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

Women’s soccer splits first two conference games

Taylor Snow/Collegian

It turned out to be a successful weekend for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team, which split its first two Atlantic 10 conference games at Rudd Field.

After dropping the Atlantic 10 opener, 4-0, to defending conference champions Dayton on Friday, the Minutewomen (6-6, 1-1 A-10) rebounded strongly Sunday afternoon, defeating Xavier, 2-0, while dominating the pace of the game with a season-high 24 shots.

“After the loss against Dayton we really wanted to show what we play for,” said UMass forward Moa Mattsson, who scored the first goal just three minutes into the game against Xavier on Sunday. “I think we all felt we are a much better team then we showed on Friday and I think we showed that today.”

The goal by Mattsson was created by a masterful over-the-top through ball from junior defender Grace Coombs. Mattsson used her top-notch speed to beat the Xavier defender to the ball and finished on a one-on-one breakaway, ripping the ball into the right corner of the net for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

“It was a great ball from Grace who saw that I was open,” Mattsson said. “She passed it to me right away and it was a great feeling to start of the game like that.

UMass completely dominated Xavier on the offensive and defensive side of the ball in its first conference victory this season.

The Minutewomen sent 15 shot attempts towards Musketeer goalkeeper Katie Markesbery in just the first half. Leading the attack for UMass was Mattsson and Coombs who each attempted four shots apiece.

“I thought we came out today from the beginning of the game right up to the end and I thought we played with a lot of heart and a lot of commitment,” UMass coach Ed Matz said. “Players were making good runs and there was a lot of communication out there.“

UMass goalkeeper Emily Cota did not see much action Sunday afternoon. The Minutewomen defense didn’t allow Xavier one legitimate scoring opportunity for the entire 90 minutes of play, as the Musketeers tallied a total of just four shots, leaving Cota with one save.

Matz credited the defense’s success on Sunday to the return of freshman defender Rebekka Sverrisdóttir to the lineup, who missed the previous three games due to injury.

“I think the big thing was getting Rebekka back there to play central back. She is a fabulous man-marker that we didn’t have against Dayton. … I think we were a little bit hurt about the way we performed on Friday and we came out today to make a statement that we are better than that performance.,

The second goal for the Minutewomen came with just under 12 minutes to play in the second half. Mattsson passed the ball to midfielder Emily Benjamin, who sent a beautiful pass across the box to meet the foot of Jen Coppola. Coppola ripped a shot to the top right corner of the goal to seal the UMass victory.

“This was a great performance for us,” Matz said. “Dayton is going to be there at the end of the year and we know that. Playing teams like Xavier and Rhode Island next week, they are the teams we are competing against for one of those final right playoff spots.”

UMass shut out in A-10 opener

The Minutewomen were handed a disappointing 4-0 defeat in the Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton on Friday afternoon at a rain-soaked Rudd Field. The Flyers (7-3) won their fourth straight game, living up to their No. 1 A-10 preseason ranking.

The game played out similarly to the A-10 championship game last season, which the Flyers won handedly, 5-1.

“We were extremely upset after the loss to Dayton,” said senior captain defender Jess Howe. “We had been eagerly waiting to play them since the championship last year.”

The Minutewomen failed to cash in on several early chances, and the Flyers made UMass pay. In the 16th minute, Dayton took the lead when forward Ashley Campbell ripped a shot that dipped into the left side of the goal past a diving Cota.

The Flyers padded the lead later in the first half in the 31st minute, when Kelsey Smigel chipped in a goal over Cota.

The second half fared no differently for the Minutewomen. Colleen Williams and Juliana Libertin each added a goal for the Flyers to cap off the win. Cota finished 10 saves as she faced 28 shots by an unrelenting Dayton attack.

“Hopefully we can play Dayton again,” Matz said. “But the only way we will play Dayton again is if we play them in the playoffs.”

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


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *