UMass continues Atlantic 10 play this weekend

By Michael Counos

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Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team will return to action this weekend for Atlantic 10 matchups against Temple and Saint Joseph’s.

The contests wrap up the Minutewomen’s regular season schedule at home in which they’ve faired a .500 record of 3-3. UMass (5-9, 2-3 A-10) is coming off a loss to Rhode Island (2-11-1, 2-3 A-10).

The Minutewomen will face Temple (5-9-1, 0-4-1 A-10) at 4 p.m. on Friday. The Owls are coming off a disappointing weekend with losses against both Dayton and Xavier. The Flyers shut-out Temple, 3-0, on Oct. 15 while the Musketeers took them into double overtime before dropping the match 1-0. The Owls are winless since Sept. 26 when they beat Wagner 2-0, but they have fared well on the road this season boasting a record of 3-4-1.

On Sunday, UMass will face Saint Joseph’s (5-9-0, 2-3-0 in A-10), as the Hawks are coming off a 2-0 shutout loss to the dominant Flyers last Sunday. SJU did edge out a 1-0 win against Xavier at Finnesey Field on Oct. 15. The Hawks will face the Rams on Friday before making their way to Rudd Field for a 1 p.m. matchup. SJU has struggled on the road this season at 2-6 on opponent’s turf.

UMass defeated the Hawks last season 2-1, after being down early with an own goal in the first half on a ball deflecting off a UMass defender’s head in the box. The Maroon and White bounced back in the second half with a Therese Smith goal to open the second stanza. In the 50th minute, Meredith Fox scored the game-winner off a corner-kick. Sophomore Emily Cota played one half of the contest in net, recording one stop.  

“We’re looking to get good ball movement, good communication and win both games,” UMass coach Ed Matz said.

In their most recent matchup against URI on Sunday, the Minutewomen were upset 1-0 in Kingston, R.I. An early second half goal by the Rams’ Stephanie Santos was the difference in the game. Santos received a pass from Courtney David and blasted a shot past the outstretched hands of freshman goalkeeper Emersyn Pullan. Pullan played nearly 75 minutes, making three saves while allowing one score. Cota finished the game stopping one shot.

UMass had their chances on offense, working several balls into the box but were unable to capitalize. Freshman Brittany Moore had a chance in the first half in the 29th minute on a free-kick but was turned away by URI goalkeeper Sasha Reiber. On another free-kick attempt, Moore sent a good pass to sophomore Jenna Goodwin, but her attempt was snatched up by Reiber, who earned the shutout with just those two stops.

“We just need to get sound play from everybody on the field,” Matz said.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UMass will be sporting the color pink this weekend. The Minutewomen will be wearing pink t-shirts during warm-ups as well as pink shoelaces and pre-wrap. Fans attending the games are encouraged to show their support as well as joining the team in wearing pink over the weekend.

Michael Counos can be reached at [email protected]