Offensive dominance was not enough for UMass in 1-0 loss to Davidson

Jenny Hipp controlled play in the midfield


Parker Peters

Collegian File Photo

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts’ women’s soccer team fought until the end, but an early goal defined the loss. Davidson scored just 25 seconds into the game.

UMass (6-5-1, 5-3-1 Atlantic 10) dominated offensively, creating multiple opportunities and controlling the ball for the majority of the game, but the ball never found the back of the net. The Wildcat’s (7-3-3, 5-2-2 A-10) goalie, Mary Grade Bunch made the A-10 first team and stopped any shots taken.

“Offensively, I felt like we did what we wanted to do to get into the final third, and had decent quality, but the quality of the final pass or the services could have increased those opportunities more,” head coach Jason Dowiak said. “And that’s something we’ll talk about and focus on for the future.”

Jenny Hipp has been a standout player for the Minutewomen throughout her four years on the team and shined this season. Hipp lead the team to victory with her goal in the last regular season game, beating Fordham and sending UMass to its third consecutive tournament under head coach Dowiak.

Throughout this game, Hipp was everywhere on the field, controlling the ball in the middle and distributing it to players in the wings. She helped move the ball forward playing 74 minutes and taking two shots.

“Jenny is a playmaker,” Dowiak said. “A lot of times that comes with a lot of responsibility that is difficult, like other teams tracking her a lot closer, and it makes what she does that much more special. Her ability to free herself, her ability to get on the ball as much as she did, with a little bit of space and then deal with that, was amazing.”

Hipp was named to the Atlantic 10 first team for the third straight season. She overcame an early season injury leaving her sidelined for a week and played for the remainder of the season. This game was no different from past games this season as Hipp’s footwork and quick passes were unmatched.

“As the game went on, I think Jenny kept finding the ball more and more, but they were so compact and closed off to so many passing lanes that I think what Jenny did find was amazing,” Dowiak said. “But I give a lot of credit to the opponent and how well they defended for 90 minutes, literally, to protect the lead that they gave themselves early on.”

Hipp is one of eight seniors who will be graduating this Spring. Captain Fatou Berry could not play for a majority of the season due to an injury, but upon returning to the field, she helped the team offensively. Her co-captain Dani Sclafani held the back line this season but ventured up in the midfield many times finding open players.

Yet, with 10 freshmen on the team this year, including Hannah Peric and Ella Curry who were awarded to the All-Rookie Team in the conference, the future is bright for this Minutewomen squad. The team began this 2021 season with many offensive struggles, but in their final games of the season, they were able to control play trying to find the back of the net. Going into next season, the true test is going to be the ball control in the final third and converting the multiple opportunities to goals.

Sophie Weller can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @sophieewellerr.