Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s soccer shut out by UNH Saturday night

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

In Wednesday’s win against Hartford, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team doubled its goal count for the season by scoring twice in a 2-1 win. But Saturday night against New Hampshire, the offensively-challenged Minutemen returned to their early season form and was shut out by the Wildcats in a 1-0 loss in Durham, New Hampshire.

It was a tightly-contested defensive matchup as UNH broke through for the only goal of the game in the 55th minute courtesy of AJ Albers.

Albers was set up by senior midfielder Fazal Nabi, who cut in behind the Minutemen defense and delivered a perfect cross to Albers, who was sitting right in front of goal.

It was the only mistake by a UMass backline that limited the Wildcats’ opportunities all night. While UNH launched 17 shots in total, only five of them landed on net and four were saved by Minutemen goalkeeper Bardia Asefnia.

The loss drops UMass to 1-7 for the season and it marked the fifth time the Minutemen have been shut out this year.

What limited offense UMass could produce Saturday night was centered around sophomore midfielder Alex DeSantis. He led the team with four shots and two shots on goal against UNH goalkeeper Ryan Carpenter.

The Wildcats started the game with a flurry of offensive chances. In the sixth minute, Chris Wingate hit the crossbar and seconds later, Nabi got a shot through that Asefnia had to corral. But the Minutemen buckled down and didn’t allow another shot to get through until the 30th minute.

On the other hand, UMass didn’t test Carpenter until the 23rd minute. The Minutemen didn’t record a shot on goal for the final 28 minutes of the game.

The Minutemen will have a time trying to get their offense going before the start of conference play. They’ll have Friday and Sunday matchups next weekend against Vermont and Brown respectively. After that, UMass will open Atlantic 10 play on Oct. 3 against Saint Joseph’s.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RossGien

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