Massachusetts women’s soccer coach Ed Matz didn’t have much to say after Atlantic 10 conference foe La Salle dominated his team on Sunday, as UMass fell 6-2 at Rudd Field.
The six goals were the most the Minutewomen have allowed in a game this season.
“It was bad,” Matz said. “We didn’t win the battles [within 18 feet]. Every time La Salle had any opportunity anywhere near [18 feet], they capitalized, and whenever we had opportunities in their [18 feet], we didn’t do enough to create good chances.”
The Explorers (11-3-1, 6-0-0 A-10) got on the board in the 12th minute, with a goal from junior defender Chloe Lewis. The ball hit off the top right corner and drifted to the left corner of the net, giving La Salle an early 1-0 lead.
In the 28th minute, the Explorers made it 2-0 on a goal from redshirt junior Madison Bower.
Trailing 2-0 seconds after the goal, UMass (6-6-2, 3-2-1 A-10) sophomore forward Sini Laaksonen had a free kick opportunity from 22 yards out.
Laaksonen put the shot directly on goal, where it hit off a few La Salle defenders before sophomore forward Rebeca Frisk was able to control the ball and fire it past the goalkeeper to cut the deficit to one.
After Frisk’s goal cut the lead, La Salle scored three consecutive goals to make it 5-1 only 58 minutes into the game. Bower scored two of the three, giving her a hat trick.
After the fourth goal allowed, Matz took senior goalkeeper Cassidy Babin out and replaced her with junior Peyton Ryan.
“[Babin] had some opportunities to make some saves and they just weren’t there,” Matz said. “We just decided to go with [Ryan] to give her an opportunity to see if that would spark the team and unfortunately [Ryan’s] goals were [within six feet], but we have to deal with it.”
When asked what the difference was in Sunday’s game, Matz pointed to the skilled players the Explorers possess.
“La Salle is a very, very good team,” Matz said. “They’re 11-3 now, one of their losses is to West Virginia who is number two in the country or so. I think that we played poorly and it just snowballed.”
Matz also stressed that his team needs to play as a whole, not as individuals. This is something he said he hopes to see each game.
Trailing 5-1 in the 86th minute, UMass had an opportunity just outside the penalty box. Redshirt sophomore defender Jenna Thomas sent a cross pass to sophomore defender Sarah Beaulieu who beat La Salle freshman goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins, making it 5-2 with just under three minutes to play.
The Explorers, however, added salt to the wound with a goal in the 88th minute off a corner kick by sophomore defender Emily Wilkinson that was headed in by midfielder Marcela Robinson, ending the game with La Salle in 6-2 lead.
The Minutewomen will head on the road Thursday, as they take on George Mason University. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ZMSportsReport.