UMass field hockey loses to Northwestern in double overtime

By Thomas Haines

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts field hockey team split its weekend games, falling 2-1 to Northwestern in double overtime on Sunday after a 3-2 win over conference opponent Saint Louis Friday night.

UMass (11-5, 5-1 Atlantic 10) trailed Northwestern most of the game, but with an empty net for the Minutewomen late in the game, defender Melanie Kreusch scored off a penalty corner to tie the game at one and force overtime.

Knotted up at one in the 94th minute, redshirt sophomore Kirsten Mansfield scored the winning goal for Northwestern off a penalty corner.

It was a quiet day on offense for the Minutewomen, who failed to take a single shot in the first half. Goalkeeper Emily Hazard made seven saves in the first half alone, but let in a shot from Northwestern’s Pascale Massey in the 34th minute. Hazard shut out the Wildcats through the second half and first overtime period, finishing with fourteen saves.

The loss in their final road game of the season dropped the Minutewomen to 4-5 on the road. UMass is still undefeated at home, but struggles on the road have been a recurring theme throughout the year.

“We’re approaching it the same as we do for all of our other matches,” UMass Coach Barb Weinberg said before the road trip. “Just being prepared and having a good week of practice, but knowing that this year we haven’t been as good on the road as we have been at home. So we really need to take care of business this weekend.”

Northwestern came in ranked eighth in the country, marking the fourth time this season that the Minutewomen have played a ranked opponent. They won one of those games, against Boston University, with losses against Stanford, UConn and now Northwestern.

The loss came two days after UMass thwarted a late charge from Saint Louis on Friday to hold on for a 3-2 win. After the conference win, the Minutewomen moved to 5-1 in A-10 play with two conference games remaining.

The Minutewomen held a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes to go, but freshman goalie Camille Lecrone let in two penalty corner goals to cut the lead to one. Emily Hazard, who got the start in goal, replaced Lecrone and shut the Billikens out for the final five minutes to seal the win.

Defender Shauna Rankin-Byrne scored in the 10th minute to give UMass an early lead, with forward Grace Horgan adding an insurance goal right before halftime. After a penalty corner goal from freshman Georgie McTear in the 52nd minute, Weinberg pulled Hazard and put in Lecrone.

Before the game, Weinberg said that she might look to get more playing time for some of the younger players.

“That’s always up for grabs, and we’ve had games where we’ve tried to rotate the younger players in and give them some experience,” Weinberg said. “Our starting lineup has been consistent for us. Always opportunity for people to step in there, but we like the consistency so far.”

The Minutewomen finished without a single save, but allowed only two shots on goal.

UMass will return home and look to secure entry into the A-10 tournament with a crucial game against No. 21 Saint Joseph’s this Friday.

Thomas Haines can be reached at [email protected]