No. 10 UMass field hockey wins overtime thriller vs. Maine

By Tyler Fiedler

Collegian File Photo
Collegian File Photo

In just her third collegiate game, freshman Melanie Kreusch came up big with a game-winning goal to seal the first win of the season for the No. 10 Massachusetts field hockey team against Maine on Friday.

With the clock dwindling down to the final minute mark in overtime of the back-and-forth affair, freshman Sarah Hawkshaw drove down the sideline toward the opposing goal. She put in a cross into the crease where Kreusch made a diving effort to put the ball into the back of the net to clinch the 3-2 victory.

“It was great, an unbelievable feeling,” Kreusch said of her goal. “I saw (Sarah) running down the sideline, so I saw an opening and was just happy to put it in the net.”

In a game where the teams traded goals throughout, the first victory of the season did not come easy for UMass.

The Minutewomen (1-2) got the scoring started 25 minutes into the game when Izzie Delario and Cliodhna Loughlin assisted on junior Brooke Sabia’s first goal of the season.

Ten minutes later, Maine answered the bell with a goal of their own by sophomore Nicole Sevey.

With the score tied 1-1 at halftime, UMass coach Carla Tagliente said that she needed more from her team.

“Our inexperience showed and we were not as aggressive in the first half as we wanted to be,” Tagliente said. “We cleaned up basic skills and I told them to pressure the backfield.”

UMass appeared to take Tagliente’s halftime speech to heart as it came out more aggressive, keeping the ball on the Black Bears’ side for most of the second half.

The Minutewomen scored at the 59:24 mark to regain the lead as Sabia recorded her second goal of the game on a costly penalty stroke by Maine.

Less than six minutes later, the Black Bears countered with a late goal to tie the game at two goals apiece. A penalty corner called on UMass led to a long pass down the middle of the field and a breakaway for Maine when Cassidy Svetek beat Minutewomen goalkeeper Sam Carlino for the equalizer.

After the first 60 minutes of play, UMass came out on the attack for most of the overtime period. The Minutewomen outshot Maine 3-0 in overtime to add to their overall 14-7 shot advantage throughout the game.

The victory for UMass comes after two games where it had chances to come away with wins.

“It feels good to get the first win,” Tagliente said. “We have played well enough in the first two games to get wins, so the girls deserved a win.”

It was a big win for the Minutewomen, who will now travel to face No. 13 Boston College on Sunday.

“They are a good team who play a different style then Maine,” Tagliente said. “The focus is always on ourselves, that won’t change. We just have to push the pace and hopefully the momentum of this win will carry over.”

The game is set for Sunday at 3 p.m. at Alumni Field.

Tyler Fiedler can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @Tyler_Fiedler.