Scrolling Headlines:

Luwane Pipkins leads the UMass men’s basketball shooting show in 101-76 win over Niagara -

November 19, 2017

UMass to face tough test with Niagara backcourt -

November 19, 2017

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ doesn’t have to be the best Marvel movie -

November 16, 2017

Thursday’s NCAA tournament rematch between UMass men’s soccer and Colgate will be a battle of adjustments -

November 15, 2017

Veteran belonging and the decline of American communities discussed by journalist and author at Amherst College -

November 15, 2017

‘UMass Cares About Cancer’ Hosts Blanket Making Event -

November 15, 2017

UMass women’s basketball heads to North Dakota for two games -

November 15, 2017

UMass men’s soccer moves to 8-0-1 at home in win over La Salle

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team continued its excellent play in Amherst, defeating La Salle 2-0 on Saturday. The win moves the Minutemen to a stellar 8-0-1 at Rudd Field.

With just under three minutes before halftime, neither team had established much offensively. UMass had just one shot to the Explorers’ three.

That was before forward Samuel Asamoah found the ball in the box off a Brandon Merklin header from a long throw-in, burying the ball into the top right corner to give the Minutemen the lead.

“We were under a bit of pressure,” UMass coach Fran O’Leary said of his team’s offense in the first half. “Sam scored one on a set piece. He was just quickest to react in the box, he did a great job to come first in the box.”

Playing without three of their typical starters in the back, the Minutemen defense held tough throughout, forcing goalkeeper Bardia Asefnia to make just one save during the game.

Along with the defense, the UMass midfielders played a strong game. Their play allowed the Minutemen to control possession and play at their own pace.

“We start defending from the front and attacking from the back,” O’Leary said. “You’ve got to win the battle to control possession. We won a lot of first and second balls, particularly in the second half.

“You need the ball to be able to do anything,” he continued. “Our midfield won a lot today. Particularly Connor O’Dwyer, who won a lot in the air. That allowed us to get controlled possession.”

The UMass offense didn’t strike again until the 84th minute, when forward Davis Smith lofted a pass to a streaking Jack Fulton. With La Salle in attack mode trying to tie the game late, its defense was up, leaving just one defender back to run with Fulton.

This forced Explorer goalkeeper

to leave the box and try to make a play on the ball before Fulton got it. But the pass was spot on, and the junior was able to chip the ball over Tobin from 30 yards out, where it soared in the air before bouncing into the net to secure the Minutemen victory.

The goal was Fulton’s fourth in the last six games.

“Davis got a good little touch,” Fulton said. “I saw the through ball on so he played me through. I saw the keeper off his line so I gave it a little chip. He had been off his line all game. I gave it a go and it went in.”

The multi-goal game is UMass’ sixth straight. Fulton feels that the offense is a full team effort, not just the forwards.

“It actually has to do with the defensive end,” Fulton said. “We put so much pressure on teams. When we push up so high it makes the attack so much easier, we have a lot more free time up there because we’re already high up the field.”

With the defense producing another shutout and the offense continuing to click, the Minutemen continue to be a tough out for any opponent they face.

“A lot,” Asamoah said when asked how much confidence the team has. “Especially in not allowing anyone to come in and disrespect us on our home field.  It means a lot to us. We’re hoping to keep this going into playoffs.”

UMass will look to continue its home winning streak Wednesday, as they take on Rhode Island at Rudd Field at 3 p.m.

Thomas Johnston can be reached at and followed on twitter @TJ__Johnston.

Leave A Comment