UMass women’s soccer extends winning streak to four games in win over EMU

Jenny Hipp, Erin Doster lead Minutewomen to 6-1 win

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(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

By Evan Marinofsky, Collegian Staff

On Sunday afternoon, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team beat Eastern Michigan, 6-1.

UMass (5-2-0) scored the game-winner in the 48th minute on their best play of the game.

Midfielder Jenny Hipp led soccer’s version of a Hail Mary down the field to forward Erin Doster. Doster corralled the ball, created separation from the defender, slid and kicked it past EMU (5-4-0) goalie Kaylin Williams into the back of the net, making it 2-0.

“I just took advantage of their line being really disorganized,” said Doster on the goal. “Jenny played a really good ball behind and then I just got a good shot off.”

Coach Jason Dowiak talked after the game about the importance of passing the ball and creating plays.

“We shared the ball today,” he said. “It’s fun, man. When they start moving the ball and trusting each other, the movement off the ball changed dramatically for us. That’s the best we’ve looked all year and we’ve had a lot of good games recently.”

Back in the 25th minute, Hipp opened the scoring with a tap-in right in front of the Eagles’ net to make it 1-0 Minutewomen.

After Hipp’s assist on Doster’s goal to make it 2-0, Hipp extended the lead to 3-0 early in the second half on a breakaway on an assist from Rebeca Frisk.

“We said at halftime that we wanted to try to get a goal in the first five minutes, if not sooner,” Dowiak said. “Their mentality is really amazing. I haven’t coached a team that’s had the mentality to really step on the gas and go.”

Hipp finished the day with two goals and three assists – good for a five-point day.

“I just think today I got on the ball more than the last couple of games,” said Hipp on her phenomenal day. “My teammates put me in good space. I had good movement today like in between the lines. That’s what Coach told me to do.”

“Jenny’s finally settled in,” Dowiak added. “She’s been good all season. She’s a really talented player; very tactically aware. We talked a lot this week about making a bigger impact on the game and I think with our tactical approach to what we were trying to do and the spaces we were trying to take advantage of, all of the forwards were able to find her because her movement was so good. She’s on another level.”

UMass’ game plan was clear and concise heading into Sunday afternoon’s matinee.

“We went in with the goal to try and press them,” Dowiak said. “We are really deep. We’ve got 22 players and we used every one of them today. That’s the nature of us. We have this level of play that allows us to put pressure on teams and then when the next group comes in, there’s no change in the level, there’s no drop.”

Apparently, Dowiak’s message was good enough to be remembered correctly by the players.

“We worked really hard this week at trying to trap and press them and using what they do bad against them and I think we did a really good job at that,” Doster said. “We played to our level and didn’t stoop to theirs.”

EMU’s only glimmer of hope was when it scored its lone goal in the 73rd minute to cut the lead to 3-1.

UMass responded with three goals in the final 17 minutes–one from Frisk and two from Lauren Bonavita.

For the Minutewomen, this game meant a lot for the future.

“We were really feeling like that would be the game that would determine whether or not we were ready for conference play,” Dowiak said. “I think we are.”

The Minutewomen hope to stretch their win streak to five games on Thursday against Duquesne at 4 p.m.

Evan Marinofsky can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @emarinofsky.