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

UMass loses a field hockey match defined by an offensive outburst in the fourth quarter

UMass suffers another tough loss
Anish Roy

Sunday’s game between the Massachusetts and New Hampshire field hockey teams was a back and forth affair that saw an explosion of offense between the two sides in the fourth quarter, finishing 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats (6-5). The lone goal of the quarter came when forward Finn Caron scored her ninth goal of the season unassisted to give UNH their 2-1 lead.

Caron put the ball past keeper Marlise van Tonder with just 2:04 left in the match breaking the tie that lasted over 38 minutes of play. UMass (4-7, 1-2 Atlantic 10) immediately pulled its keeper for the extra forward but could not retaliate.

“Most of all of our games this year have been super close, coming down to one goal,” sophomore Katherine Furry said. “Decision making in the circle is what the game comes down to in 2-1 games.”

In four of UMass’ five one-goal losses, the defeating goal has come in the fourth quarter. These have come against No. 12 Louisville (10-1), No. 20 Albany (9-3), and most recently against A-10 opponent Richmond in a similar 2-1 loss exactly one week earlier.

“In the Richmond game they outworked us but in this game, I think we outworked UNH,” van Tonder said. “Our striker line had a phenomenal game today. We will look at the video and see what we need to improve.”

By the game’s end UMass outshot UNH 19-10, only giving up four penalty corners. Three of these came in the final quarter when the Wildcat offense put up half of its 10 total shots.

The Minutewomen got off nine shots in the final quarter, five of which were on goal, forcing UNH keeper Jemma Woods to make some tough saves. Top contributors for the Minutewomen included Lucy Cooper, Steph Gottwals, and Georgie McTear – who recorded 11 total shots.

“There wasn’t anything specific tactically [that changed in the fourth quarter], our players just felt we had momentum and they had the fire today,” coach Barb Weinberg said, “We had so many chances but just couldn’t finish today.”

Opportunities came often in the final 15 minutes of play for both teams. UMass earned three penalty corners while the game was still tied but failed to convert two in a row at the ten minute mark of the quarter.

Two corners were botched by the Minutewomen by improperly setting up the ball and allowing UNH defenders to move into blocking position. This situation arose with 6:40 left in the game, only to be rebounded and denied on a fantastic save by Woods.

“Just execution,” Weinberg said on what went wrong. “Our specialty skill execution was just off. We talked about it after the game.”

With the extra forward following Caron’s goal, UMass controlled the ball and put heavy pressure on the UNH defense for the final two minutes.

As the game entered its final 10 seconds the Minutewomen swarmed the opposing circle, smashing shots, but with no success. An initial block was rebounded by UMass and nearly put in the back of the net only to be smothered by the keeper and kicked out towards the sidelines as the buzzer sounded. There was a look of momentary confusion for some UMass players and shouts from the stands for a penalty stroke, but the score was final.

The penalty whistles increased with the pace of play in the fourth quarter and both teams were displeased when on the wrong side of the call. Coupled with the lack of finishing and untimely turnovers, UNH was kept in a game that was heavily controlled by UMass until they took advantage with a near last minute goal.

“There were a lot of double turnovers and I think we allowed the calls that the umpires made get to us and frustrated us, leading to us not focusing and increasing those double turnovers,” van Tonder said.

With the homestand finished, UMass heads to Davidson on Friday to continue conference play.

Justin Ekstrom can be reached at [email protected].


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