Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer continues its dominance at home in Thursday win

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

It was home sweet home for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team once again, who followed up a two-game roadtrip with a victory over Davidson Thursday at Rudd Field.

With the win over the Wildcats, UMass 5-5-3 (2-2-1 Atlantic 10) improved to 5-1-1 on its home field. The Minutewomen’s lone loss came in their season opener against Syracuse. Since then, the Minutewomen have been unflappable at home.

“We’ve been doing real well at Rudd,” senior captain Rebekka Sverrisdottir said following Thursday’s game. “It gives us confidence playing here.”

The 4-0 win over Davidson marked UMass’ fifth shutout of the season. Four of its shutouts came in a row as part of an earlier five-game homestand where Bryant, Brown, Harvard and La Salle all failed find the back of the net.

The Minutewomen’s scoring was powered by four goals from four different players Thursday, in Megan Burke, Sverrisdottir, Alyssa Fratarcangelli and Breanna Robinson. Excluding its game against Syracuse on Aug. 21, UMass has outscored its opponents 11-to-2 at Rudd Field.

UMass coach Ed Matz said he sees the difference in his team at home. He knows they need to play well there, as they have struggled to find wins away from Amherst so far this season (0-4-2). The Minutewomen’s goal is to make it into the A-10 tournament, and their stellar play at home is necessary to keep this goal alive.

“Our goal this year was to win on Rudd. I told them that if you can win the majority of games on Rudd you can make it to the A-10 (tournament),” Matz said. “Hopefully I live up to my word.”

Matz said the source behind UMass’ success at home has been that he’s found it easier to get his team motivated.

“I was thinking about it today, you try to think of reasons and things to say to get them pumped up on the road, but you know, when you walk in the gate, and you hear our music going, and the field looks gorgeous, and they play the UMass fight song, you can’t help but get fired up,” he said.

Sverrisdottir had similar thoughts on the team’s success at home.

“It’s a familiar area, we have our fans coming here and we have our warmup CD here, it all contributes to the wins here,” she said.

With the conference tournament looming, the Minutewomen will need to continue their winning ways at home. There are two remaining games on Rudd Field this year, and they are near must-win games for the team. While the shutout victory against Davidson was nice, Matz said he knows UMass must turn its focus to its next game against Rhode Island at home.

“Half the weekends (are) done. Half our goal is done. Three points is not going to be good enough to keep our approach, it’s not good enough to keep our momentum going,” Matz said. “Three points is just not good enough. We’ve got to have six.”

After the URI game, the Minutewomen have one final home game against Dayton in their season finale on Nov. 1.

“(Winning at home) gives us a lot of confidence,” Sverrisdottir said. “We’re coming off a weekend where we lost two games, we knew we had to come out strong today, we did, and now we just have to get everyone back on the ground, now we need to put the focus on Sunday.”

If Matz’s word is right, the Minutewomen have set themselves up for a shot at the A-10 tournament due to their play at Rudd Field. UMass currently ranks seventh in the conference, as the top eight qualify for the tournament at the end of the season.

Thomas Johnston can be reached at [email protected]

About the Writer
Thomas Johnston, Assistant Sports Editor
Holloway is coming off his best game of the season against BYU, where he scored 16 points and had eight rebounds in only 16 minutes.
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