Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New additions power UMass field hockey to first win of 2018

Antonet Louw scores two more for the Minutewomen

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Collegian File Photo

By Thomas Haines, Assistant Sports Editor

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Antonet Louw scored two more goals and Johanna von dem Borne saved seven shots in the Massachusetts field hockey team’s 2-1 victory over Northeastern, Sunday afternoon.

Louw, a junior transfer from South Africa, continued her torrid start, scoring twice for UMass (1-1), including a one-on-one shot past the goalkeeper to open the scoring. Referred to by coach Barb Weinberg as “a world-class goal-scorer,” Louw now has four goals on the year and has scored all the Minutewomen’s goals in the first two games.

On defense, the Minutewomen were led by freshman goalkeeper Johanna von dem Borne and graduate transfer Clodagh Moloney. After a rough game on Friday, von dem Borne bounced back with seven saves and just one goal allowed to earn her first career win.

“She made key saves for us, especially in the first half, that really kept us in the game and up (1-0) for a long time in the game,” Weinberg said. “She played excellent today and executed what we had worked on Saturday at practice as well.”

Moloney recorded an assist, but most of her impact came in the backfield, intercepting passes to help the Minutewomen cling to a narrow lead.

“Clodagh Moloney’s leadership in the backfield was huge today for us,” Weinberg said. “She stepped up big when it was late in the game and some of our players were pretty tired, it was pretty hot out there today. She stepped up in the backfield, made a lot of intercepts for us, and her circle defense was excellent all day.”

Northeastern’s one goal came just after halftime, when freshman Camille O’Conor took a pass from Lexie Dunleavy on the right wing and fired a shot past von dem Borne. Outside of that shot, the defense was much improved from Friday’s season-opening loss against New Hampshire, where the Minutewomen surrendered two goals in the final 13 minutes to squander a 2-1 lead.

Given a chance at redemption against Northeastern, the UMass defense allowed just two shots over the final 25 minutes.

“Especially in the middle of the field and on our strike line, our individual defense was much better and pretty much for the entirety of the game,” Weinberg said. “We had a little bit of a period in the second half where our circle defense broke down and we gave away some penalty corners, but all in all our individual defense was much better today.”

The Minutewomen were better across the board on Sunday. The offense started faster, generating six more shots and five more penalty corners than it did against UNH.

“We worked hard to review film on Friday night and Saturday and tried to put it to bed by the early afternoon on Saturday so we could move on to the Northeastern game,” Weinberg said.  “I think the team took in the video, analyzed, learned from their mistakes, and was able to move on with the prep for the Sunday game.”

Still, although the Minutewomen came out victorious thanks to the strong defensive showing, UMass struggled to convert on scoring opportunities, finishing with just two goals on 17 shots.

“We were getting chances on goal today, but we had a lot of missed opportunities,” Weinberg said. “Just being able to finish, to put more points on the board, is going to be a focus going into next weekend.”

Next weekend is the home opener for the Minutewomen, who will face No. 5 Michigan at Gladchuk Field on Friday before going back on the road against Vermont.

Thomas Haines can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @thainessports.

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