Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s soccer looks to make late-season surge with only six games remaining

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s soccer team is back on the road this week, stopping down south in Davidson Thursday night before heading back up north to face Rhode Island Sunday afternoon.

UMass (2-8-1, 0-4-0 Atlantic 10) is coming off of its first pair of home games so far in A-10 play. Although the ending results were not in the Minutewomen’s favor with losses against George Washington and George Mason, they did manage to break their four-game scoring drought off a free-position kick by Daniela Alvarez in their double-overtime loss to the Patriots.

“We have six games left,” both UMass coach Ed Matz and goalkeeper Cassidy Babin acknowledged.

“Every one that you don’t get, puts that much pressure on the next one,” Matz said. “It’s a game on the road that we have to go down and get those three points.”

Davidson (4-8-1, 0-3-1 A-10) returns home after its 2-0 loss against Duquesne this past Sunday, dropping its record on the road to 1-5-0.

Like UMass, the Wildcats have struggled on the offensive end this season. Heading into Thursday’s game, Davidson has been without a goal since its A-10 opener Sept. 29 against Virginia Commonwealth.

Wildcats freshman Seeley Yoo currently leads the team with three goals this season, sizing up UMass’ top scorer, junior Gabriela Kenyon, who has two of the Minutewomen’s five total goals this season.

Babin expressed her excitement about the upcoming game and noted that regardless of the two teams playing, A-10 soccer is always entertaining to watch. She believes her team is prepared and they’re hoping for a positive result to get UMass on track on its journey to the conference championships.

“With the A-10 anything can go, so I don’t think we should be discouraged right now just because of how we started,” Babin said.

The two teams have only faced a common opponent this season in La Salle. Davidson emerged with a 0-0 tie, while UMass fell short 1-0.

Davidson’s goalkeeper Alex Carpenter pushed her save total of the season to 56 after having a seven-save game in the Wildcats’ most recent outing against Duquesne. Only one save short of Carpenter, Babin stands with 55 saves this season.

“I think for us it’s just going to be about being able to play the full 90 minutes,” Babin said. “If we just stay tuned in the whole time everything else will come together.”

Thursdays game in North Carolina is set to start at 7 p.m.

Minutewomen earn academic award

The Minutewomen were recently honored as one of 578 institutions to win the 2015-16 National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) academic award.

The award marks the 12th time in the last 13 years that one of Matz’s programs (UMass and Northeastern) has received the honor.

“It’s something that these kids should be doing and we’re proud,” Matz said. “We take our academics seriously and they do too.”

Collectively, the team achieved a 3.34 grade-point average for the 2015-16 academic year to qualify for the prestigious recognition.

“We do a lot work on and off the field, it’s something we take pride in.”

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

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