Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer suffers another crushing overtime loss

By Arthur Hayden

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

For the first 109 minutes of the Massachusetts women’s soccer team’s game against Cornell on Friday, not one goal was scored.

As UMass’ offense continued to sputter in key moments, the Big Red’s Caroline Growney finally capitalized on the best chance of the game in double overtime to give Cornell the 1-0 win.

Growney, who played more minutes than all but one of her teammates on the hot afternoon in Amherst, received a pass from Elizabeth Crowell on the run and sent a hard shot toward the Minutewomen’s goal which ricocheted into the net to end the game with just one minute left in the second overtime period.

It was a familiar story for a frustrated UMass team (1-3-1) which has already become quite familiar with overtime finishes, as four of the team’s first five games have headed to extra time.

“We’re used to it, but it’s not something that we relish being in,” UMass coach Ed Matz said. “It’s a time when you need to be mentally tough. …It’s not the best team that always wins in overtime, it’s the team that goes out and capitalizes on a mistake.”

The Minutewomen might have avoided heading into overtime altogether on Friday if junior captain Rebekka Sverrisdottir’s booming shot had not narrowly glided over the crossbar in the 65th minute.

In addition, between seven second-half corner kicks and a couple of dynamic runs from junior captain Jackie Bruno – one of which she nearly capped off with a goal after outmaneuvering two Big Red defenders, but her shot sailed just high – it seemed that eventually the UMass offensive attack was destined to find the net.

“We had opportunities to win the game and we didn’t,” said Matz. “We’re struggling to find scorers. We’re not finding that back of the net and when we’re doing that we lose these one-goal games.”

On the other side of the ball, Sverrisdottir and the rest of the Minutewomen defense did an effective job keeping the Cornell (1-0) offense at bay for the vast majority of the game.

UMass outshot Cornell 13-6 for the game.

“It’s hard going to overtime over and over again,” Sverrisdottir said. “It’s tiring, and we need to find a way to win the games in overtime.”

When asked about the effects of the summer heat on the result, Sverrisdottir was quick to dismiss the weather and put the responsibility on herself and the team

“It’s hot out for everyone” Sverrisdottir said. “This game was just about who wanted it more and we were not the team that wanted it more this time.”

The mental toughness that Matz talked about will again be put to the test on Sunday as the Minutewomen look to end a two-game losing streak. They host New Hampshire at Rudd Field at 1 p.m.

Arthur Hayden can be reached at [email protected]

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