Scrolling Headlines:

Baldwin’s floor-spacing sparks UMass men’s basketball against Georgia -

December 17, 2017

Hot outside shooting leads UMass over Georgia -

December 16, 2017

Minutemen knock off Georgia for big statement win -

December 16, 2017

Cale Makar selected to play for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships -

December 15, 2017

UMass men’s basketball looks to remain undefeated at home when Georgia comes to town -

December 15, 2017

Editorial: Our shift to a primarily digital world -

December 13, 2017

Makar, Ferraro off to Ontario to compete for Team Canada’s World Junior hockey team -

December 12, 2017

Lecture attempts to answer whether treatment of depression has resulted in over-prescription of SSRIs -

December 12, 2017

Palestinian students on campus react to President Trump’s recent declaration -

December 12, 2017

Smith College hosts social media panel addressing impact of social media on government policies -

December 12, 2017

GOP Tax Plan will trouble working grad students -

December 12, 2017

Mario Ferraro making his mark with UMass -

December 12, 2017

Minutewomen look to keep momentum going against UMass Lowell -

December 12, 2017

Ames: UMass hockey’s turnaround is real, and it’s happening now -

December 12, 2017

When your favorite comedian is accused of sexual assault -

December 12, 2017

A snapshot of my college experience -

December 12, 2017

Homelessness is an issue that’s close to home -

December 12, 2017

Allowing oil drilling in Alaska sets a dangerous precedent -

December 12, 2017

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is a television triumph -

December 12, 2017

Some of my favorite everyday brands -

December 12, 2017

Streaking UMass men’s soccer stares down final non-conference team

Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team is just 180 minutes away from Atlantic 10 play, with a Tuesday evening meeting with Central Connecticut State (3-3-0) and a Saturday afternoon matchup with Hartford (2-3-2) up next.

Fresh off a 2-1 win against Colgate over the weekend, the Minutemen now sit at 4-2-1, a far better start than last year’s 0-5-1 record through six games.

“I think it’s a couple of things,” University of Massachusetts coach Fran O’Leary said. “We returned a lot of players, so they’ve been through it before. I think all the credit is due to the guys; they’ve really committed themselves over the summer. A lot of your wins are gained with your work over the summer and early in the season.”

UMass will head to New Britain on Tuesday night to take on the Blue Devils, and it’ll be a far better prepared squad than the one CCSU saw a year ago.

“Our conditioning level now is second-to-none,” O’Leary said. “The way they look after themselves – we’ve practically no soft-tissue injuries, a credit to our trainer – and to the way the players look after themselves. We’re fitter, we’re stronger, we’re more mature and these are all good things that factor into the good start to the season.”

A-10 play kicks off on Sept. 30, when the Minutemen head to Saint Louis for the opener, but O’Leary and his charges aren’t getting ahead of themselves. As for how O’Leary expects his team to compete in conference play, things are still a mystery.

“I have no idea,” O’Leary said with a laugh, “because I haven’t seen anyone else. All we want to do right now is get a result against Central Connecticut. We’re not thinking really beyond Central right now, because every game brings up our confidence, gets our weaknesses exposed—which we try and fix—and then we’ll build up our confidence if we have a good performance and a good result.”

Those final 180 minutes before conference play are the last that O’Leary will have to see his team in a somewhat lower-stakes environment. There’s still plenty of room to tinker with minutes and the makeup of the starting 11, something O’Leary says isn’t truly up to him.

“The players will tell me,” he said. “They’ll tell me by their performances. We always say, most of our team meetings take place during games and practices, so the players do their talking on the field. It’s what I like about our team, they’re a team that does a lot of good talking on the field, rather than sitting in offices and telling me how good they are.”

“They show us time in, time out, every day they show us how committed they are, how strong and tough they are, by the type of performances they put in, so in terms of the minutes, that will be determined by how the players talk to me over the coming couple of games.”

Kickoff on Tuesday night is set for 7 p.m., and Saturday’s return to Rudd Field is set for 1 p.m.

Amin Touri can be reached at atouri@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Amin_Touri.

Leave A Comment