Consistency is the key for UMass field hockey heading into the weekend

By Tyler Fiedler

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

Consistency, or the lack thereof, has been the biggest issue for the Massachusetts field hockey team so far this season.

UMass has yet to put together a win streak, but the early season struggles do not seem to concern coach Carla Tagliente too much.

“It is something we have talked about when it comes to consistency,” Tagliente said. “On our attack we need to maintain possession a lot more than we have. You talk about consistency game-to-game but then there’s the consistency part in the game.”

The Minutewomen have not had much of an attack early on this season, scoring only seven goals while allowing 10.

Coming off of a 4-0 loss to Syracuse, goalkeeper Sam Carlino reiterated that notion of consistency.

“I think we are just happy to be back home. I mean the first four games on the road is tough,” Carlino said. “Both offensively and defensively we are picking up so I think we just need to pick up what we’ve learned.”

Maintaining that consistency will be big as UMass (2-2) heads into the weekend against two strong opponents.

UMass-Lowell (4-0) and Dartmouth (1-1) will travel to Gladchuk Field, where the Minutewomen will play their first two games on the new field. Both will be a tough test for UMass.

The River Hawks come into Friday’s contest riding a four-game win streak to start the season. UMass-Lowell play a unique style offensively that Tagliente struggled to describe.

“They play a very different style of offense,” Tagliente said before a long pause. “I’m not sure how to describe their style of play, but I think it is a lot more unique than we have seen.”

The River Hawks attack is led by a variety of players, with eight scoring at least one goal. Georgia Cowderoy and Jenna Freitas have each scored two goals to lead the team.

However, what UMass-Lowell has not been able to do is blow teams out, winning all of its games by one goal.

“If we can maintain our structure and our game plan, I think we will be fine,” Tagliente said.

“I just think communication is our big thing right now,” Carlino added. “We need to talk both as a unit and throughout the whole entire game.”

That lack of consistency and communication has shone through the first four games for UMass. Carlino knows she has to be more vocal and on the same page as the rest of her team is if the Minutewomen are going to come away with victories over the weekend.

River Hawks goalkeeper Kelsey Federico is 4-0 with a 1.50 goals against average. On the other hand, Carlino is 2-2 with a 2.43 goals against average.

UMass will also have a tough test against the Big Green. Like Carlino, Dartmouth goalkeeper Paige Duffy is .500 with a 2.48 goals against average. However, her teammates have picked her up. The Big Green has scored six goals in their two games this season.

Leading the attack is Rebecca Hu, scoring twice in two games. Tagliente feels Dartmouth’s style of play is more to UMass’s liking.

“They play a decent style of hockey,” she said. “They’re off to a nice start and have generated a lot of penalty corners. I think we need to address that and stop the play out of the circle.

“For me, the whole weekend is about our improvement and what we are doing,” Tagliente said.

It will be the consistency that will determine whether the Minutewomen can right the ship or continue their .500 trend.

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