UMass women’s soccer starts conference play on the wrong foot, losing 2-1 to Richmond

Bonavita scores lone goal for UMass

Anish+Roy

Anish Roy

By Moiz Saqib, Collegian Correspondent

In their first Atlantic 10 match of the year, the Massachusetts women’s soccer team suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Richmond. UMass (3-3-2, 0-1-0 Atlantic 10) couldn’t consistently execute against the Spiders (4-2-2, 1-0-0 Atlantic 10) as two unlucky bounces and poor energy contributed to the outcome.

The game started off quickly in the Minutewomen’s favor as sophomore Lauren Bonavita scored off a beautiful feed from freshman and leading scorer Melissa Kössler. The Spiders proceeded to not get many opportunities in the first half as defenders such as Dani Sclafani and Ava Jouvenel quickly halted any advances made by the Spider offense. UMass looked in great position as the team heading into halftime leading 1-0.

The second half, however, was a different story as Katie Tritt tied the game for the Spiders five minutes into the half. UMass looked unprepared for the aggressiveness Richmond displayed and were caught off guard by their high energy play.

“We lacked energy in our warmup,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “It’s great that we score early on, but I wouldn’t say it was from a direct line of high energy, which is what we asked for us well. We’re still trying to get consistency out of the group but our energy is one thing that we could’ve certainly improved on a bit.”

“Our energy level was pretty low based on the other games, but we just need to be able to come out and have the correct energy and mentality to step out on the field,” Bonavita said.

UMass had a few opportunities to tie the game as Bonavita, Kössler and Rebeca Frisk all had chances to put the ball in the net, but couldn’t quite execute. Meanwhile, the Spiders maintained their pressure and were able to take the lead as senior Brooke Beam sent a long distance shot past the outreaching hand of goalie Peyton Ryan at the 72nd minute.

“I thought we had a pretty good game plan, but we didn’t execute very well,” Dowiak said. “After we scored we got a little comfortable and later in the game, it’s a good team that’s really well coached. They finished their chances and we didn’t. We created more than enough chances to level it up if not go above and, well, it’s frustrating. You get your opportunities, you gotta finish them.”

“Richmond was a very good team and it was obviously an important game,” Bonavita said. “I think we could’ve been a little more prepared. We can’t use the heat as an excuse as it was hot for them as well. I think we just need to prepare more.”

UMass would not find any opportunities for the rest of the game and were clearly the less competitive, prepared, and patient team in this matchup.

One positive for the Minutewomen in this game was the play of Bonavita  scoring the lone goal for UMass and had several other opportunities to score and potentially tie the game, or even take the lead.

Dowiak discussed the play of Bonavita during the game.

“She works really hard and we’re really proud of all the players when they put that effort in, but we’d like to see her speed of play improve and her decision making to make the players around her better,” Dowiak said. “We talk about that with all out players. It’s not just Lauren. She’s always individually dangerous but she could be making the people around her more dangerous as well.”

UMass takes the field next against the George Mason Patriots, this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Fairfax, Virginia.

Moiz Saqib can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Moiz_Saqib.