Anastasio missed for UMass women’s soccer practice on Tuesday

By Zander Manning

(Katherine Mayo / Daily Collegian)

With two road games vs. St. Bonaventure and Virginia Commonwealth this weekend, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team saw improvement by some of their injured players in practice.

Senior forward Salma Anastasio was on the sidelines, but out of a walking boot that she was spotted wearing on Sunday after not playing in the loss to Fordham at Rudd Field.

“Probably the same as it was for Sunday, day-by-day,” UMass coach Ed Matz said of Anastasio’s status. “We’ll see how the bruise on her foot heals and we’ll get a few minutes out of her.”

Matz said that he hasn’t determined how much Anastasio will play and said that it is really up to her at this point. He expects to get at least a few minutes out of Anastasio in Thursday’s game at St. Bonaventure.

The Minutewomen’s road trip begins at St. Bonaventure (0-9-2, 0-1-1 Atlantic 10) in Olean, N.Y. at 7 p.m. The Minutewomen then travel to play VCU (5-2-2, 1-0-1 A-10) in Richmond, VA at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

In her last two games, junior forward Paige Kozlowski played through an ankle injury. She was cleared to do all drills in Tuesday’s practice with the exception of the shooting drills.

Matz isn’t expecting anything less than Sunday’s performance from Kozlowski.

“About the same as she played the other day,” Matz said. “I mean 67, 70 minutes is a lot for a player.”

He said he was encouraged by Kozlowski’s performance in practice, but doesn’t anticipate changing how she is used.

“[Her ankle] seemed good,” Matz said. “We pulled her out of shooting, just as a precautionary. You know this time of year, nagging injuries can manifest, so it’s just precautionary.”

Earlier in the week, Matz described Kozlowski as a fighter and said that she will fight through everything and will do everything she can to play.

Matz described Anastasio in the same way.

“They’re all fighters, they’re all kids, they all want to play,” Matz said. “Being out, no one likes being out. They train all summer long for this and this is the gravy for them because this is the A-10 and it’s frustrating when you have little things that just won’t go away.”

Coming into Thursday, Matz doesn’t see any reason to change the lineups considering the possible injuries to Kozlowski and Anastasio.

“I like the lineup we started on [Sunday],” Matz said. “I think that’s one of our stronger lineups. We have some possession oriented lineups, we have some other types of lineups, but I like the lineup we played and we’ll see what happens on Thursday, we’ll see how the health is.”

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ZMSportsReport.