Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Offensive firepower gives UMass men’s soccer first A-10 victory

Brown’s two goals lift Minutemen over George Mason

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Offensive firepower gives UMass men’s soccer first A-10 victory

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O'Connor

By Will Katcher, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts men’s soccer team came out firing against George Mason on Saturday in their third Atlantic 10 matchup of the season, continuing the offensive energy that they played with in the previous two games.

Totaling 19 shots to the Patriots’ four, UMass (5-5-2, 1-2-0 A-10) found the back of the net twice, while holding their opponents scoreless. This was the third straight game that UMass has taken at least 17 shots.

The Minutemen, coach Fran O’Leary said, came into the game feeling the urgency to put points on the board, and they wasted little time setting this goal in motion.

UMass found its spark in senior forward DeAndrae Brown, who opened the scoring minutes into the game off a ball from junior Yosuke Hanya.

Hanya, playing on the wing, took a pass in the third minute at the top right corner of the box and feigned an inside run before cutting toward the endline. His well-timed low cross eluded George Mason’s diving goalkeeper and found the foot of Brown, who deposited it in the back of the net.

Just over half an hour after delivering the assist to Brown, Hanya again queued up a UMass goal as he was taken down in the box on an attacking run. Stepping to the penalty spot, Brown slotted a hard low shot into the right netting to give the Minutemen a 2-0 lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the game.

Hanya was instrumental in the victory, playing with energy well into the late stages of the game and fueling much of the Minuteman attack.

“Yosuke had a fantastic game today,” said head coach Fran O’Leary. “He created so many chances for us today. He gave them a handful.”

Combinations between Hanya, Brown and fellow UMass attackers Alec-Michael Petrizzi, Davis Smith and Jack Fulton resulted in numerous opportunities throughout the game.

One such chance came in the 14th minute, when Fulton collected a ball atop the 18 yard box and ripped a volley off the bounce, ringing the left post. Fulton led the team in shots, racking up eight in 59 minutes of playing time.

Petrizzi, who came off the bench in UMass’ loss to Virginia Commonwealth, started Saturday’s match, and wasted no time contributing to the offense.

Several minutes after Fulton’s volley, as the Minutemen pushed their opponents backward, freshman James McPherson was knocked down from behind outside the box. Petrizzi’s free kick, which curved past the Patriots’ wall, was on target and shot with force, but was skillfully collected by the keeper.

The UMass attack continued non-stop for the duration of the game, with several other players, including redshirt senior Stephen Ravazzoli, stepping up to facilitate balls from the backline to the offense.

“We have a lot of players with different abilities,” Brown said after the game. “[Hanya] is a really good dribbler, [Fulton’s] a great finisher, [Smith] in the air, [Petrizzi] and his crossing. We have a really versatile attacking team so that helps us keep teams unbalanced and create chances sometimes when it seems like there’s nothing there.”

The offensive onslaught broke UMass’ two-game skid in conference play and gave the team their first points of the year in the A-10 tables.

“We’ve dominated the first two games between the 18s, but we have to win the game between the penalty area,” O’Leary said. “So we did that today, and now we just have to push on. This will give us a big dose of confidence. We’ve got some very good performances throughout the team.”

Will Katcher can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @will_katcher.

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