UMass field hockey sweeps Ivy League weekend

Minutewomen win their first two games of 2019

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UMass field hockey sweeps Ivy League weekend

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Tim Sorota, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts field hockey team notched their first two wins of the 2019 campaign this weekend, downing Dartmouth 1-0 in overtime on Sunday and beating Yale 4-1 on Friday afternoon. The Minutewomen even up their record at 2-2 on the young season.

The defense has been a strength for UMass (2-2) through the first four games of the fall, and it was on display this weekend. Since losing their opener 7-0 to Ohio State, the Minutewomen have surrendered just two goals in their last three games. On Sunday, the unit allowed just one Dartmouth (0-2) shot to get through to the net after allowing just two the previous game against Yale (1-1).

Coach Barb Weinberg said a strong backend stems from everyone doing their job.

“We talked about the keys to our successful team defense is to have good individual defense,” Weinberg said. “We want to contain players and force them into the empty space that we want them to go to and ensure that we have different levels behind that first line. We played really good individual defense over the last few games and that creates a good team structure.”

The suffocating backline allowed the Minutewomen to outshoot their Ivy League opponents 40 to 11 on the weekend. Of those shots, 19 found the target for UMass while only three did for their opposition. On Friday, they made the most of their opportunities to the tune of a season high four goals. On Sunday, they were not as fortunate, only scoring once.

“We felt like we were dominating and just had to get a little gritty in order to put one in the back of the net,” Weinberg said of Sunday’s contest. “I don’t know today. Sometimes things go in your favor and you can get the ball in the cage, but we just really had some trouble with that.”

Despite leading on the stat sheet in every major category during Sunday’s game, the Minutewomen found themselves in a 0-0 tie after the 60 minutes of regulation. But UMass picked the perfect time to breakthrough and send them home as winners.

At the 65th minute of the game following a tie-up in the midfield which saw Dartmouth retain possession of the ball, the ensuing pass was intercepted by freshman Jess Beech before firing a strike right to the stick of Georgie McTear. McTear made a defender miss before ripping a shot passed Big Green goalie Isabella Santucci to end the game.

“Georgie has always been great for us,” Weinberg said. “She is able to create a real attack out of the midfield. She had a ton of opportunities for us this weekend and she is able to really thrive when she is in open space and she was able to take advantage of that in overtime.”

For McTear, her game-winner was her second goal on the weekend which leads the team to this point. She also recorded 12 shots on the weekend to pace UMass and has 14 on the season.

McTear’s first tally came during the first quarter of Friday’s tilt with Yale to put the Minutewomen up 1-0. Beech, junior Lucy Cooper and sophomore Katherine Furry would also get in on the goal-scoring fun in the 4-1 win.

UMass will look to continue the offensive production they saw on Friday as they prepare to play their home opener this Saturday against Albany.

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