Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer suffers stinging 1-0 loss to Yale

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Highlighted by two waved off goals due to offsides and another late near-miss, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team suffered a stinging 1-0 loss to host team Yale to close out the Yale Classic Sunday.

The Minutewomen (0-3-2) failed to capitalize on their 19 total shots and numerous scoring chances en route to being shut out for the fourth time this season through five games. UMass coach Ed Matz said he was disappointed the team’s strong play didn’t translate into any goals on the scoreboard.

“It’s a tough loss for us,”Matz said. “We played probably our best soccer. Over 90 minutes we created a lot of chances. We had three goals taken off the board. It’s a game that stings a little bit.”

UMass first appeared to find the scoreboard in the 30th minute when the Minutewomen thought they had tied the game on a redirection of a free kick that was shot past Bulldogs goalie Maritza Grillo. However, the goal was waved off due to an offsides call.

In the second half, another potential UMass goal was called off when senior Madison Smith delivered a pass to junior Megan Burke who beat Yale’s new goalkeeper Rachel Ames to the left side. Once again, the line judge determined Burke was ahead of the play and the Minutewomen stayed trailing 1-0.

The third near-goal for UMass came with less than three minutes in regulation when Minutewomen sophomore Gabriela Kenyon headed a corner kick that ricocheted off a Yale defender and off the crossbar, landing right on the goal line.

The Bulldogs then cleared the ball before it crossed the line to maintain the shutout.

“They were all three very close plays,” Matz said. “To be honest I think they could have gone either way.”

Burke’s disallowed goal was followed by a strong save from Minutewomen goalie Cassidy Babin for one of her two Sunday, and would have created a tremendous swing of momentum for the road team had the ensuing goal counted.

Babin has impressed since taking over the starting position in the second game of the season. She has allowed three goals over four games with a 0.68 goals against average.

“(Babin) has been tremendous,” Matz said. “She holds onto a lot of crosses and at least one or two times during each game she has come up with spectacular saves for us. She has done her job and given us a chance to win every game. Her confidence is growing and we’re very happy with how she’s progressing.”

The lone goal of the game came in the eighth minute of play when Yale freshman Michelle Alozie scored her first career goal, finishing off a pass from fellow freshman Sofia Griff. Matz attributed the breakdown to miscommunication between Babin and the center defenders, which he added was possibly a result of players starting in different positions due to an array of injuries.

The Minutewomen continued to create scoring chances right down to the final minute as Smith escaped from two Yale defenders and delivered a cross over the heads of everyone in the middle and toward the far post.

UMass redshirt freshman Marissa Milazzo came up with the ball and delivered a strong shot toward the net with 51 seconds left but Ames took a great angle on the ball to cut off the shot and preserve Yale’s one-goal lead.

After the first five games, Matz said the Minutewomen are disappointed to be sitting with no wins. Despite the numerous injuries UMass has suffered, it has played well at times but hasn’t consistently converted on scoring opportunities.

“I feel like we have played well since the Syracuse game (Aug. 21),” Matz said. “We’ve played some pretty good competition and I just feel that as long as we keep creating chances and as long as we keep working hard and continue to put pressure on the other team, the breaks are going to come our way.”

He added: “We have to move forward, work harder and get right back after it.”

The Minutewomen’s next opportunity to earn their first win of the season will be Thursday when they host Bryant for their home opener at Rudd Field. The game will start at 4 p.m.

“I’m looking for the team to come out with a chip on their shoulder and show everybody in the Amherst area that the last time they saw us play was not the team they are going to see on Thursday,” Matz said. “I’m hoping that we play a little pissed off and come out with just fire.”

Jamie Cushman can be reached at [email protected]

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