Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass field hockey dominates in 3-0 shutout over Davidson

Minutewomen defense suffocates Davidson offense in the first half

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UMass field hockey dominates in 3-0 shutout over Davidson

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O'Connor

By Grace Sherwood, Collegian Correspondent

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The Massachusetts field hockey team defeated Davidson in a 3-0 shutout on Friday, earning the Minutewomen their third win in Atlantic 10 play.

UMass (5-6, 3-1 A-10) suffocated the Wildcats (3-6, 1-1 A-10) in the first half, holding the Wildcats without a shot. The Minutewomen offense showed improvement in passing and controlling the ball, coming off of a 5-0 loss to Saint Joseph’s.

“I think all around on every line today we had a strong game, it was a week of preparation where we focused on us, rather than being so focused on the opponent,” coach Barb Weinberg said. “We played well defensively, we executed our game plan, so we’re really pleased.”

Forward junior Antonet Louw scored the first goal in the 23rd minute, giving the Minutewomen a lead that they would not surrender. Louw was assisted by sophomore forward Lucy Cooper, who went on to assist the second UMass goal, scored in the 46th minute by sophomore Georgie McTear off of a penalty corner.

“This week in practice we worked on a specific drill that we could see happening in the game, exactly what we had done in the drill and replicating that really worked,” said Cooper. “Working off of each other, crossleading, things like that really led to our success.”

The UMass offense forced the Davidson defense to work hard in the first half, dominating with an 11-0 shutout in the shots column. The Minutewomen successfully battled for the ball in turnovers, winning possession over Davidson.

“Our midfield movement, being able to play not only around the outside of the field, but through our central midfielders, and then winning the ball in the press today,” said Weinberg. “We were able to win the ball higher up, so we didn’t have to go so far to counterattack, and that was key for us today.”

In addition to the offensive success, the UMass defense proved strong over Davidson. The Wildcats only managed three shots overall, only two of those being shots on goal. McTear and freshman Sophie Johnson both had key successes in the second half, as Johnson scored the third and final goal in the 55th minute unassisted, officially shutting down Davidson.

“We played a different press, and I think in general it played really well,” said Cooper, “not just one moment but the whole thing overall.”

To add to the Minutewomen’s effective strategy, Weinberg also focused on rotating through the bench throughout the game, giving more playing time to the entire team.

“We were able to get our core players off for longer periods of time today,” said Weinberg. “So our bench came in huge, and every person was able to contribute today.”

After the win, UMass moves on to play Providence this Sunday. Friday’s win is big for the Minutewomen, giving them a boost of confidence going into the non-conference game this Sunday.

“This is a big win, it’s A-10 obviously, so every win in [the] A-10 counts considering we lost to St. Joe’s last week,” said Cooper. “So on Sunday we have a non-conference game, but that’ll be just as important.”

UMass will host the Friars this Sunday at 1 p.m. to finish up the weekend slate.

Grace Sherwood can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @gshersports

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