Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass field hockey escapes against Saint Louis despite lack of discipline

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Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

In a game that Massachusetts field hockey coach Carla Tagliente said the Minutewomen played “flat,” UMass held on against Atlantic 10 cellar-dweller Saint Louis for the 3-2 victory Friday afternoon.

“I’m disappointed in the group and I think they are disappointed in themselves as well,” Tagliente said following the narrow victory.

The Billikens (0-12) have been anemic on offense and brutal on defense all season long – ranking last in the A-10 in scoring average and goals against average – making Friday’s matchup appear to be an easy opportunity for the Minutewomen to erase their two-game losing streak. But UMass’ three-goal performance on 22 attempted shots adds to the consistency problem that the Minutewomen have experienced all season long.

UMass scored the game’s first three goals of the game, capitalized by Sarah Hawkshaw’s team-leading sixth goal of the season for the third tally in the 59th minute. Hawkshaw recorded nine of the Minutewomen’s 22 total shots.

Saint Louis then responded with back-to-back goals within 40 seconds with under 20 minutes left in regulation. Molly Feid and Erica Bondoc both scored in the 63rd minute to quickly shrink UMass’ lead to a single goal.

“We were caught in the position where we couldn’t set the pressure up fast enough,” Tagliente said.

The coach described the 35-second span between goals as “chaotic.”

“We came out and the energy level was pretty flat,” Tagliente said. She added that she had no explanation for why there was a lack of energy.

According to Tagliente though, the lack of production on offense starts with discipline, or a lack there of.

“We had nice passing combinations and did some nice things but we just had a lack of discipline,” Tagliente said. “We had a lot going in the circle but had a lack of discipline.”

Whenever discipline is in question, the leaders of a team are the ones to answer why, and right now Tagliente said she isn’t completely satisfied with the Minutewomen’s leadership.

UMass’ captains are senior goalkeeper Sam Carlino, junior forward Nicole Miller, sophomore midfield/forward Sarah Hawkshaw and junior defender Hannah Farrell. Heading into the most crucial part of the Minutewomen’s season, all eyes will be on these four Minutewomen to get the team back on track.

Clearly upset with UMass, Tagliente brought up the question of how the team prepares for the games.

“We are not bringing it everyday and that’s a problem,” Tagliente said.

The Minutewomen will have a long bus ride to Louisville, Kentucky next to think about how to move past their recent struggles. UMass will face their third nationally-ranked opponent this season in No. 9 Louisville Sunday afternoon.

The Minutemen are 1-2 so far against top-25 teams, losing to then-No. 4 Syracuse and No. 9 Stanford along with an early-season win against No. 20 Boston University

“We have to win one of these games, we can’t go into all these ranked games, play well and come out with a one goal loss,” said Tagliente.

Tagliente acknowledged that recent struggles with shot discipline is not due to a lack of emotion, but the contrary.

“These are the things we are talking about, I think they were letting their emotions get the best of them,” Tagliente said. “Everyone wants to be the hero and we are just not being disciplined in what we need to do to be that hero.”

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

About the Writer
Philip Sanzo, Sports Editor
UMass’s depth and St. Joseph’s high scorer means Friday’s semifinal has potential for a possible shootout.
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