Cota honored for last week’s performance in goal

By Chris Corso

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Jeff Bernstein/Collegian File Photo

Emily Cota, senior goalkeeper of the Massachusetts women’s soccer team, spent the first six games of the 2012 season watching from the sidelines.

The Green Lane, Pa., native took advantage of her two starts this past week, leading the Minutewomen to a pair of shutout wins.

She was also awardedAtlantic 10 Player of the Week and  UMass Athlete of the Week honors.

Cota was also recognized nationally by and named to the Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll.

In just two games, the  senior has received immediate attention from local and national Division I women’s soccer outlets.

The upperclassman’s efforts aided UMass (4-4) back to a .500 record in non-conference play thus far. .

Cota’s 14 saves last week propelled the Minutewomen to victories over Boston University and New Hampshire.

The 2011 A-10 All-Conference first-teamer earned herself a chance to receive more playing time this season, as she battles for time in the goal with her teammate and fellow senior Stephanie Gordon.

Cota is  building up on her already solid resume  in Amherst.

Last season as a junior, Cota posted 10 shutouts in her 17 starts for UMass,  recording an impressive five consecutive shutouts lasting three weeks of the season.

Cota currently sits fifth in school history with 254 career saves in goal.

Battling time in goal

Gordon made a pretty decent case to continue to be the starter for the Minutewomen in her first six games this season.

While the team co-captain, Gordon, has  lead UMass to a 2-4 record to start off the season, three of those contests game against teams in the Top 25.

Gordon has made 59 saves, good for second in  the A-10 behind Katie Markesbery of Xavier, who leads Gordon by a save  .

The Rockland native also lead the A-10  with a 9.83 saves per game. The closest to that figure was Tara Murphy of Temple   with a 7.20 mark.

The transfer from Northeastern has done nothing but impress her teammates and coaches since joining the team in her junior year, earning her a spot as one of the three captains for the 2012 season.

The production of both keepers makes for a tough decision for UMass coach Ed Matz as conference play approaches.

But the Minutewomen will likely get a better idea of who his top choice is when they take the field against Brown on Thursday.

Chris Corso can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Corso