Ray Pigozzi, Griff Jeszka and Lazarus scored on Saturday.
UMass has plenty of time to clean up the mistakes it made over the weekend, as the Minutemen’s next contest isn’t until Oct. 21 when they host Army at Mullins.
Minutewomen fall to Colonials
Home-field advantage did UMass no good as it fell to George Washington 2-0 on a rain-covered Rudd Field Sunday afternoon.
A pair of first-half goals from Lina Proska and MacKenzie Cowley a mere 6:07 apart were all the Colonials would need as the Minutewomen (2-8-1, 0-4-0 Atlantic 10) dropped their fifth consecutive game.
UMass will look to climb out of the cellar of the A-10 standings with a pair of road games against Davidson on Thursday and Rhode Island on Sunday. Both the Wildcats and Rams are also winless in A-10 play, posting an identical 0-3-1 clip in conference play.
Field hockey splits weekend in Virginia trip
Like so many A-10 teams do, UMass field hockey played a pair of conference games against Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond over the weekend in the Minutewomen’s trip to Richmond, Virginia.
The Minutewomen (7-6, 3-1 A-10) were tied at two goals apiece entering halftime against Richmond before Kelly Quinn and Emma Johansson’s second half goals for the Spiders gave UMass its first A-10 loss of the season.
Up next for the Minutewomen is a weekend in Amherst with Davidson and in-state rival Northeastern making trips to the Pioneer Valley Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Men’s soccer postponed due to weather
Like much of the northeast, New York received a plethora of rain over the weekend, which made UMass’ game against Fordham unplayable because of the inclement weather and unstable playing conditions.
Neither a date nor time have been determined for the makeup game against the Rams.
However, the Minutemen (3-6-2, 0-0-1 A-10) did receive good news over the weekend as they were named winners of the 2015-16 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) team academic award. The award is given to teams who have an average grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. UMass, which has an average GPA of 3.10, was one of 315 men’s teams to get the award, and were one of 223 schools to earn the award for both their men’s and women’s teams.
The Minutemen, who are 3-1-1 over their last five games, host St. Bonaventure Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Rudd Field.
Tennis competes at Bulldog Invitational
UMass won a total of seven doubles matches and 12 singles matches over the weekend in Bulldog Invitational, hosted by Yale.
The Minutewomen faced Ivy-league opponents Harvard (Friday), Brown (Saturday) and Cornell (Sunday) in the mock-dual format that also welcomed Boston College, Dartmouth and Stony Brook to the invitational as well.
Brittany Collens led all UMass players with three wins from the No. 5 singles position, while Anna Woosley, Ana Yrazusta, Janja Kovacevic and Martina Bocchi all had two singles wins.
The Minutewomen close out their fall schedule starting Oct. 20 for the ITA regionals.
Cross-country finishes middle of the pack in New England championships
Both the UMass men’s and women’s cross country teams finished ninth at the New England championship over the past weekend.
Senior Morgan Marlow finished 15th overall in the men’s 8K race, posting a time of 25:12.88. Redshirt-freshman Mary Lavery led all Minutewomen with a time of 18:26.2 in the women’s 5K race, which was good for 21st place.
Both the men’s and women’s teams return to action Oct. 29 when they travel to Mechanicsville, Virginia for the A-10 championships.
Radio show returns next week
According to UMass athletics’ twitter page, there was no UMass Insider Radio show this week.
The show, which is broadcasted on 105.5FM WEEI Springfield, returns next week in its normal time slot from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. All shows are broadcasted live from the Hanger Pub and Grill in Amherst.
Andrew Cyr can be reached at email@example.com, and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.