Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutemen set to kick off conference play against URI


Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team is set to kick off Atlantic 10 conference play in Rhode Island on Saturday after a solid 3-4-2 start to the season.


Compared to last year’s 2-8 out-of-conference mark, the Minutemen have seemed rejuvenated behind Brian Frame in net and a fresh, young squad on the field.

UMass is coming off arguably its toughest defeat of the year, a 2-0 loss to Syracuse in which the Minutemen were outshot, 16-4, and could not even muster a shot on net.

Frame said the loss to the Orange will be a good bridge into conference play.

“It’s as good of a team that we’ll see in the conference,” Frame said after the loss on Sept. 25. “I think it was a great test for us going into the conference and now we just need to string (a few) consecutive good games together.”

A couple of wins to start off conference play could be huge; especially taking into account that UMass has to face two Top 25 teams (No. 13 Charlotte and No. 17 Xavier) later in the season. But Koch knows that all of their A-10 opponents will be tough matchups, including the Rams.

“Rhode Island is a tough opponent,” Koch said. “No matter what, Rhode Island is going to be ready to play. They need this win. It’s at their place so (it’s) going to be tough.”

The Minutemen face a greatly-struggling Rams team that comes into the match sporting a 1-6-2 record.

URI has been outscored, 20-13, through nine games and have been outshot, 143-101.

Last year’s regular season finale ended in a 1-0 loss to for UMass, making it the fifth straight 1-0 game against the Rams. URI has won three-of-five of those close affairs.

Koch and the Minutemen are thankful that they will be playing on grass on Saturday at the URI Soccer Complex. So far this season, UMass has been far more comfortable on grass, boasting a 3-1-1 record, compared to its 0-3-1 record on turf.

“If a cow can’t eat it then I don’t want to play on it,” said Koch with a smile.

Following Saturday’s match, the Minutemen have a weekend at home in which they will play Saint Joseph’s (4-5) and Temple (4-4-1).

“Those are games we need to win,” Koch said. “It’s early in the season and they want to start their season off well so that’s going to be tough.”

The Minutemen then take the 49ers and George Washington (3-6) the next weekend, which Koch also called a “tough trip.”

They have one more homestand against St. Bonaventure (2-8) and Duquesne (3-7), before a final road trip to face Dayton (6-2) and the No. 17 Musketeers before the A-10 tournament begins.

Though the schedule will certainly be a challenge, Frame is confident that UMass fits right in with the rest of the A-10.

“I think we have a good conference schedule and good opponents, but we definitely have a lot of winnable games,” the senior goalkeeper said. “I think we can come out and be really strong, and then we can come out and be a little flat at times. If we can just string some good games together, I think we’ll do really well in conference.”

Taylor Snow can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @taylorcsnow.


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