Season over for Minutewomen after Atlantic 10 tournament loss

By Michael Counos

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team will have to wait another year for its shot at an Atlantic 10 conference title.

UMass lost to St. Bonaventure on a rainy, Wednesday night, 2-0, in Kingston, R.I. The Minutewomen, who haven’t won a tournament game since 1997, were pressured by the Bonnies’ offense the entire game and were outshot, 26-5, and 10-2 for shots on goal.   

The UMass defense held off the pressure in the first half, going into intermission tied at zero apiece. SBU’s pressure continued in the second stanza and a goal in the 68th minute by Tori Burchett put the Minutewomen (8-11, 5-5 A-10) by one. They looked to equalize with a shot by Lauren Skesavage, but turned away by Bonnies’ goaltender Nicole Markert.

“I think we played a very strong first half, while they had a lot of shots none of them were on goal,” UMass coach Ed Matz said. “After they scored the first goal we were pressuring the ball upfield more and that’s how they scored the second.”

After a yellow card by junior Deanna Colorassi, the Bonnies (12-8, 6-4 A-10) doubled their lead in the 79th minute with a goal by SBU’s leading scorer, Anna Cunningham. Courtney Bosse and Sarah Clark earned the assist.

Freshman Emersyn Pullan got the start in net after sophomore Emily Cota broke her leg in the previous game against La Salle. Pullan allowed two goals and turned away eight while Markert made three saves for the Bonnies.  

“I’m disappointed that we lost, but I am not disappointed with the effort,” Matz said.

Prior to the contest, four players earned A-10 honors, as Colorassi and senior Therese Smith were both named to the A-10 First Team All-Conference while freshman Brittany Moore was selected to the All-Rookie team and senior Ashley Hamel was one of 11 players to receive Academic All-Conference honors.

As a transfer forward from Oakland, Colorassi scored 20 points for the Minutewomen with nine goals. Including a hat-trick against Temple on Oct. 22, Colorassi’s nine goals is the most scored by a Minutewoman since 2004.

Smith was another vital part of the offense, scoring 17 points for UMass including a game-winner in overtime on senior day against Saint Louis at Rudd Field. The senior is the program’s active leading career scorer with 41 points on 16 goals and nine assists.

Moore started all 18 regular season games as a freshman and helped UMass lock down seven shutouts on the season while also contributing with two assists. Hamel sports a 3.78 GPA and was fourth on the team in scoring with eight points. Both of her career goals this season were game-winners and she led the team in assists with four. 

Redshirt senior Sydney Stoll was plagued by a hamstring injury most of the season, but did return late and contributed with a two-goal performance against Xavier. Both Pullan and sophomore Emily Cota saw time in net, while Cota carried the bulk of the work. The two combined for 79 saves, a 0.725 save percentage and seven shutouts in the regular season. 

UMass will be losing five seniors to graduation including Kelsey Anderson, Smith, Stoll, Alyssa Visconti and Hamel. In his first season with the Minutewomen, Matz led his team to its second consecutive A-10 tournament.

“I would say this team learned a lot about commitment, dedication, hard work and what it takes to play Division I soccer,” Matz said. “I think they all realized they can win games and hate when they lose and I see us enjoying success in the future.” 

Michael Counos can be reached at [email protected]