Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Lucy Cooper and freshman class leads the way early for UMass field hockey

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Following a disappointing weekend in California, the Massachusetts field hockey team looks to get back in the win column this weekend when it hosts Sacred Heart and Boston University.

After quickly starting out 2-0, the Minutewomen had their record evened out to 2-2 thanks to a pair of losses at the hands of California and No. 13 Stanford.

UMass scored a total of 12 goals this season, half of which are scored by freshmen: Lucy Cooper and Georgie McTear. Cooper leads the Minutewomen in goals with four, while McTear has racked up two of her own. Cooper also has a team-high three assists on the year, showing her ability to be a facilitator for coach Barb Weinberg’s squad.

“I feel pretty good,” Cooper said. “I just want to keep the momentum going and not drop off after the first few games.”

Weinberg expressed high praise for the freshman class and is very excited about their potential.

“Cooper is a very talented player, her speed on the forward line allows her to beat the defense and create high-potential shots on goal,” Weinberg said. “I think this team has a lot of room to improve. We’ve had several younger players step up and give us a lot of minutes.”

Not only is this Cooper’s first year competing for UMass, but she is also working through the transition to college life like any other freshman on campus. If being a student-athlete was not hard enough, she is also transitioning to the United States for the first time as an international student from New Zealand.

“There’s a new style of hockey to get used to, I’ve also been meeting so many great new people and I’ve had a blast taking it all in,” Cooper said. “I hope to help accomplish the team’s goal of making it to the final four and I think it’s realistic if we work as hard as we have been over the course of this season.”

According to Weinberg, the freshman class provides depth off the bench. And playing under the hot California sun forced Weinberg to go to her bench often in order to keep her players fresh.

With two home games this weekend, the Minutewomen hope to build upon what they learned during their trip to California. UMass will play host to Sacred Heart at 5 p.m. on Friday and to Boston University at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be held at the Gladchuk Sports Complex.

Tyler Movsessian can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MOSEphere.

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