Ryan lifts UMass women’s soccer over Davidson 1-0, records shutout

Minutewomen move unbeaten streak to three

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Ryan lifts UMass women’s soccer over Davidson 1-0, records shutout

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Staff

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With winds whipping and the cold October air finally setting in, Thursday afternoon’s 1-0 victory was a slugfest for the Massachusetts women’s soccer team. Game condition at Rudd Field—light rain and wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour—was less than ideal for goalkeepers.

Yet, Peyton Ryan was able to shut the door on Davidson (8-6-2, 3-3-1 Atlantic 10), with help from Lauren Bonavita’s 82nd-minute score, earning her second shutout of the season and increasing UMass’ (7-4-3, 4-2-1 A-10) unbeaten streak to three games.

“It definitely feels good,” Ryan said. “We haven’t had a shutout in however many games, so I think that’s just what we needed. Especially, at this point in the season, the next few games really mean a lot. We’re all really battling for home-field advantage [in the A-10 tournament].”

Ryan recorded five saves on nine shots from Wildcat attackers. The last shutout for Ryan and the Minutewomen dates back to Aug. 25, when the graduate-student goalkeeper held Providence scoreless. Thursday’s shutout was Ryan’s seventh in her career.

“Peyton was awesome today,” coach Jason Dowiak said. “Early on they tested us a lot. [Davidson] got some early shots where—on the surface with it being wet and rainy—she never showed any moment of hesitation. I’m so happy that she got a shutout.”

Ryan’s stellar performance against Davidson dropped her GAA to 1.63, the Marietta, GA native’s lowest average since Sept. 15, when she boasted a 1.61. Ryan’s five stops on Thursday brought her season-total for saves up to 56, the most in a season by Ryan with the Minutewomen.

With the local Amherst temperatures dipping into the 50s, gusts dropped the wind-chill temps even lower, down to a brutal 41-degrees at game start.

“We hit some skippers during warmup,” Ryan said about preparing for the conditions. “It was kind of slick grass. It ended up playing in our favor, though, because we played quick.”

While the Minutewomen have played in the rain this season, Thursday’s match marked the most difficult conditions they have faced thus far.

“This is the coldest it’s been for us this year,” Dowiak said. “But, it’s cold for them too … when the environment changes a little bit, it can cause some inconsistencies.”

If there were flashes of inconsistency on the field, it didn’t show with Ryan, stopping every one of Davidson’s shots—in the less than ideal conditions.

Now on a hot streak, with a 4-1-1 record through its last six contests, UMass will look to carry over their success against Duquesne on Sunday. Match is set for a 1 p.m. start in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ry_beaton.