Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass field hockey looking to build off fourth quarter success in 4-1 loss to Saint Joseph’s

UMass outshot St. Joe’s 4-2 in the final frame
Nina Walat

For three of the four quarters of Friday’s Massachusetts field hockey game against St. Joseph’s, the Minutewomen (3-5, 1-1 Atlantic 10) were held in check. After Kathrin Bentz scored to put St Joe’s (7-1, 1-0 A-10) up 4-0, the game was all but decided.

That’s when UMass started playing their best field hockey of the afternoon. Through the first three quarters, the Hawks led on the shot board 14-5. The fourth was a different story, however, as it was the Minutewomen outshooting the Hawks 4-2. The ball hardly left the UMass attacking 50 during the final frame.

The Minutewomen played much looser and were far more aggressive in the fourth than they had been in the previous three quarters. In the first half and much of the third quarter, UMass was tight and played to not make a mistake and not lose. In the final fifteen, they got back to their game.

“Absolutely,” coach Barb Weinberg said when asked if she noticed a demeanor change in how her team played in the fourth. “I had this feeling in the first two quarters they were just kind of trying to feel things outwards with what St. Joe’s was going to bring to us rather than playing our hockey and making a difference right off the bat. I think that’s when any team played their best. When they have nothing to lose.”

UMass was flying up and down the pitch in the fourth quarter, playing with a greater sense of urgency than they had earlier in the contest. They connected on long passes, got the ball in the circle, and put some heat on St. Joe’s, who were relatively unchallenged through the first 45 minutes.

“We realized in the final quarter when we were four nil down is that we did have nothing to lose. So, we started pushing; we started taking more risks,” midfielder Georgie McTear said. “We started running ahead more and just get everyone in that last 25. I think just really putting a lot of pressure on them because like I said, there’s nothing to lose when you are four nil down.”

Despite controlling the play in the fourth, the zero on the scoreboard was still hanging over their heads. That changed at the 4:28 mark of the fourth quarter when McTear raced to the top of the circle, firing a shot passed St. Joseph’s goalie Victoria Kemmerinke, deflecting off Emily Crawford’s stick in the process. The goal was more than just the first collegiate goal of Crawford’s career. It was a huge momentum swing not only for their outlook on the game, but for the rest of their A-10 season.

“We need that goal to push us forward and give us that mindset that ‘oh we can do this’,” McTear said. “So, I think getting the first goal and allowing us to settle will be such a game changer”.

St. Joseph’s came into the game ranked No. 11 in the country and have lost only once in their first eight games. The Hawks, two-time defending Atlantic 10 champions, already have two wins against ranked opponents this season.

For UMass to be able to compete against such an opponent, even in just the final fifteen minutes of a game that had long been decided, does a lot for confidence moving forward.

“We can go up against a top ranked team,” McTear said. “In that last fifteen we were really chipping away at them and they were getting worried. We spent the majority of time in the attacking 50. So, I think we can take that away. That we can compete with these teams.”

The Minutewomen will look to start Sunday’s game versus Richmond the way that they ended Friday’s.

“That level in the last fifteen, we need to start at that level on Sunday. Then we’ll be fine against Richmond,” McTear said.

Both UMass and Richmond enter Sunday’s contest with 1-1 records in the Atlantic 10. Sunday’s game is slated to begin at 3p.m.

Tim Sorota can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @TimSorota

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