Field Hockey Drops Two on California Trip

By Thomas Haines

(Collegian File Photo)

The Massachusetts field hockey team lost twice over the weekend, losing to California and Stanford in its season-opening west-coast swing.

UMass (2-2) fell 3-1 to No. 13 Stanford (2-2) on Sunday despite leading in shots on goal (14-11) and shots on goal (10-7).

Stanford tallied nine saves, not allowing a goal until the 64th minute.

The Minutewomen’s lone goal came from freshman Lucy Cooper, who now leads the team in scoring with four goals through four games.

The Cardinals took the lead quickly, striking one minute and 58 seconds into the game, off a goal from Marissa Cicione.

Corinne Zanolli scored seven minutes later for Stanford, on its only penalty corner of the game, to up its lead to 2-0.

UMass’s defense settled down after a rough first 10 minutes, but allowed another goal in the 51st minute to trail 3-0.

Cooper’s goal in the 64th minute came too little, too late.

Head coach Barb Weinberg said it was a positive step for the team, despite the loss.

“We had great stats against Stanford, we just couldn’t convert as much as we needed to win that game, but we’re getting the shots on goal, we’re getting the circle entries. Now we just need to convert,” Weinberg said.

Although the Minutewomen led the Cardinals 11-1 in penalty corners, they failed to convert a single one. Stanford, meanwhile, capitalized its only penalty corner for its second goal.

The loss came on the heels of a 2-1 defeat to the Golden Bears late Friday night, a loss that marked the team’s first defeat of the season. UMass dropped a low-scoring affair to California, who picked up its first win.

The game winning goal came just after the five-minute mark in the second half when Golden Bears freshman Megan Rodgers tapped in her second of the year.

The Minutewomen failed to answer and came away with the loss.

For the second straight game, UMass started off hot but failed to sustain the pressure.

Less than two minutes in, Cooper found the back of the net for her third goal of the season when she capitalized on a turnover by California’s Maddie Ashbrook.

The Golden Bears responded less than six minutes later, tying the score when sophomore Katrina Carter took a pass from senior Mara Gutierrez and put it by Minutewomen goalkeeper Emily Hazard, who finished the day with five saves.

The two teams then played scoreless field hockey for more than 30 minutes, but California dominated the time of attack. In the end, the Golden Bears would finish with a 20-9 shot advantage and an 8-1 penalty corner advantage.

Weinberg cited the statistical improvements over the two games as a reason for optimism moving forward.

“Against Cal Berkeley we gave up more penalty corners than we would have liked to, but we improved on that on Sunday, and we only gave up one DPC against Stanford,” Weinberg said. “Our circle defense and defense inside our 25 was much improved for Sunday’s game.”

Despite the losses, Weinberg continued to emphasize the strides that the team has made.

“Although we’re 2-2, the games in California were a great opportunity to say, ‘yes, we didn’t win, but we played really good hockey,’ particularly against Stanford,” Weinberg said. “We’re trying to take the positive away from those games moving forward.”

UMass has a five-day rest coming off the two losses before returning home for another Friday and Sunday homestand against Sacred Heart and Boston University, respectively, at Gladchuk Sports Complex.

Thomas Haines can be reached at [email protected].