UMass hands UMass Lowell its first loss on the season in 2-1 victory

Minutewomen have won four straight

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Collegian File Photo

By Eli Weisberger, Collegian Correspondent

The Massachusetts field hockey team continued its winning ways with a 2-1 victory over UMass Lowell in a low scoring affair.

The Minutewomen (4-1 NCAA, 0-0 Atlantic 10) had six shots while the Riverhawks (2-1 NCAA, 0-0 America East) took five. While the shots might have been close to even, the penalty corners were not. UMass had six penalty corners, but UML had just one. The Riverhawks only goal came off deflection from their sole penalty corner.

Minutewomen junior midfielder/forward Mus Defauwes opened up the scoring with a second quarter goal, her first goal of the season. UMass Lowell would then respond 5:22 later with a goal of its own by Grace Davis on an assist from Clara Defourt.

The game-winning goal was scored in the third quarter by UMass sophomore midfielder Jess Beech, on assists from sophomore forward Emily Crawford and freshman midfielder/defenseman Claire Danahy. Beech now leads the Minutewomen in points with seven, while Crawford and Danahy recorded their first points of the year.

This win did not come without its challenges, however. The River Hawks were in firm control at the start of the third quarter, getting up four shots in the span of 34 seconds.

“They attacked very well in the third quarter and we were under a lot of defensive pressure and I credit our defense, they stayed strong,” said UMass head coach Barb Weinberg. “Our defensive 25 were able to get the ball out so that we regained momentum, but I think really just it was the one-on-one battles early on in the third quarter, and we were not stepping up and contesting as much as we had done in the first half and we got caught just on our heels, so I think just being proactive and being able to contest in those moments to generate momentum on attack is going to help us.”

Ball movement and playmaking was another key factor to UMass’ success.

“I thought it was really good,” Weinberg said of her team’s passing. “I credit UMass Lowell. Typically we like to play through our central midfielders and build the ball for our midfield so that we have numbers up on attack. They shut down our middle very well today, so it took us a little while to figure out how to play around the outside but once we did we had a lot of success going forward.”

The Minutewomen now boast a 4-1 record on the season and are in the midst of a four-game win streak. The Minutewomen will look to extend their winning streak to five games when they take on Saint Joseph’s next Saturday in the first conference matchup of the season.

Eli Weisberger can be reached at [email protected]