Brittany Moore’s offensive outburst not enough against Fordham

By Joey Saade

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Heading into this past weekend’s play, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team was looking for a much needed boost as the season’s end approached.

Bryn Rothschild-Shea/ Collegian

Despite splitting their two games against Rhode Island and Fordham, the Minutewomen received that spark from senior Brittany Moore.

The UMass speedy forward went on an offensive outburst, scoring five goals over the weekend, including her hat trick against the Rams on Friday.

On Sunday against Fordham (4-8-3, 2-3-1 Atlantic 10), Moore’s two-goal effort was not enough to stop the Rams from earning a come-from-behind, 3-2, victory in double-overtime.

In the 108th minute of the second overtime period, Fordham’s Maria Canicatti drilled home the game-winner from 15 yards out into the bottom right corner of the net.

The Minutewomen (6-8-2, 2-3-1 A-10) were running on tired legs after playing less than 48 hours before their kick-off with a Rams team that hadn’t played in seven days.

As the game went on, UMass coach Ed Matz noticed that his team’s fatigue became a major factor in their play, with eight of his starters logging a majority of the minutes in the past two games.

“The big difference heading into overtime is that the kids’ legs just weren’t there,” Matz said. “Even Britt (Moore), she had a great game but you could just see that she got worn out too.”

Moore’s go-ahead goal in the 59th minute that gave the Minutewomen a 2-1 lead was matched just 10 minutes later after Fordham’s Jessica Widmann’s score evened the score, eventually forcing overtime.

Moore’s hat trick paves way

Three second-half goals by Moore sparked a slumping UMass offense to a 3-1 victory against the Rams on Friday at Rudd Field.

“I call that what Britt did today a senior moment,” Matz said of his forward’s performance on Friday.” I told the team before – the seniors – you have four games left in your career, and if you want to make it five we have to start winning games and Britt really took that to heart.”

Heading into Friday’s match, Matz told his senior that she needed to shoot roughly three to five shots a game for their team to have a chance to win their remaining matches.

In the 14 games prior, Moore had only taken 10 total shots for three goals – only reaching the two-shot mark once.

After doubling her season total for goals and registering her career-high in shots (five) in one game, she clearly listened to him.

“Ed keeps yelling at me for not shooting,” Moore said after the game. “So, I just like shot it.”

“She has such a tremendous shot, but sometimes she just doesn’t shoot,” Matz said. “I told her you need to be more selfish, and she did today. Thank God.”

Moore’s .444 shooting percentage and eight goals leads the Minutewomen offense, which has started to find a groove as the end of the season approaches.

After going scoreless in the first half, the execution of offensive adjustments in the second half proved to be the difference for the Minuetwomen.

Moore opened up her offensive show in the 61st minute after squeezing by a shot past Rams’ goalkeeper Katie Nickles, giving UMass a 1-0 lead.

URI converted on a corner kick just five minutes later, evening the score 1-1 and putting the Minutewomen back on their heels.

Matz’s squad’s ability to comeback and execute on offense with Moore’s back-to-back goals left a positive impression for his team moving forward.

“I’m impressed with the fact that we gave up the goal, kind of drained us a little bit, and I didn’t know how we’d respond,” he said. “We just shook it off and went back and got two more.”

Joey Saade can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JSaade1225.