UMass field hockey offense overpowers Saint Louis

By Jesse Mayfield Sheehan

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The No. 11 Massachusetts field hockey team opened its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule by putting on an offensive show, recording the program’s highest single-game goal total in over 30 years in an 11-0 win over Saint Louis on Saturday.

The last time the Minutewomen (10-4, 1-0 A-10) scored at least 11 goals in a game came on Oct. 25, 1979, when they defeated Smith College 11-1.

UMass produced a season-high 31 shots and tied its season-high with 22 shots on goal, the kind of pace that coach Carla Tagliente hopes sets the tone for the Minutewomen’s entire conference slate.

“We’re obviously going to face stronger competition week by week as we go along,” Tagliente said. “But I do think it’s a big confidence booster, and I do think we have a lot of positive things to take away from that game.”

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Tagleinte said the key to putting together such a strong offensive performance against the Billikens (1-12, 0-1 A-10) was good execution and shot production.

“Our efficiency inside the (the attack zone) to get that many shots, I mean just the law of averages helps you,” she said. “It was just really a positive for us to get to that point where we could have 30 plus shots in the game. And then from there, you obviously work out the ball and the execution and finishing.”

Renee Suter and Lauren Allymohamed led the offense with two goals each. Hannah Prince added one goal and three assists and Alexa Sikalis tallied four assists of her own.

The team’s other goals came from Hallie Cockrum, Izzie Delario, Alyssa Ineson, Molly MacDonnell, Nicole Miller and Mel Sutherland.

While the team was missing twin sisters Allie and Brooke Sabia, who were suspended for two games for violating a team rule, Tagliente said she was pleased the team showed depth without two of their more productive players.

“I think anytime you lose dominant players that have the production that both of those two have, to see the team rally and step up and see goal production come out of different people is really outstanding,” Tagliente said.

The game against Saint Louis was the second game of the Sabias’ suspension, and the pair will return to play for UMass’ next game on Friday against La Salle. Tagliente said she expects the team to continue to show the depth it displayed during their absence.

“In particular, Renee (Suter) has to feel a lot more confident from her performance,” she said. “I know that individuals in particular, like Renee, that have had strong performances, they’re stronger, which is collectively going to make the group stronger down the stretch.”

Friday’s contest against the Explorers will be at Garber Field at 3:30 p.m.

Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at [email protected] and can be followed on Twitter @jgms88