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

After two conference losses, UMass field hockey is looking to rebound in non-conference matchups

Massachusetts field hockey takes on Northeastern and UNH to finish home stand
Lynus Erickson

Last weekend’s losses leave Massachusetts field hockey in the bottom three of the Atlantic 10 standings, ahead of only Davidson and Saint Louis, the latter being UMass’ (3-6, 1-2 Atlantic 10) latest victory. Moving up in the A-10 standings will be put on hold this week as non-conference opponents visit Gladchuk.

Three days out of Sunday’s loss to Richmond (6-4, 2-1 A-10), the Minutewomen are ready to move into October with new goals in mind.

“Most important is that we rebound really quickly from Sunday and Friday’s matches from last weekend and I think we are doing that with this practice today,” coach Barb Weinberg said. “We’re moving on in a positive way.”

The final half of the four-game home stand concludes this Friday and Sunday starting with Northeastern and finishing with New Hampshire. The Huskies (6-3) have risen in the rankings, winning three of their last four and earning the current No. 25 ranking in the nation.

Northeastern has dominated their opponents offensively, scoring an NCAA second best 4.43 goals each game against a tough schedule. Like Umass, they have matched up with an array of top 25 teams, including No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 19 Boston College.

The key to the Huskies’ success has been standout freshman Lauren Rowe’s consistency on offense. She is tied for third in the country in goals per game and assists per game with 1.33 and 1 respectively.

“They have a couple of really talented strikers. [Rowe] is a freshman from England and she’s the [third] leading goal scorer in the country right now so she’s going to be a huge attacking threat,” Weinberg said. “We no doubt need to deny her and keep ball pressure on her.”

Despite the upcoming games falling outside of conference domain, Friday’s matchup will provide personal motivation for returning players on both teams due to UMass’ comeback victory from the 2018 season.

“They know that we can come back from down 4-0 to a 5-4 win like we did last year,” senior Sophie de Jonge said. “It is going to be a rough game and they know what we can do.”

UNH (5-4) is riding a hot streak entering this weekend, having won five out of its last six games and scoring 17 points throughout those wins. Its last loss came recently to Harvard by a margin of 5-0.

The Minutewomen have seen these tough opponents as a chance to improve all year long, but the success of this weekend – both in the results and level of play – are not lost on the players. Following these games will be four A-10 matchups in a row, three coming on the road.

“I think most of our schedule is strong this year but these rankings change week to week,” defender Sophie Johnson said on this weekend’s opponents, “we don’t focus much on their individual rankings.”

UMass struggled to get itself penalty corners last weekend and have prepared themselves to play a more aggressive style if needed.

Friday’s game versus Northeastern begins at 3 p.m. Sunday’s game versus UNH begins at noon.

Justin Ekstrom can be reached at [email protected].

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