Cassidy Babin’s season-high nine saves secures 0-0 double overtime tie for UMass women’s soccer

By Mollie Walker

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusett’s women’s soccer team took on its fourth double overtime game this season, emerging in a 0-0 tie against Duquesne Thursday at Rudd Field.

“Well, I mean, it’s another point, and now what I just told the team is we’re looking at a maximum of 11 points and I don’t know if that gets us in the (Atlantic10) playoffs,” Minutewomen coach Ed Matz said after the game.

Goalkeeper Cassidy Babin made a season-high of nine saves in the draw, clutching one a piece in both overtimes. The game marked Babin’s fourth shutout of the season.

UMass (2-9-3, 0-5-2 Atlantic 10) was on its toes defensively early in the match, with Babin picking up two saves in the first four minutes of play.

The Minutewomen had one of their best offensive chances in the 44th minute off a break-through shot from Rebecca Frisk, but Dukes goalkeeper Kyra Murphy pulled out a big save, finishing with four on the day.

“Duquesne is good, we knew they were good,” Matz said. “I just knew that they’re physical and I knew it was going to be a very hard fought game, with a lot of fouls.”

Duquesne’s leading scorer Katie O’Connor had her best opportunity for the Dukes in the 86th minute, receiving a through-ball down the left sideline before sending a hard shot on net.

Babin deflected the ball toward the far post where it ricocheted down and rolled to goal-line before the UMass defense cleared the ball keeping the draw in tact.

“We just had to play our game and play to the last minute,” junior midfielder Jackie Miller said. “That’s kind of been what we’ve been saying lately, we just have to never quit and stay on our game and stay alert.”

The Dukes (9-4-3, 5-1-1 A-10) dictated most of the offensive play in the second half, receiving six corner kick opportunities in contrast to UMass’ zero.

Duquesne’s late offensive surge was highlighted by back-to-back shots in the 100th minute of play. With 13 seconds to go in regulation, Babin was forced to make a big save right before time expired to ensure overtime.

“I feel like we create them off their mistakes and we just need to finish,” Miller said. “That’s the biggest thing right now, getting points.”

Several opportunities were presented to both the Minutewomen and the Dukes in the overtime periods, but no one was able to capitalize.

Matz expressed his concern for the few players that were banged up from the physical competition. His number one priority is making sure his team is well-rested and has a strong practice before taking the field Sunday against Virginia Commonwealth.

“Nine points are still out there,” Matz said. “It gives us an opportunity.”

Like most of her teammates, Miller is concerned with all the chances that aren’t being finished. Although she believes her team has kept their heads up and hasn’t quit, the need for goals is severe if UMass wants a shot at qualifying for the A-10 playoffs.

“We just have to finish the season, we have three games left,” Miller said. “We’re excited to finish it off and try to get some more points.”

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at MWalker2019.