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UMass defense has trouble stopping the attack in 6-1 loss at Boston College

Lucy Cooper scores lone goal in a five-goal loss to BC

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UMass defense has trouble stopping the attack in 6-1 loss at Boston College

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

By Justin Ekstrom, Collegian Staff

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A flat showing against Boston College cost the Massachusetts field hockey team, which fell 6-1 on Sunday and squandered a chance to record its first back-to-back wins of the season.

Although UMass (7-9, 5-2 Atlantic 10) did not lose ground in the A-10 standings, they failed to carry the momentum from a home victory against St. Francis on Friday, falling to 0-7 in games following a win.

UMass struggled all around in their matchup Sunday, failing to make defensive stops to minimize the damage being done by effective forwards from Boston College (9-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast).

“Knowing that [BC] was ranked in the top 15 in the country, we knew that it was going to be a battle and that we were going to have to contest every play,” said coach Barb Weinberg.

It took less than 30 seconds into the game for the Eagles to strike, giving them an early advantage they never gave up. Forward Lucy Lytle hit a one-timer to the left post for her first goal of the season, sneaking it past UMass keeper Johanna von dem Borne off an assist from Brooke Matherson.

By the time Lucy Cooper got UMass on the board in the 64th minute, BC had already racked up four goals. The Eagles continued to score up until the final minute of play, ending with a total of six goals put in by five different players.

The Minutewomen held their own for the next 30 minutes despite playing primarily in their defensive half, as BC alternated between shots and corners. UMass did not get a shot off until the 15th minute, when Antonet Louw was stopped by keeper Jonna Kennedy on a penalty stroke. Louw finished with three shots, two on goal.

Considering the amount of time spent playing defense, the Minutewomen held up well until the final few minutes of the first half, when they gave up a corner to the Eagles that resulted in a goal and put UMass in a two-goal deficit heading into halftime.

“I felt good about the first half,” Weinberg said. “We wanted to utilize our counter attack, which we use very well, but we weren’t able to all that much unfortunately.”

In the 39th minute, BC’s Elizabeth Warner was able to put in a goal to keep the Eagles’ momentum going into the second half. She would eventually score again in the final seconds of play and became the only player on either side with a multi-goal game.

Von dem Borne was pulled in the 57th minute for redshirt freshman Megan Davies after allowing four goals. The only Minutewomen to play the entire game were midfielder Sophie de Jonge and defender Clodagh Moloney.

Davies allowed two goals in 14 minutes without recording a save.

“Meg went in to get some minutes, and I thought she played great,” Weinberg said.

Cooper eventually broke through with a penalty goal of her own late into the half, her fifth of the season, but it was too little, too late.

UMass exits the one-sided loss with a 0-5 record against ranked teams this season. The average margin of defeat against ranked teams was just under five goals per game.

The Minutewomen need to reduce the amount of opportunities they gave up, because not only will talented teams put the ball in the net, but it leaves less time for the UMass offense to find a rhythm.

UMass returns to action Friday night at 6 p.m. at Northeastern.

Justin Ekstrom can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JustinJEkstrom.

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