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 women’s soccer nursing injuries during break, getting ready for Atlantic-10 Conference play

(Photo by Judith Gibson-Okunieff)
(Photo by Judith Gibson-Okunieff)

At first glance, you would think that the only focus of the Massachusetts women’s soccer team would be to prepare for their next match against Harvard.  In reality, the Minutemen are more concerned about preparing, both physically and mentally, for the start of their Atlantic-10 conference schedule.

With four players out due to injury, UMass hopes its 11-day layover is ample time to heal and prepare so they can achieve their ultimate goal: placing in the top eight amongst A-10 teams and securing a spot in the postseason.

Head coach Ed Matz is optimistic that both the team and season are in good shape, and sees this break as a chance for the team to work on their preparation.

“I see it as an opportunity to run this as a mini preseason, kind of focus on some things we need to get strong at,” Matz said.  “When you play every two or three days, it’s hard to sit back and work on things.”

The team was hindered by a busy schedule earlier this month, and with an abundance of games going into extra time, it is easy to see how many benefits there are in a long break for a team struggling to stay healthy.

As of now, the Minutewomen sit with a 2-5-2 record, including dropping their last two games 5-0 and 2-0 to University of Connecticut and Brown University respectively.  This, however, is not to say that UMass has been unable to create shots, or defend its own goal.

“I think we’re leading the A-10 in the most shots per game, so that’s another positive thing we need to build upon,” said Matz.  “We have a lot of positive things going into October and we just have to play.”

As for its defense, UMass was without Jenny Scro, their redshirt-freshmen defender, for its match against Brown, but coach Matz has been impressed with the rest of his defense’s ability to make up for her loss.

“You throw that UConn outcome of the equation and I think I’m pretty happy with where we are defensively,” Matz said.  “I think our defense wasn’t as strong without Jenny as it could have been, but the players stepped in and did an OK job without her.”

With one more match before the start of A-10 play, Matz is giving his injured and more utilized players a chance to rest.  Although the Minutewomen have not been shy this year about sharing reps with their players, the team is expected to dig deep into the roster for their next match against Harvard.

“This is the time of year where some of the players who don’t get a lot of playing time lose some of their fitness, so we’re trying to refocus and bring everybody up on the same page,” said Matz.

In what was described by coach Matz as a, “game of inches,” it is easy to see where he gets his confidence from.  UMass has been on the short-end of a number of plays this year that have affected the outcome of a number of its matches.  But with their first A-10 match coming up against George Washington, Matz is confident that things can start to swing in their favor.

“I always want to see the little things from my team,” said Matz.  “Our goal right now is to find some way, any way, to be in the top eight.  It doesn’t matter if were number one, or number eight, or anywhere in between, we just want to be in the top eight because we know good things can happen.”

The Minutewomen finalize their road trip on September 29th against Harvard, before starting A-10 play at home on Oct. 3.


Frank Corona can be reached at [email protected].

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