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

UMass field hockey tops VCU, moves on to A-10 title game

For the second consecutive year, the No. 12 Massachusetts field hockey team will be playing in the Atlantic 10 championship game.

The Minutewomen defeated Virginia Commonwealth 1-0 in Friday’s conference semifinals at Garber Field on a goal by junior Lauren Allymohamed at the 90:44 mark in double overtime to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Richmond at 2 p.m. at Garber Field.

Araz Havan/Collegian

The game was a scoreless struggle throughout. But Allymohamed, who recently won A-10 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, felt there were lots of offensive opportunities and a goal was bound to happen eventually.

“It feels incredible. Everyone worked really hard and we really deserved the goal,” Allymohamed said. “We should have put it away during regular time, but this game shows that we are tough and we will keep fighting until the end.”

Although the game ended 1-0, UMass dominated in the statistics column, outshooting VCU 34-4 and getting 13 penalty corners to the Rams’ four. UMass coach Carla Tagliente said there were several similarities in the way VCU played, with this game being identical to the one that took place in the regular season, which the Minutewomen won 3-1 on Oct. 27.

“It wasn’t much different than what we thought they would come at us with,” Tagliente said. “They didn’t do anything different from the first time, we just really struggled both times handling the number of people they put back on defense. I’m proud of our kids for gutting this one out, especially with the challenge of playing two overtime games in a row.”

Rams goalkeeper Megan Botteri was of the main reasons the game went into double overtime, making 19 saves in the loss. Tagliente was pleased with the way her team kept fighting, despite missing several chances to score in regulation and the first overtime period.

“I thought she was really outstanding,” Tagliente said in reference to Botteri. “We were inches away from a few goals on several opportunities. These games are challenging in the way that you have to preserve and not get down on yourself, because the opportunity will present itself and it did.”

With this game now in the past, the Minutewomen turn their attention to the Spiders, who defeated Lock Haven 4-0 in the other semifinal contest. After a long game with VCU, Allymohamed believes the key to tomorrow’s championship game will be to score early and often, while Tagliente will be focusing on her team’s physical preparation.

“For now, the focus is on recovering and getting our legs back under us. We aren’t going to spend much time analyzing this game, but concentrating on what we need to do better and getting physically prepared,” Tagliente said.

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected].


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