UMass field hockey’s team chemistry a key to victory over Vermont

UMass only tallied one assist in the win

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Anish Roy / Daily Collegian

Anish Roy / Daily Collegian

By Eli Weisberger, Collegian Correspondent

Team chemistry keyed the aggressive play of the Massachusetts field hockey team in the first half of its matchup with regional rival Vermont and carried the Minutewomen (2-1) to a 3-1 victory on Sunday.

Although UMass only had one registered assist on three goals, the passing was as good as it gets for the Minutewomen. 

With crisp and accurate passing, UVM (0-1) had no answer. As a result of the Minutewomen’s stellar passing, the Catamounts struggled to win the puck away, seeing the ball sit in the UMass attacking zone.

With the Minutewomen looking for their second-straight win—and one that would push the team above .500—the cohesive play couldn’t have come at a better time. 

The UMass players kept their heads on swivels throughout the game and it paid off. They were always looking for the open woman and that put tons of pressure on the Catamount defense. This resulted in UVM facing a total of twelve shots while UMass faced only four. 

When asked about how they can maintain their level of aggressiveness throughout the season, Minutewomen head coach Barb Weinberg said, “We are deep in the midfield, and as long as [we] continue with a high off-ball work rate and move the ball quickly we’ll be able to play that style of hockey.”

While UMass’ team-first approach was evident on Sunday, it didn’t mean its coach was without criticism for how they could improve. 

“But it takes a lot of work off the ball, and I think that’s what we were lacking a bit today,” Weinberg said. “This is a team that has a ton of potential… We really have to focus on consistency this season.”

The ability to mesh as a team so early in the season becomes even more impressive when one considers how different the offseason and buildup to his season looked compared to a traditional year.

“Again, with a small roster, that a lot of teams are dealing with playing this spring season,” Weinberg said. “We are really going to have to work on our consistency and putting up performances.”

With the Minutewomen winners of their last two games, they have something to build on in terms of its chemistry.

UMass will take to the field again on March 12 when they host Maine at Gladchuk Field Hockey Complex. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.

Eli Weisberger can be reached at [email protected]