UMass field hockey shuts out Davidson in 4-0 win

By Jamie Cushman

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Photo by Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Photo by Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts field hockey team featured a strong team attack to grab a convincing 4-0 victory over Davidson at home Friday.

Four different Minutewomen chipped in a goal in a game where UMass (7-8, 5-1 A-10) held Davidson (2-13, 1-4 A-10) to just three shots.

Sophomore Nicole Miller got the scoring underway midway through the first half when she deposited a shot in the far side of the net after a long run up the left side of the field.

Once again, the Minutewomen took advantage of its opponent’s penalties for the majority of their scoring. On the first occasion, freshman Melanie Kresuch scored her sixth goal of the season after the initial penalty corner shot was saved. Hailey Cockrum earned her fifth goal of the season on a penalty stroke five minutes into the second half. Sophomore Izzie Delario added the fourth and final goal when her shot deflected off of a Davidson player following a penalty corner 20 minutes into the second half.

UMass coach Carla Tagliente recognized the importance of penalty corners to the Minutewomen offense.

“It’s a big part of our game,” Tagliente said. “It’s not a secret if you scout us, the majority of our scoring is off penalty corners. It’s not like I’m letting the cat out of the bag with that.”

One of the few bright spots for Davidson was junior goalkeeper Emily Leytham. Leytham tallied 13 saves, including a few difficult saves in the second half. Minutewomen junior goalkeeper Sam Carlino, on the other hand, had a much more relaxed day, needing just one save to preserve the shutout over the first 62 minutes, at which point redshirt freshman Emily Hazard made her season debut in net for the remainder of the game.

With four goals and another strong showing, the UMass offense is starting to develop some momentum. Forward Nicole Miller contributed the uptick in goals to a change in thinking for the team, which is now more offensive-minded than earlier in the season.

“Our ball movement is better and we are getting a lot more attacking penalty than we did in the beginning of the season,” Miller said.

The previous scoring woes can be contributed to the shuffling of positions and players in the beginning of the season.

“It’s hard as a player sometimes when you don’t have one primary role or responsibility. You have to keep on putting on a different hat and having a different responsibility,” Tagliente said.
More defined roles and increased familiarity between players has helped the Minutewomen develop confidence before the post season push.

“We’re ready now,” Miller said.

UMass will host Boston University on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Jamie Cushman can be reached at [email protected]