UMass field hockey scores quickly in overtime to defeat La Salle

Ianni scores one minute into overtime for a 2-1 victory

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UMass field hockey scores quickly in overtime to defeat La Salle

Anish Roy

Anish Roy

Anish Roy

By Kevin Schuster, Collegian Staff

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After an evenly-matched game, it took less than one minute into overtime for the Massachusetts field hockey team to claim victory over La Salle at home Friday afternoon.

UMass (8-7, 5-2 Atlantic 10) scored 58 seconds into overtime, as a cross from Georgie McTear was tipped in by Bella Ianni for the Minutewomen’s second and final goal to secure a 2-1 win over the Explorers (6-10, 3-4 A-10).

“We had to make sure we kept composure in the back and possession while in overtime,” Ianni said. “Georgie went up the sideline and played a great cross into the middle, and I just tapped it in to get the goal.”

Controversy arose late in the game for UMass as many of the Minutewomen stopped playing believing a whistle should have been called. La Salle took advantage of the Minutewomen’s stagnant defending, as Amanda Chapin scored her fourth goal of the season with a shot from the top of the circle with only three and a half minutes left in the game.

Despite the confusion on the Explorers’ only goal, the UMass defense continued its consistent play from the past few games. Josie Rossbach played lockdown defense, stopping speedy forward Samie Hackman on many through balls from La Salle’s midfield. After receiving this past week’s A-10 defender of the week award, junior Marlise van Tonder recorded five saves, leaving her feet on multiple occasions and putting her body on the line for the Minutewomen.

“Our defense has really been holding it down,” coach Barb Weinberg said. “Other teams when they are able to counter against us, we are able to break that chain.”

Rossbach and the rest of the Minutewomen defense have had chemistry all year, being the most reliable part of the team. Communication has been a big contributor to their connection, along with their confidence passing along the back line and playing long balls to their forwards.

“Coach Barb has this rule that once you get onto the field, all you think about is the game,” Rossbach said. “We work really well together on the field but we’re also friends and hang out off of the field. We get along really well, so it’s easy to take criticism when we’re out on the field.”

The Explorers started the game fast, pressing UMass on every ball and playing much more physically than the Minutewomen. Weinberg believed her team played poorly to their standards but did well to push through and get the win.

“I think it was a messy game on our side,” Weinberg said. “We were having trouble with some of our basic skills and being able to work the ball out on the outlet, but I think our team did a great job coming out with the win regardless.”

The Minutewomen opened the scoring just over 12 minutes into the second half, as Lucy Cooper crossed a shot in after a one-on-one save from goalkeeper Cassie Kincaid deflected the ball out wide. Jess Beech got the final touch on the ball at the back post to score her fifth goal of the season.

Halftime adjustments contributed to the offensive production displayed by UMass in the second half and into overtime.

“In the first half we started to hit some long balls that were getting intercepted,” Weinberg said. “Once we were able to generate some attack with our pocket play going forward through the midfield, we were able to take some chances.”

After the victory, the Minutewomen are in second place in the A-10 and in control of their destiny as the A-10 Tournament approaches. Now riding a four-game win streak, UMass will try to keep its momentum going as it travels to Boston on Sunday, where the Minutewomen will face Boston University in a Massachusetts showdown.

Kevin Schuster can be reached at [email protected]