Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Women’s soccer hosts Charlotte, George Washington in last two home games

By Chris Corso

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With four games to go in the regular season, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team currently sits on the outside looking in of the Atlantic 10 tournament picture.

And after losing their last two games on the road, the Minutewomen (7-8, 2-3 A-10) are hoping that a return to Rudd Field this weekend can help bolster them into the tournament, as they play host to conference foes Charlotte and George Washington on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

UMass is currently in ninth place, and will return to Amherst after a disappointing two-game road trip to Pennsylvania, where the team suffered a 2-1 defeat from St. Joseph’s and a 2-0 loss to Temple last weekend.

UMass coach Ed Matz said he knows it’s now or never for his Minutewomen to put together a stretch run to make the A-10 tournament.

“We talked about what it takes as a team to get into the A-10 playoffs, and what kind of team we need to be,” Matz told UMass Athletics. The team talked about “what type of commitment, energy and desire that takes place to be one of those final eight teams.”

The next matchup on the schedule for the Minutewomen will be challenging as they take on Charlotte, the A-10’s second place team (10-4-1), (4-1, A 10).

When scouting the 49ers (10-4-1, 4-1 A-10), it is clear that the team has an overpowering offensive attack. Charlotte ranks third in the A-10 with 26 goals as well as 23 assists, trailing La Salle and Dayton, respectively, in each category.
Leading the attack for the 49ers is sophomore midfielder/forward Amanda Jones, who leads the team and is tied for fourth in the conference with seven goals on the season. Jones is also tied with UMass’ leading scorer Moa Mattsson for fourth in the A-10 with 19 points this season.

Charlotte’s defense has also posted some impressive statistics this year. The 49ers have allowed 15 goals in their 15 games played this season, which is good for third in the A-10.

The main reason for that has been the outstanding play of Charlotte goalkeeper Alex Kubrick. The junior has the second best save percentage in the A-10, stopping .898 percent of shots sent her way.

Mattsson, the Minutewomen’s leading scorer, will be key towards anchoring the UMass attack against a strong goalkeeper on Friday, as she enters the game leading the entire conference with five game-winning goals.

Colonials on deck for UMass

UMass should be heavy favorites when it welcomes George Washington to Rudd Field on Sunday afternoon. The Colonials (4-9-1, 0-5 A-10) enter the contest at the bottom of the A-10 standings and they haven’t won a game since Sept. 21.
If the Minutewomen can score first on Sunday, they should dictate the pace of the game. UMass has scored first in all of their seven wins this season, and, on the other side, the Colonials have been dismal in the first half, as they have been outscored 8-2 this season.

The Colonials have certainly struggled on offense this season. They have only scored three goals in the midst of their recent five-game slide, and sit near the bottom of the conference in total shots, goals and assists.

No matter how poor GW may be playing, Matz said it’s important to take care of home field this weekend.

“You have to win at home,” Matz said to UMassAthletics. “It’s huge in our conference that you have to take advantage of the home games.”

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

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