Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer kicks off road swing Thursday against Brown

Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)
(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team will continue its grueling nonconference schedule of play when the Minutewomen travel to Providence, R. I. and face off against Brown University Thursday at 4 p.m.

Although the score says otherwise, UMass (2-3) is coming off of a hard-fought, yet evenly-matched loss against Central Michigan and will be hoping to start its four-game road trip on the right foot against the Bears (3-1-1).

Junior forward Gabriela Kenyon leads the Minutewomen in points with a pair of goals and assists each as UMass heads into its game against Brown, headlined by senior midfielder Carly Gould, who leads the Bears with six points this season.

With this game, and the Minutewomen’s following against Providence this Sunday being their last taste of nonconference play, UMass coach Ed Matz highlighted the importance of the next two games.

“Whatever we do is to prepare ourselves for the Atlantic-10,” Matz said. “Our nonconference schedule has been great, it’s challenging, and we’ve played two undefeated teams in the country out of the four that are out there, so it’s been a very, very challenging nonconference season.”

“But to me, the nonconference season prepares you for what starts in a couple weeks when our first two conference games are out against La Salle and Richmond,” Matz added.

Last year, UMass beat Brown 1-0 in a closely contested game, however Matz voiced his respect toward the Bears and what they have to offer has a team.

“They are a very good Ivy League team,” he said. “You know that you’re facing a very good, quality opponent. The coaching is going to be very good, and the game is always going to be challenging.”

When asked who he wants to see step up their overall performance these next few games, Matz refrained from picking out one player in particular; rather he looked at his team as a whole as needing to improve.

“We’re looking for everyone to step up. We made a lot of points yesterday in our game film, and I don’t think we spared anyone with some things we saw that need improving or they did well. We need to keep building on the positives and try to take care of some things that we didn’t do so well.

“We’re looking for our offense to start clicking and hopefully everything will be a bit improved,” Matz added.

Although conference play has yet to begin, the Minutewomen are ranked among the bottom-half of the A-10 with their 2-3 record. La Salle and Dayton are the only two teams that have worse non-conference records.

Matz also admitted that this year’s schedule didn’t come about by accident, and pointed to turf playing fields that Brown and Providence both have as being an extra factor to help them prepare for their A-10 foes.

“Hopefully we fixed some things that cropped up against Central Michigan and Maine, and we use some of those things to prepare for next weekend, because every single game counts.”

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @RyanAmes.

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