Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Women’s Soccer falls to Brown 2-0

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(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

Five.

On a scale from one-to-ten, that’s how Massachusetts women’s soccer coach Ed Matz rated his team’s play on Thursday.

Trailing Brown University 1-0 with 10 seconds left to play in the first half, UMass was on the defensive, and with just three seconds before halftime, freshman forward Brittany Thompson scored her first collegiate goal on a shot that beat Massachusetts senior goalkeeper Cassidy Babin, to give Brown a 2-0 lead.

The goal stood as the final tally of the game for the Bears (5-2-0) who wound up with a 2-0 shutout of the Minutewomen (2-4-1) on Thursday at Rudd Field.

“Brown’s a very good team and we knew that coming in,” UMass coach Ed Matz said. “We certainly didn’t play up to our potential and I think that goal in the last thirty seconds before halftime, it’s kind of a deflating way to go into halftime.”

Turnovers told the story of the first half, as the Minutewomen turned the ball over eight times. UMass, it seemed, was quite anxious and didn’t play with much heart in the first half.

The Minutewomen finished the first half with three shots, but none of them seemed to have much conviction behind them as none of the trio could find its way behind Brown’s junior goalkeeper Christine Etzel.

“In the first half, I think we did a little bit too much of letting Brown dictate the pace of play,” Matz added. “Brown plays a different formation than us and our goal was to make Brown change to our style of play.”

That different formation saw Brown play with three forwards, five midfielders and two defenders, which both Matz and Babin saw as a reason for the Minutewomen’s eight turnovers in the first half alone.

Brown opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a goal from senior forward by Mikela Waldman who scored her sixth goal of the season from the right side of the box on a floater that went in on the left side of the net.

The Minutewomen came out with a little more fire in the second half, taking eight shots in the second half, including three in the first five minutes. Babin says the adjustment was simply directing passes to the sides of the field as opposed to passing to the middle, something Matz says was a part of their game plan.

Babin stood tall in goal, stopping every shot that came her way in the second half. She saw 10 shots (five on target) in the final 45 minutes, but stopped all of them—including two leaping saves and one that she saved by reaching out her left arm in desperation.

“Certainly I think the shots were fairly even,” Matz said. “Maybe they had a couple more than us, but the saves weren’t. It comes down to [the fact that] those are the little battles you have to win in front of the goal. Those are the kinds of things that we didn’t win. We always talk about giving the extra five percent and we certainly didn’t give the extra five percent in the goal box on either end.”

Babin finished the game with nine saves in total. She really kept her team in the game despite allowing two first half goals and putting herself in some tough spots. The defense also helped Babin out, finishing the game with three blocked shots, including two in the second half.

“Well whenever it’s a day that I have to make a lot of saves, it means that we didn’t defend properly,” Babin said. “I do everything I can to keep us in the game, so I’m not feeling the best.”

In their next game, the Minutewomen take on another Ivy League foe in Yale University at Rudd Field. They take on the Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Matz is ready.

“Yale on paper has played a tougher schedule,” Matz said. “Yale is a very, very good team and as I told them, everyone says you want to learn from your losses, sure that’s great, but we want to learn from our wins. We want to keep going, we want to keep learning from those things, so it’s the feeling that we don’t want to have on Sunday.”

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

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