UMass field hockey inaugurates new home field with 4-3 win over UMass Lowell

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story



Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian

Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian

After starting the season with four straight road games, splitting them 2-2, the Massachusetts field hockey team finally had the chance to show off its new home field against UMass Lowell Friday afternoon.

In past years, UMass (3-2) shared its home turf with the men’s lacrosse team. But after summer renovations, Friday’s matinee marked the start of a new era for the Minutewomen.

UMass christened Gladchuk Field in style with a 4-3 win over the River Hawks Friday in front of a crowd of 315.

Sophomore forward and offensive leader Sarah Hawkshaw, who finished with a goal Friday, said she was pleased with the new field, especially the quickness and freshness of it.

She added it was nice to have a complex solely designated for the team.

“It is kind of our home, unlike Garber which is shared with someone else,” Hawkshaw said. “It is nice to have something to ourselves.”

Hawkshaw’s goal in the 66th minute proved to be the deciding tally in a physical, closely-fought game.

From the right side, Izzie Delario – scorer of the first goal of the game for UMass – passed the ball to Hawkshaw who was posted in the center and smacked it in for the pivotal goal.

“Leading up to it we went 3-all, we shouldn’t have went 3-all,” Hawkshaw said. “We’re just trying to put pressure on them and get any shots off that we can.

“I think we have to stay composed because we tend to get kind of frantic.”

The Minutewomen remained composed with less than a minute to play as UMass Lowell lined up for a penalty corner looking to even the score. The River Hawks already had a couple of goals set up by penalty corners that helped erase a two-goal deficit earlier in the game.

But the UMass defense executed the final stop perfectly, blocking the shot and regaining possession to run out the clock and secure the victory.

Coming off a shutout loss to No. 4 Syracuse last week, the Minutewomen played more aggressive than in their first four games, according to coach Carla Tagliente.

After finishing the first half knotted at 1-1, the Minutewomen jumped ahead 3-1 on back-to-back goals from Melanie Kreusch and Shauna Rankin-Byrne. Kreusch’s goal marked her team-leading fourth of the season while Ranking-Byrne earned her first in 2015.

“We did well (on offense) sometimes, but not well enough consistently,” Tagliente said. “I think sometimes we got greedy and went forward too fast.”

Compared to previous games, UMass handled the ball with far better control. Junior forward Nicole Miller stood out with her fancy footwork and disciplined ball handling that allowed her to find holes in the River Hawks’ defense.

However, the offense continued to be a work in progress for UMass, which hasn’t capitalized on many of their opportunities this season. The Minutewomen managed to convert four of their 11 shots on goal Friday.

The Minutewomen’s defense, which helped carry the team to success on their opening road trip, did not have their best day either despite UMass’ win.

“We got a little sloppy and a little undisciplined in terms of getting under the ball and getting bodies under the ball,” Tagliente said.

Howevre, Tagliente added she was pleased with how the defense finished the game.

On the other side, UMass Lowell caused its fair share of difficulty on defense by playing man coverage on the Minutewomen, resulting in what Hawkshaw called “a dog fight.”

Late in the second half, UMass midfielder Anne Dijkstra and defender Hannah Farrell hit the turf with apparent injuries on the same play before walking off the field under their own power.

Tagliente said after the game that both players were fine.

UMass next hosts Dartmouth (1-2) in the second leg of its five-game home stand Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Philip Sanzo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.